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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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265
votes
11answers
34k 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 ...
149
votes
3answers
22k views

I was mistakenly identified as a criminal, and this has caused rumors. How can I convince my friends that it is all a mistake?

A while ago, I was at a popular, busy local nightclub (this is in the Unites States) and ran into a friend of a friend. Let's call her Anne. After a bit of conversation with Anne, and mutual name-...
139
votes
24answers
33k 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 ...
132
votes
7answers
32k 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 ...
129
votes
12answers
41k views

I'm 24 with a 4-year-old son. How to handle uncomfortable questions from people?

I'm 24 years old and I have a 4 year old son who was conceived by accident. I don't know about other countries but that's definitely not usual in mine (Spain). My son's mother and I broke up about ...
122
votes
10answers
28k 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, ...
119
votes
18answers
50k views

How to talk to a girl who's sitting next to me but wearing headphones?

Over the past couple of weeks, there's been this really cute girl who sits near me inside a coffee shop, which has a cozy, "productive" vibe to it -- everyone's doing work on their laptops. I want to ...
112
votes
17answers
31k 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 ...
107
votes
17answers
25k views

How to let tech support subtly know that I am proficient without showing off?

I manage a couple of small websites for friends and family as their admin, ranging from installing wordpress to full-stack web development. In this position I often have to contact the support of ...
105
votes
7answers
21k views

How to avoid explaining science to strangers

So, I was at a Barbeque the other day and a situation occurred that, well, I'm getting tired of. It happens almost every time I meet a new group of people. When you meet someone, eventually you come ...
97
votes
11answers
40k 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 ...
94
votes
9answers
17k views

Refusing free goods as a blind person

As a severely visually impaired person, I use a white cane in the public and unfamiliar shops for identification purposes and as a mobility aid. I regularly encounter sellers at bakeries or fast food ...
94
votes
5answers
20k views

How to talk to a one night stand about her potential breast lumps issues?

I'm Brazilian, 23, and I went on a date with a Tinder match yesterday afternoon. At some point things got more intense and as I was fondling her breasts I felt two big lumps on her left one. We've ...
93
votes
9answers
31k views

As a woman, how to avoid angry stares from other people's wives or girlfriends [closed]

I am a moderately good looking woman. With basic makeup and hair styling, I can make myself look pretty. This is my preferred look when I go out. I often get a lot of stares, sometimes admiring and ...
92
votes
14answers
57k 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'...
92
votes
17answers
23k views

How to handle people blocking your view and breaking the rules at the theater by not sitting in their assigned seats?

A while ago, my parents/brothers and I went to visit a theatre performance (in The Netherlands, where we live). We booked really nice first class tickets with empty seats in front of us. We booked ...
89
votes
9answers
24k views

I'm in a committed relationship and I'm being hit on in the workplace - how do I stop it without bringing it to HR?

Some Background I'm a 21 year old female I'm living in west Europe I am in a committed relationship with my boyfriend The Problem I recently started an internship for the summer which is amazing ...
86
votes
8answers
48k 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 ...
85
votes
8answers
44k views

How can I avoid the awkwardness of a returning player who wears a low-cut shirt?

Sometimes I run RPG events for strangers, advertising on meetup.com to get people. At these events, I spend around three hours asking the players what the characters are doing and narrating the ...
85
votes
17answers
22k 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 ...
83
votes
14answers
37k views

How do I politely explain to my neighbour that I don't feel comfortable being alone with her in her house while my kids play?

We recently moved into a new neighborhood, as did our neighbor, Jane. I have two young girls (4 and 5), and Jane has a boy and girl (7 I think?). My kids love to play with them, and her kids seem to ...
83
votes
10answers
27k 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 ...
79
votes
13answers
24k views

Responding to being told to “smile” by a stranger?

This seems to be a fairly common scenario. Since I don't work in a public environment anymore, it's been something that hasn't crossed my mind in a long while. However, today while paying for a few ...
77
votes
5answers
17k 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 ...
73
votes
10answers
25k views

How to talk about my comfortable lifestyle without sounding like I'm bragging?

Most of my friends have gone down the marriage with 2.4 kids route. Great for them but it does eat most of their time/money. Not having done that, I can afford a decent house, to have a couple of ...
73
votes
7answers
31k 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 ...
72
votes
6answers
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 ...
71
votes
14answers
30k views

How do I respond to racist remarks from a coworker?

Recently, I've had a couple short conversations with a coworker that have taken a racist turn, and I'm not really sure how to respond. We don't work directly together, but often see each other in ...
71
votes
6answers
15k views

How do I tell my girlfriend she's been buying me books by the wrong author for the last nine months?

