We all have those random acquaintances on campus (you know, that you know vaguely from a random class a semester or two ago). They’re in that gray area, where you don’t know them well enough to stop and say hello, but yet you feel obligated to do something. You also don’t know if they’ll remember you at all. Here’s ORANGE’s advice: just avoid the entire situation.
By Aiden Park
In order to help eliminate any kind of awkwardness, follow these foolproof methods to avoid contact with acquaintances you’re not really sure what to do with.
Tip 1: Sun in the Eye
As soon as you see that old “friend” from chemistry lab freshman year, start squinting really hard. Make sure you look up at the sun a few times to really make your eyes water. As you approach each other, don’t stop squinting. When you get really close, look down as if the sun became to be too much. Your acquaintance will pity you for forgetting your sunglasses, and all will be forgiven.
Tip 2: The Distraction
If you’re lucky enough to see that awkward acquaintance while they’re still far away, pretend to be studying something in the distance in the opposite direction. Act like something has caught your attention. Really furrow your brow and stick your neck out slightly. If it helps, pretend as if you just witnessed someone falling down.
Tip 3: The Text and/or Phone Call
This classic maneuver works every time. As soon as you notice you’re about to cross paths with that not-so-special-someone, whip out your phone and pretend like the person on the other end is in the midst of a crisis. Act as if whatever happened demands your full attention. Hold the phone close to your face for an even more dramatic and effective performance.
Tip 4: The Backpack Maneuver
Suddenly, you realize you need something out of your backpack, right when that acquaintance is about to pass by. Quickly unzip your backpack as if you need to get something out of it.
Tip 5: Something in the Eye
Perhaps more widely known as “The Face Rub,” this technique works best for abrupt encounters. Just before you pass each other, pretend as if something got in your eye. Frantically rub your eye and shut the other to convey a struggle. This temporary blindness will be more than enough to deter your acquaintance from trying to communicate with you.
Tip 6: Loose Laces
Your shoe's untied! Pretend like you have to turn around and fix undone laces. Similar to “The Backpack Maneuver,” make sure you turn in the opposite direction when tying your shoes.
Tip 7: Bite the Bullet
Whether you’re caught off guard, or you don’t have the heart to give your acquaintance the cold shoulder, sometimes it’s prudent to bite the bullet and acknowledge them. A genial smile and a small wave usually do the job. Even if the encounter is gut-wrenchingly awkward, remember, you’re both in the same boat. You most likely won’t even remember it in two days.