5. The Bus Problem
Did you ever have to be on a bus and sit across from somebody literally face to face with you? What do you do? Where do you look? You don’t want to stare at the person because they’ll find you either weird or even threatening. Things may feel uncomfortable and downright awkward, but keep in mind that others may feel the same way. This is especially true in a crowded bus or subway where you are literally packed in there like sardines.
Solution: Play with you cellphone, read a book or magazine, or stare at any posters or signs around the bus away from the direct eye contact of the person in front of you. If you can, you can also find a different seat that limits the face to face discomfort.
4. The Waiting Room
The problem isn’t so much being crowded around a bunch of strangers but the length of time you stay crowded around a bunch of strangers. There’s always something awkward being nearly trapped in one room with a bunch of people you don’t know. The worst part is that some of these people are either sick or have a lot of kids invading your space. How do you react? What do you say?
Solution: The same rules apply as for the bus problem. You can read something as they will always have something to read, you can perhaps watch TV if available, or you can twiddle with your thumbs or phone. As for those uncomfortable interactions with others kids or the sick, either you sit further away or actually tell the people off. Sadly the latter would probably make the situation even more awkward and you better hope the doctor is ready for you.
3. New People
It’s the situation where you go with a friend or friends to a party or an event and have to almost forcibly interact with their friends that you don’t know. What exactly do you say to break the ice? How do you make your friends not think you’re weird or socially awkward?
Solution: It’s a free-for-all unfortunately but perhaps you can dictate what you say based on someone’s personality. Even if you don’t know the person, you can kind of feel them out and maybe figure out something funny or clever to say. I’d suggest staying with those you do know for a while as that can definitely release the tension with other people.
2. Fish Out of Water
Did you ever feel like you were such an oddball that you literally wanted to scream? Even worse, say you didn’t know something that everyone around you did, and you had no idea what to do. Nothing invites awkwardness more than feeling like you are a complete idiot and everyone knows what you should know. We are talking about potentially the simplest possible actions out there. How do you make yourself not look stupid or at least diverge others attention away from you.
Solution: Playing up the laughter and jokes can help you through a difficult situation. If you laugh at yourself, then you take the power away from others potentially laughing at you. If that doesn’t work, then just keep in mind that not everyone knows everything and that includes what might seem like something everyone knows. People make mistakes and they learn from them and you will too.
1. Arriving Late
Did you ever get to class late, a party, a meeting, or some other sort of get together and everyone was staring at you? You try to act coy, but it often makes the situation even worse, and the most embarrassing thing that could happen is if someone calls you out on it. Do you apologize, do you not say anything and just take a seat, or do you come up with something witty to say back?
Solution: Don’t Be Late! No but really it’s okay if you arrive late sometimes because everyone understands that problems arise out of nowhere. You obviously can’t make a habit of this or you’re risking a grade, a job, or even an important contact/friendship. I think apologizing would suffice in this situation, but if no one calls you on it, then just take a seat and try avoiding direct eye contact.