in Daily Post, Experiments, Insights, Rejections

Awkward Moments Experiment

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
Brian Tracy

I’ve decided to create this to help me take more risks because my final year of college is looming.

I’ll create situations everyday for 30 days where two things happen:
1. I’m feeling extremely awkward.
2. It benefits the other person or group.

I’m tired of avoiding “perceived danger.” I have to let the training wheels go. I’m down to one year, so the pressure is on.

It’s a distant cousin of Rejection Therapy.
The major difference is that I don’t have to ask for anything.

Some examples:
1. Giving hi-fives to random people.
2. Going to a party, even if I don’t talk much. (I tend to avoid them, so that’s awkward.)
3. Wearing my shirt backwards the whole day.

The starting date is:
Sept 19.

Who’s with me?

In the comments below:
-Give me some ideas (reminder: It’s a University Campus)
-Tell me if you want to participate in this too or wish me luck.
-Anything else that’s in your awesome mind.

Write a Comment

Comment

58 Comments

  1. Dude, this is brilliant. I feel awkward just reading it.

    Count me in, man! Would love to hear some other ideas from readers as well!

      • Just pitching in to support the free hugs idea. It’s ridiculously scary the first time you do it, but so much fun to see all the people around you light up. (Even those who refuse a hug usually bust a huge grin when you offer one!)

  2. Wow this is a cool experiment. I researched some pick up videos for a blog idea I had and man were some of those awkward.

    However, it really was a great learning experience for everyone involved and more often then not, the guy ended up benefiting from his awkward situations.

    • Hey Bryce,
      It would be cool to see those videos.

      Yeah it all depends on what you interpret a situation to be. Even if it is awkward does it always have to be so bad?

  3. There is one thing I always thought might be an interesting experiment:
    Tip people when it’s not a tipping situation.
    After visiting Manhattan for the first time and learning that in Manhattan you must tip in so many situations, I thought to myself – what would happen if I tip when it’s obvious no tipping is expected. How would the other person react?

    E.g.: Ask someone if he has the time. Tip him a buck when he gives you the time.
    Ask a stranger for directions, to take a picture, ask a stupid trivia question.

    • Thanks for the great idea.
      That could be a separate situation in itself! It could be seen as degrading if you’re giving a tip after you got a potential date’s number for example.
      I’m curious how they would react too!

      I’ll definitely try this one!

  4. I love it! I remember seeing an article years ago in which a magazine had their staff members commit to a new “habit” for 30 days and report on the results. Some of them were striking up a conversation with a stranger every single day, and wearing bright red lipstick every single day.

  5. I think colleges are good places for passing out tracks for something you don’t fully believe in. Or, you could pass out tracks saying “Matt Ramos at 30vanquish.com is making me do this”

  6. You could stand around in funny poses like a model to protest the ridiculous world of fashion photography. Saw a hilarious video of this today. Might work better for women though.

  7. Looking forward to hearing how this goes! My hat off to you for taking such a bold step. 🙂

    • Hey!
      You read my mind. That has to happen, especially with the 100 rejections by girls thing too. Hilarious! Thanks for the suggestion!

      You should e-mail me or contact me about more of these backup plans 😉

  8. What a great experiment. Can’t wait to read how it goes. I want to try rejection therapy first…I think it will benefit me immensely. I like the idea of jumping on your get rejected by 100 girls and try that with 100 guys. But they must be guys I find attractive…I can never talk to them. ha ha.

    • Hey Kai,
      Go for it! Start small, really small. Then it gets easier from there. Hahaha! But if you talk to a guy, I’m sure they would be like “finally! I don’t have to always start the convo!” 🙂

      I’m excited for this too.

  9. I like “3. Wearing my shirt backwards the whole day”, it would be even funnier if it was a shirt and you asked people to help you button it up

  10. Matt, this is awesome. One more suggestion for you: Find a place with a decent/high amount of people, and a place where there’s enough space to dance. Bring a boombox, and dance like no one’s watching for one song :). I just started college, and that is what I’m gonna be doing. Kind of like Niall’s Acts of Courage! Or you could sing, haha. Whatever makes you feel more awkward.

