Here are 4 easy steps to relieve the awkwardness in these encounters, avoid lengthy conversation & handle them like a pro!
- Compulsively put a bunch of stuff in your cart trying to avoid eye contact? No.
- Play bumper cars and get the hell out of there? No.
- Take out your phone and fake a call? No.
2. Smile: You have been spotted, eye contact has been made. The next step is to smile, acknowledge that you know them. In this phase you have the opportunity to browse through your memory and try to remember where you know them from, even their name! Try not to say, "Hey YOU!" Slowly walk towards them and brace yourself for either a lengthy convo or a quick hello.
3. How Are You?: We all do it!!! We all ask that dreadful question where we don't really expect an answer nor do we really care. The Motto: KEEP IT MOVING. Your biggest mistake will be to stop, leaving space for conversation. Remember, time is of the essence and you need to get the hell out of there. Slowly but surely walk past them continuing eye contact and say: "Hey. How are you?" without stopping because you don't really want an answer. They'll end up saying something, most likely, "Good" because no one wants to open up about their miserable life in the middle of Aisle 5 sandwiched between 2 shopping carts.
Sometimes you'll get a more personal question, For Example:
- How's Mom?
- Didn't you go to school with my son?
- What have you been up to?
If you don't mind conversation you can answer these questions extensively. But, if you're like me who hates 'small talk', you can give one word answers but make sure to nod your head and smile while doing so to seem sincerely engaged and interested but sort of in a rush, For Example:
-Good *smiles & nods*
Didn't you go to school with my son?
-OH, YEAH! *smiles & nods*
What have you been up to?
-Nothing *smiles & nods*
Make sure to cut eye contact once the question has been answered and distract yourself by engaging in something else.
4. WINNING: Turn down the nearest aisle and BAM, you have survived! Give yourself a pat on the back and continue shopping until your next encounter ... DUN DUN DUNNNNN!
To Be Continued.