Marketing Yourself in Awkward Situations

Yeah we get it, everything we do is marketing ourselves yadda yadda yadda.  But what do you do in awkward situations where there is a bit of tension built up?  You know, those situations where it could end up good or bad?  How do you get the other person on your side and trusting you?

Joke around with them.  Humor relaxes people and says “hey, I’m not nearly as bad as you think I am”.

Example 1: I play hockey, I usually hate refs in hockey, I usually yell at refs in hockey, not this time.  For the first time ever in my life that I can remember, while sitting in the penalty box, quite angry at the ref to say the least, he made a joke about what I did to get the penalty.  I had no choice to laugh and to start liking him.

Example 2: The Pastor at my church has a great sense of humor, after the service you can’t help but smile and laugh with him while he makes his remarks as everyone is leaving the sanctuary.  You feel a different connection with him because he makes you laugh.

You don’t have to be a comedic sensation, that’s not what I’m after, but if you can smile and make a comment that gets a laugh out of me, we’re already connecting on a different level.  A more humorous, enjoyable, trusting level.

Photo Credit: Michael Grunow
4 replies
  1. J H Leith
    J H Leith says:

    As an individual lacking the capacity for off the cuff humor, I’ve also found that honest dialogue alleviates the tension and raises questions. If I cannot have someone on my side, I would rather create an air of mystery about my intentions. For example, smiling, admitting to your mistake and ask others’ input on the situation, especially strangers, throws them completely off guard. The ability to make others as equally as uncomfortable as you in an awkward situation is a powerful tool for controlling conversation. Humans are empathic creatures after all.

  2. Jeph
    Jeph says:

    J H Leith,

    Great input! I really like the idea of leveling the playing field and creating an equally awkward situation, seems like that would really cut the tension.

    Thanks for the insight!

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