Questions tagged [awkward-situations]

For questions about situations which are awkward for anyone concerned. This tag should be used when awkwardness is the key part of the problem.

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41 votes
8 answers
21k views

How to respond to "When are you getting married"?

My question is similar to: How can I respond when someone asks me when I'm going to get married to my girlfriend? But my case is pretty different. I am a teacher and hence can't avoid public and ...
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28 votes
5 answers
54k views

How to gently tell someone that you just want to be friends?

Already many months ago, "Bob" joined my circle of friends. He has a plethora of good character traits and it is really great to hang out with him. In addition, he is a bit shy and also introverted. ...
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30 votes
6 answers
12k views

Is it appropriate to tell someone of the opposite gender "your fly is down"?

I just spent 15 minutes talking in the hallway at work with a male coworker (I'm female) about the recent arrival of their second child. I spent the last five minutes of that chat trying to decide if ...
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  • 14.2k
14 votes
3 answers
11k views

How to respond to self-deprecating remarks

I have a few friends who will try to manipulate me with self deprecating remarks. Perhaps I've been helping them with something for a while and am obviously making moves to leave when they say ...
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95 votes
11 answers
69k views

How to respond to someone when they ask how much you earn? [closed]

When I'm at social gatherings/parties, people would inquire about my job and, because I'm an app developer, they think I earn substantially more than I do. (Oh, the joy!) They then follow up asking ...
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37 votes
7 answers
12k views

How to tell a friend I can see through her swimming suit

I (male) and a friend (female) went swimming in a public outdoor pool together. She met with another female friend there. When she (my friend) sat outside for a couple minutes the sun made her ...
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  • 387
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to refuse a hairdresser because I want someone who's cut my hair before, without being rude?

I went to have my haircut, and the first hairdresser who became available was the one I know the least, and has only cut my hair once or twice before. For context, I've lived in the area all my life ...
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  • 587
22 votes
6 answers
11k views

How do I or my husband tell my mother in law she smells?

She is fully able bodied and not short of money. She has a hoarding problem, and her house just smells musty. She needs to do more washing basically. The other day, she babysat for us. When we ...
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  • 3,023
140 votes
24 answers
35k views

How do I answer the question "why are you vegan?" honestly, without making them resent me?

I am a vegan, only for ethical reasons. It is something I'm very willing to discuss. I have deliberated about it very carefully, for a long time, and have read papers and text books on the philosophy ...
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55 votes
17 answers
45k views

Dealing with people who always try to prove you wrong in a conversation [closed]

Consider the following scenario: You have an acquaintance, who would probably be really good at turncoat (the game in which one person has to rapidly switch sides again and again on a topic). ...
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124 votes
10 answers
29k views

I live in a desirable, world-famous vacation spot. How do I handle visiting friends and set healthy boundaries?

I currently live in a desirable locale which is a world-famous vacation spot. Suddenly, I have a lot of friends and they want to visit me. I don't want to be rude but I have a few issues: For them, ...
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  • 1,113
85 votes
17 answers
25k views

How do I respond when an acquaintance asks if I'm smart?

I recently graduated college and I am now working as a programmer at a startup tech company for a year. I'm a competent programmer, but I'm definitely not a rock-star. When I'm meeting other young ...
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88 votes
8 answers
63k views

How to reject a proposal from a close friend?

I have been friends with a girl at work for more than a year. I have always seen her as a friend and I am pretty sure I never did anything to lead her on. I am going to switch jobs in a couple of ...
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74 votes
7 answers
44k views

Uncomfortable With Neighbor Mowing Our Lawn

A couple of days ago we looked out our window and saw that our next-door neighbor was mowing our lawn. We have noticed her lack of interpersonal boundaries on several occasions since we moved in a ...
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  • 791
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

Dealing with TMI (Too Much Information)

Some people are natural "sharers". They have no qualms about giving the most intimate details of their lives, diseases, relationships, etc., to even casual acquaintances. One example was a ...
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  • 4,376
30 votes
5 answers
16k views

Best way to tell someone their house stinks?

I recently went over to a friend's home for the first time in a while. The first thing I noticed walking in the door was the unmistakable smell of cat urine. By the end of the evening my eyes and ...
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26 votes
5 answers
65k views

How to contact a girl whose number I got from somebody else?