Help! For the last nine months my girlfriend has been buying me books by the wrong author, fully believing that she's treating me to work by my favourite writer (who incidentally she believes is a ...
70
votes
9answers
15k views

How to politely deflect questions about awkward scars?

Content warning: Self-harm Due to some issues I had a few years ago with self harming (related to mental health issues which I no longer have - hurrah!), I'm left with a lot of awkward scars on my ...
69
votes
11answers
28k views

How can I politely tell a family who invited me for dinner that I'm still hungry?

This is about a friend's family and what would often happen during dinners (mom in her 50's, dad in his 60's). Examples One time, the mom had cooked 1 packet of ravioli for 5 people, and she urged ...
65
votes
13answers
23k views

How can I decline someone's business card with tact?

I am an engineer in a technical field, but I work regularly with sales, and I am often given business cards by vendors or customers at work. I know that I will never use them, and I almost always ...
64
votes
9answers
12k views

How do I deal with people who can't deal with local payment customs?

I live in Japan. Japan still has a very cash oriented society especially when it comes to restaurants. Often someone will visit from out of town and will expect to be able to (1) pay with a credit ...
62
votes
12answers
28k views

Appropriate response when someone announces pregnancy?

When someone tells me that they or their partner are pregnant, my typical response is "Congratulations!" But I have found out that this remark is not always appropriate- notably when the pregnancy is ...
61
votes
11answers
21k views

How to reduce the awkwardness on the way to the bedroom?

I am a man in my mid-40's and met some time ago an old friend (woman, mid-40's as well) when travelling (to her city). I traveled there again a few times (every few months) and it is obvious that a (...
60
votes
9answers
19k views

How to introduce metamours without causing awkwardness?

I am involved in a polyamorous relationship. Currently my wife has both a husband (me) and a boyfriend. We like to go out for normal "couple" type activities like dinner dates, movies, and attending ...
60
votes
7answers
20k 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 ...
59
votes
6answers
17k 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 ...
58
votes
10answers
18k views

How do I indicate interest in going somewhere without inviting myself along?

Sometimes acquaintances or people that I would like to get to know better are setting up some sort of social gathering (bar, party, bowling, etc) and I am not explicitly invited. I know that if I ...
54
votes
4answers
18k views

How to tell a trans couple that their overly romantic behaviour makes you uncomfortable, without coming across transphobic?

Intro: We all have seen a couple who are so in love they have lengthy kisses in public, always display affection, call each other cute names and wherever they go or sit, they always appear to cuddle. ...
53
votes
17answers
28k 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). ...
52
votes
5answers
12k views

How to deal with disruptive people in the cinema

In my last two cinema trips I have had disruptive people in the cinema. One was a group of 4-5 early 20s men, one of whom in particular was talking very loudly. I stared at him until he looked back ...
51
votes
11answers
22k views

“Stole” my friend's excitement about a personal project - how to deal with the fallout

Background: I work at a woodworking shop, doing design etc. and both myself and a colleague sometimes do personal projects using the tools, machinery etc. here in our own time. These projects are ...
49
votes
4answers
14k views

How to make a gift without seeming creepy?

This month I'm going to visit London, how Pokémon fans knows for a very limited time in London will open a Pokémon center and I'll be there in that period. I'm very happy for what was a lucky ...
49
votes
10answers
10k 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, ...
48
votes
6answers
23k views

How do I respond when someone answers 'Yes' when I ask “Would anyone like the last [Item]?”?

So today at work we had a tray of doughnuts, my colleague called out to the office, "I'm going to have the last one unless anyone else would like it?". At this point, I realised that I don't think I'...
48
votes
9answers
43k views

How to deal with someone secretly taking pictures of you

As the title says: How should you react if you notice someone taking pictures of you without your consent? Background: It happened to me yesterday on the bus that a woman, of about my age, sat ...
47
votes
14answers
14k views

How to avoid an awkward situation when someone just thoroughly slammed something you like?

To put it broadly, this is about guilty pleasures, that are not accepted in one's social environment. This excludes more serious topics (politics, religion, legal/moral questions etc.). Think of ...
46
votes
3answers
14k views

How to tell boss about pregnancy?

I am about 22 weeks pregnant and it's getting to the point where it's hard to hide! I haven't told my boss or any coworkers yet. I have a doctors note saying the due date etc. I'm a bit of a wimp ...
46
votes
10answers
22k 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 ...