You know that feeling you get when you’re in an awkward situation? You probably hate it. It’s uncomfortable, it feels like everyone is staring at you and judging your every move, and the longer it goes on the more likely it is to escalate into something even worse.
This doesn’t have to be how things are though! With some preparation ahead of time, following these tips for what to do if you find yourself in an awkward situation can help make sure that this type of moment isn’t so bad after all.
Nobody likes being around someone who’s upset or angry. Be polite and respectful no matter what happens, but don’t let them push your buttons either! If possible try not to show any emotion at all.
Take a deep breath
This one goes hand in hand with staying calm. If you can, take a deep breath and try to relax. It’s easier said than done, but it will help if you can manage it.
Know your audience
If you’re not sure who you should be addressing or what the appropriate thing to do is, take a second to assess the people around you and their relationship to you. This will help give you an idea of how to behave.
Avoid extra attention
The last thing you want is for everyone to be talking about the awkward situation that you’re in. Do your best to avoid drawing any more attention to yourself than necessary – this means avoiding eye contact with anyone!
Use humor if you can
Humor is often the quickest way to diffuse a difficult situation, and it may be useful in your own awkward moment as well! If the circumstances allow for it then try making a joke or two about what’s happening. You don’t want to make things worse for yourself by becoming the brunt of the joke, but this could help stave off some of that pressure you’re feeling.
Apologize (if necessary)
If you’ve done something wrong to contribute to your awkward situation, apologize before you do anything else! It will hopefully put everyone at ease if they know that you aren’t trying to cling on to their attention or not take responsibility for what happened.
Find an ally
If possible, try to find someone who you can confide in or who can help you out during your awkward moment. This person doesn’t have to be your best friend, but it’s helpful if they’re someone that you trust and feel comfortable around.
Lean into it
This might sound a bit crazy, but sometimes the best way to get through an awkward situation is to just go with it! Don’t fight the feeling, let yourself feel uncomfortable and weird and see how long you can last before it becomes too much. It’s not ideal, but it might make the experience a bit more bearable.
If things get too much for you or you realize that there’s no way to make things better, then it’s time to exit gracefully. This might mean making a quick exit or giving a polite excuse and leaving. Whatever you do, don’t let the awkward situation drag on!
Learn from it
Once you’ve made it through your awkward moment, take some time to reflect on what happened. What went well? What didn’t go so well? What can you do to prepare yourself for future awkward situations? By learning from your experience you’ll be able to handle these types of moments a lot better in the future.
If all else fails, try to distract yourself from the awkward situation. This could mean talking to the person next to you, looking at your phone or just focusing on your breathing. By doing something other than focusing on the awkwardness, you’ll hopefully make it a bit more bearable.
Don’t overthink it
One of the worst things that you can do during an awkward situation is to start overthinking everything. Just go with the flow and let things happen naturally – this will only make things worse.
Don’t take it personally
Whatever happens, remember that it’s not personal! Most of the time an awkward situation is just that – awkward – and has nothing to do with you as a person. It’s important to remember this or you might let the situation drag on for longer than it should.
Laugh about it!
A good way of diffusing an awkward moment is by laughing about it! If things seem like they’re starting to get out of hand then have a quick chuckle and see how everyone else reacts, if they join in then everything will be okay! If not then at least the pressure won’t feel quite so bad anymore.
Don’t worry too much about what other people think
Of course, worrying about what other people think is human nature but try not to let that concern dominate your actions during an awkward situation. You know that most people who are witnessing the awkward moment aren’t really thinking about you all that much.
Look at your options
Are there any good ways out of this situation? Is there someone who can help out? What are your options? By taking a look at what could happen (and what has happened in similar situations!) we might be able to prevent the awkwardness from lasting too long.
Be honest with yourself
If you’re not sure how to handle an awkward situation, be honest with yourself! This means admitting that you might not know what to do and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you need a bit of help during difficult times.
Some things cannot be rushed, and this definitely applies to awkward situations. It might take a while for the tension to dissipate so be patient and let things happen in their own time.
Its always better to be safe than sorry, so try not to get caught out by an awkward situation. If you’ve followed the previous 18 tips then you’ve done everything that you can do before the moment actually happens! This means that instead of panicking when something awkward happens, you’ll be able to stay calm and collected.
So there are 19 ways to deal with awkward situations. It’s important to know how to handle these moments even if they make us feel uncomfortable, because they happen more often than we’d like them to! Hopefully some of these tips were helpful for you and will help in future situations. Keep them in mind next time something feels like it might go awry!