Situation Some days ago I went to a concert of the band of a good friend, let's call him Alex. He and his bandmates, invited a lot of friends to support them. I know Alex pretty well since we've been ...
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21 votes
4 answers
7k views

How to nicely tell someone I am not interested in a second date?

I have a good friend who is absolutely cross with me, because, as he claims, I am all coding and no fun lately, as in 24/7. I also have rules about not dating at the workplace for obvious reasons, ...
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18 votes
7 answers
7k views

How can I decline a hug without offending?

My boyfriend shares an apartment with an older man who has a physical disability which prevents him from walking. The housemate is very kind and intelligent. However, sometimes when I am alone with ...
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  • 181
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do I explain to extended family/acquaintances that my husband has high-functioning Autism, and has particular habits?

So, I have been married since March 2018 to my loving husband. All through our relationship, I have known that he has mild aspergers, combined with being very introverted and deaf (I am deaf as well) ...
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  • 3,555
26 votes
9 answers
25k views

How to refuse to shake hands without offending the other party?

TL;DR: I don't like to shake hands and I'm looking for suggestions about how to turn people down without seeming rude or stand-offish; or how to prevent a handshake gesture from being initiated at all....
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  • 369
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to tell an artist friend that their art has been getting worse if they think otherwise

Not long ago, a friend of mine got some rather harsh and even somewhat rude criticism, anonymously, that their art has been regressing for a while and that they're squandering all of their potential. ...
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  • 171
4 votes
3 answers
829 views

Awkwardly passing someone on a long empty road?

I live on a long rural road where there are barely any people. I have to take my dog out for walks, or sometimes I just go for walks alone, and usually the street is a pretty desolate place. However, ...
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2 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can I refuse to disclose my occupation, without marring friendship in slightest?

I want to follow up my earlier question please. As I wrote, this year is husband's 10 year high school reunion. Some schoolmates emailed him about catching up separately. He's grappling — society, ...
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286 votes
10 answers
39k views

What to do if you are accidentally following someone?

Imagine this: you're a male in their late twenties. It is dark and you're taking the shortest route to your home/car/llama. After sometime you realize that you have been following someone. To make it ...
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  • 2,363
114 votes
17 answers
37k views

How can I respond when someone asks me when I'm going to get married to my girlfriend?

Frequently I'll have my friends and family tease me, or ask questions about when my girlfriend and I are going to get married. Sometimes, they'll even make these kinds of jokes to me while she's ...
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  • 2,856
35 votes
6 answers
9k views

How to open up to someone about loving them, when you don't know if they love you back?

I feel attracted to someone. I did have a relationship with her before (we were little children at that time, 5-7 years old), but we couldn't continue because of age and distance. We are both ...
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  • 1,156
93 votes
14 answers
115k views

How to respond when a Doctor's Receptionist asks the reason for the appointment, after confirming appointment is made?

I have recently come across a situation that made me feel very uncomfortable, especially if it had been more of a personal issue. I contacted my doctor yesterday with pains in my hand/wrist as I didn'...
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  • 951
30 votes
9 answers
4k views

What methods help to avoid "that awkward silence"? [closed]

Introverted people tend to become embarrassed either when approaching someone or when a certain topic in a conversation runs out. It is often followed by apparently "losing the ability to find a new ...
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85 votes
10 answers
29k views

How do I gently reject an indecent proposal?

Background People: Bob, John and Alice are old acquaintances of mine. They are a little older than me, mid-to-late twenties. We are not close friends, but we get along together well and see each other ...
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77 votes
5 answers
18k views

Offering to share my umbrella without sounding creepy

Yesterday afternoon I (male, late 30) went to the supermarket in my neighborhood to buy something. Since the sky was menacing rain, I took along an umbrella. Lucky me, when I got out from the ...
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72 votes
6 answers
16k views

Politely telling an incompetent software project volunteer they are too inexperienced

I am currently the project lead of an online volunteer run software project. I originally created this and work on it my in free time. There are also a few other people who took interest in this ...
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136 votes
7 answers
34k views

Girlfriend's nosy mother keeps expressing that she'll show up unannounced

Some context: my girlfriend and I have been dating for a year, and we've decided to move in together now that she has graduated and found a job in her chosen career. We're both financially ...
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  • 1,213
60 votes
7 answers
22k views

How to ask my father in law to stop entering our house unannounced?

