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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285 votes
10 answers
40k 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 ...
Relix's user avatar
  • 2,383
149 votes
3 answers
23k 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-...
Scott Smith's user avatar
140 votes
24 answers
36k 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 ...
Bridgeburners's user avatar
135 votes
7 answers
35k 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 ...
Cork's user avatar
  • 1,213
129 votes
12 answers
42k 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 ...
Ander Juaristi's user avatar
128 votes
10 answers
30k 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, ...
magma's user avatar
  • 1,163
116 votes
18 answers
54k 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 ...
D.Hutchinson's user avatar
113 votes
17 answers
40k 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 ...
DJMcMayhem's user avatar
  • 2,856
107 votes
17 answers
26k 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 ...
Wolter's user avatar
  • 972
106 votes
8 answers
22k 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 ...
ErosRising's user avatar
99 votes
9 answers
18k 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 ...
Carolina Winter's user avatar
98 votes
5 answers
22k 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 ...
Henrique Bispo's user avatar
96 votes
11 answers
72k 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 ...
Bradley Wilson's user avatar
94 votes
17 answers
24k 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 ...
Tinkeringbell's user avatar
  • 33.9k
94 votes
5 answers
20k views

How do I tell my internet friends I'm actually female?

So I joined this online group roughly 2 years ago for a specific purpose that I thought would be short lived. It's centered primarily around a sports team and I came there from a social media site ...
anonymous idiot's user avatar
91 votes
14 answers
132k 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'...
Clannagh's user avatar
  • 951
90 votes
9 answers
34k 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 ...
Replica's user avatar
  • 767
87 votes
9 answers
25k 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 ...
Chilly's user avatar
  • 1,732
86 votes
8 answers
66k 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 ...
Procrastinating Programmer's user avatar
85 votes
8 answers
45k 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 ...
erbert's user avatar
  • 869
84 votes
17 answers
26k 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 ...
Bindelstif's user avatar
83 votes
10 answers
30k 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 ...
Anne Daunted GoFundMonica's user avatar
82 votes
14 answers
39k 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 ...
MrDuk's user avatar
  • 915
76 votes
13 answers
28k 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 ...
Jess K.'s user avatar
  • 22.7k
76 votes
5 answers
19k 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 ...
UmbrellaMan's user avatar
72 votes
10 answers
26k 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 ...
ThirdPrize's user avatar
71 votes
14 answers
31k 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 ...
lucasvw's user avatar
  • 789
71 votes
6 answers
16k 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 ...
nairb's user avatar
  • 719
71 votes
7 answers
48k 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 ...
McCaverty's user avatar
  • 771
71 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 ...
joe schmoe's user avatar
68 votes
9 answers
16k 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 ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 729
66 votes
11 answers
36k 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 ...
Tycho's Nose's user avatar
  • 7,496
62 votes
13 answers
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 ...
Greg Schmit's user avatar
62 votes
11 answers
22k 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 (...
user22510's user avatar
  • 631
61 votes
9 answers
13k 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 ...
gman's user avatar
  • 781
60 votes
12 answers
55k 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 ...
aaa's user avatar
  • 1,866
60 votes
9 answers
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 ...
paperpapaya's user avatar
60 votes
7 answers
23k 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 ...
Summer's user avatar
  • 8,500
59 votes
6 answers
20k 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 ...
Hoose's user avatar
  • 714
58 votes
10 answers
36k 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 ...
Joe S's user avatar
  • 4,780
54 votes
17 answers
49k 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). ...
Myungjin Hyun's user avatar
52 votes
4 answers
19k 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. ...
Mythical_Ewe's user avatar
  • 1,511
51 votes
5 answers
19k 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 ...
WhatEvil's user avatar
  • 1,364
50 votes
9 answers
73k views

How to deal with someone secretly taking pictures of you [closed]

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 ...
Tim Hallyburton's user avatar
50 votes
11 answers
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 ...
WhatEvil's user avatar
  • 1,364
49 votes
4 answers
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 ...
Emiliano S.'s user avatar
  • 1,111
47 votes
6 answers
33k 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'...
Ethan Field's user avatar
47 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, ...
Styxal's user avatar
  • 907
47 votes
14 answers
15k 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 ...
Anne Daunted GoFundMonica's user avatar
45 votes
3 answers
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 ...
user1261710's user avatar
  • 1,915

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