    Best of luck,
    Josh Lipovestky

    • Hey Josh,
      Thanks for the suggestion! That’s a great one. I’ll think of something that has to do with music and just doing some crazy stuff! Cheers.

    • Hey Josh,
      Thanks for the suggestion! That’s a great one. I’ll think of something that has to do with music and just doing some crazy stuff! Cheers.

  11. Hey Matt, how about walking around with only socks on? People tend to question you if your not wearing shoes but are still wearing socks for whatever reason. Just don’t use a pair you really like or you might end up ruining them.

    Good luck with the experiment!

    • Hey Jo,
      That’s pretty extreme! (for hot weather especially) But I’ll figure something out maybe like wearing two different shoes?

      Thanks for your insight!

  12. Ok, just offering a contrarian opinion.

    There’s a fine line between risking awkwardness in order to reach your goals… and deliberately acting strange for kicks.

    How big is your campus?

    • Hey Neill,
      That’s actually good insight. It isn’t for kicks because ideally I want to do things that benefit others. I’ve always had a second unwritten rule in what I do: “Does it have authenticity behind it to prove a good point?”

      I’m not one to do things for kicks usually.

      Huge campus, probably miles wide, 30k students.

      • Ok, sounds big. I was wondering cause you don’t want to get a rep as being the try-hard-Asian dude.

        Make sure to treat it an an exercise to push your boundaries, then drop it, and don’t create an identity around being ‘crazy-Matt’.

        I’ve seen lots of guys looking to improve their social skills starting to act crazy / playful / childish and creating a silly identity for themselves.

        Sounds like you understand what to do though.

        Have fun.

  13. Got it! And I give you mad props if you do this! As you are walking in a crowd of people just stop frozen in time for 60 seconds and then continue walking like nothing happened.

    • That’s really awkward, especially in a college setting. I’ll see if I have the guts to do that one 😉 Although you doing it in WDS would be funny too.

    • Go for it! The best tip I have is: start small. No need to do the craziest thing on the first day, slowly work your way into the tougher ones 🙂

  14. Great project. I did something similar last new years. I was doing One of the challenges in Neil Strauss’s rules of the game. I walked though London with my underpants over my trousers and a dildo strapped to my head. The polices made me take the dildo off, but the under wear were fine. The idea was to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. It certainly worked. I’d recommend coming up with some way of measuring your efforts though. That way you can appreciate all the glorious Progress you make. Suggestions anyone?

    • Hey Josh,
      I’ve seen the Rules of the Game and some of those challenges are hilarious and awesome as well. I need to get myself a copy, could be useful strategies there.

      “Become comfortable with the uncomfortable” That’s exactly the phrase that describes the purpose behind this.

      Measures: If it feels awkward to you, then you know you’re getting somewhere. The more you can feel anxious or nervous, then the more awkward it “seems” to you.

      • Hey again,
        About the whole measuring thing…the idea is to create a yard stick. So you know how good you are doing. Going to a party might “feel” uncomfortable now, but in a month you’ll have to wear a pink tootoo while you face the opposite way in an elevator and sing “hit me baby one more time” (I meant y Britney spears, not as a cry of sadism). So, a yard stick (e.g. Measure how long you can sit at someone else’s table, in a restaurant, before you have to say something or move) that can be measured (set a time and keep track of the minutes, you might want to average three tries for consistency) will give you a clearer picture of how you are improving. That was a sad example, but you get the point.

        Another thing, they have a TV show in the UK called “balls of steel” you might want to check it out for inspiration.

        • Thanks Josh,
          I appreciate all those tips. I have a timer on my phone so that could work. I may approach study group tables or other things like that in the coming days. The challenges will get tougher and tougher, so all inspiration is welcome.

  15. Carry a notebook and pen. Write down something beautiful about people you meet and hand them the piece of paper. It could be “you’re hot!” or “nice t-shirt”.

    Then just walk away and leave them with a great souvenir.

    Maybe it isn’t that awkward, but I trust you can spice up the idea.

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