My father in law refuses to listen to our requests not to work in/on our house during weekdays. So, there's a bit of a backstory here. We bought a house 8 months ago, started renovating and during ...
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  • 8,520
40 votes
8 answers
16k views

How to have dinner without romance involved

I live in a tourist hotspot in japan, in particular a place where people often go when travelling solo. This means that when people I know (even just passing acquaintances) come here, they often ask ...
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60 votes
6 answers
19k views

How do I tell a woman that her pants have a menstruation stain?

I was working in my work space today and a female coworker came to give me some information that I needed, then left. I'm male. Suddenly, when she was on her way back to her work space, I saw a ...
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  • 734
41 votes
7 answers
18k views

How to ask a friend to stop joking about a nonexistent relationship between other friend and me?

My initial situation is kinda similar to the one described here, but includes a troublesome third person. I brought an acquaintance "Bob", who's also a good friend of my BFF, into my group of friends,...
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  • 413
18 votes
3 answers
7k views

How can I tell my closest online friend that I'm actually male?

Preface: Some folks will think I'm a terrible person after reading this, and perhaps they're right. In truth, there were several points early-on when I'd thought about breaking things off, but ...
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  • 191
49 votes
10 answers
11k views

How to communicate to a new coworker that I am not comfortable being touched?

Last week a new coworker joined our team, and yesterday we were both invited to eat lunch in the work cafeteria with some other colleagues that I have known for around a year and a half. As he, ...
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  • 932
46 votes
10 answers
26k views

How can I invite my daughter's friends over without being odd?

My daughter is turning 4 years old in August. She has been going to preschool since September. Her class is pretty small, with only 6 kids. She's good friends with most of them. She'll be joining them ...
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  • 1,975
22 votes
6 answers
7k views

What to talk about with a person you meet through a mutual friend on the bus? [closed]

It often happens to me, that I met some friend in the bus/tram/subway etc., but my friend is not alone, but with his/her friend (whom I don't know at all). We are talking about something, my friend ...
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  • 363
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to start a conversation with an important person?

My previous employer invited me to have dinner with him. Unexpectedly (by me), he was also inviting the chief police of the area to have dinner with us. After we got ourselves introduced, my ex-boss ...
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  • 8,478
18 votes
12 answers
19k views

How should I respond when someone makes a self-deprecating remark about her look?

I had a look at that excellent earlier question, but think that these two questions are too different from each other. Situation It's about a group of friendly acquaintances and friends who have known ...
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15 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can I again be on friendly terms with a girl I have a crush on since she's avoiding me after I gave her a small gift?

I've met a girl in my department at university, and although I wasn't initially interested in her, she would often laugh at my dumbest jokes and flash me unwarranted smiles, so I thought perhaps she ...
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  • 153
19 votes
3 answers
4k views

Does talking about mildly taboo topics with people normalize the subject for them?

There are a lot of topics in daily life that many people avoid mentioning outright because they're slightly "icky" or it's considered "private" or somehow mildly taboo. One of these things I've run ...
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  • 14.2k
19 votes
7 answers
10k views

How can I respond to well-meaning comments at the gym?

I go to the gym twice a week. I like the people there, I love what I do, my trainer is great. The only issue I have, is that, well, I'm fat. I'm tall and fat, and people constantly assume that no ...
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17 votes
3 answers
3k views

When you feel like a conversation has gone on too long, how do you make it end? [closed]

In this question, one of the answers talks about ending conversations before they get awkward. Once you think a conversation is going to get awkward, how do you end it?
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  • 1,378
15 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to minimize embarrassment when I ask a question but they nod and smile?

The Background I work with a LOT of non-native English speakers. As such, miscommunications are a daily occurrence. I've noticed that sometimes when they don't understand something, they'll just nod ...
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  • 15.2k
15 votes
2 answers
998 views

How can I estimate the length of my responses or reactions to avoid wasting others' time?

I often notice for myself, as well as for certain other people, that depending on personality and some other subtle factors, there are types of people who (usually unintentionally) start over-...
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13 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to find out, if it is ok to hug (opposite sex)?

I am male and I regularly hug my good male and good female friends. At the very least when saying Hello and Goodbye. I have the feeling that is not uncommon here in Germany. Now, I have a a small ...
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