How to Deal With Awkward Situations

National Awkward Moments Day  – a day to celebrate those awkward situations that makes some of us want to hide, rant, or laugh and be gracious.

Some of us are able to handle an awkward situation or conversation with ease. But at some point, even the most calm and collected person will be caught off guard. What was your most awkward moment and how did you handle it?

Here are five awkward moments:

1. You’re telling someone about a situation that happened to you, when they interrupt to tell their story or give their opinion.  

A: You curtly remind them that you weren’t finished.

B: Let them go on with their story knowing that it’s not always personal. Admittedly, it is rude of them, but why waste your time with someone who is obviously disinterested or self-absorbed. Share your story with someone who will listen.

2. You’re making plans to have lunch with a friend, when a coworker overhears and invites themselves.

A: You reluctantly say, “Sure, you can join us” knowing it just ruined your plans.

B: Politely tell them that it’s not a good time because there were some personal things you and your friend had to talk over. You can add, “How about we go out next week.

3. You run into someone, and they remember your name, but you’ve forgotten not only their name, but can’t remember who they are.

A: You smile a lot, try to keep the conversation general, and lie about being late to an appointment.

B: You smile, and apologetically, humbly tell them the truth. “I’m sorry, please remind me where we met.” If you find that it softens the awkwardness, you can add something cliché like, “Sometimes I can’t remember what I did yesterday.”

4. You overhear part of a conversation as you walk by your manager’s office. ”Sure he gets along with everyone, and he’s smart, but he’s not performing like he used to…”

A: You immediately run to tell your coworker what you just overheard about “him.”

B: You keep it to yourself. Why? Because your manager was talking about her seventh-grade son. Jumping to conclusions is rarely productive.

5. You’re a dinner guest at a friend’s home. When everyone sits down at the table they begin saying grace. This is not your thing.

A: You get up and walk over to the kitchen to wait until they’re done.

B: You sit quietly until they’re done.

ANSWERS: 1-5 = B


A lot depends on the person with whom we are experiencing the awkward moment. The awkward moment can quickly be forgotten or overlooked if they don’t take it personally, try to understand, and are forgiving. However, if it’s someone who decides to make a huge deal out of it, creating or extending the awkward moment, you will have to either step back, continue to explain and apologize, or walk away.

Our feeling may be hurt, or may feel insulted, but if you value the relationship, take a moment to evaluate before your retaliate.

#NationalAwkwardMomentsDay #askrosalinda

Etiquette Expert/Trainer, Author, Media Source 

Nationally recognized etiquette expert with over twenty years of providing trainings, and serving as a source for media.

Trainings are available for: corporations, sales teams, on-boarding, to support code-of-conduct policies to set a standard for employees, universities/college groups, school staff, customer service staff, dining etiquette programs for youth through adult, and actors preparing for audition/roles.


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