10 Everyday Uncomfortable Situations We Often Find Ourselves In
Y’know those awkward moments that make you immediately wish you could go curl up somewhere and never have to face another human being ever again? Of course you do. We’ve all had them, and we must all live with our brains unhelpfully reminding us of those moments from time to time when we least expect it, sending a rush of regret surging through our bodies as we are forced to play back our most humiliating experiences over and over again in our minds.
But if there’s one thing that makes these embarrassing experiences more bearable, it’s the knowledge that many other people have experienced exactly the same thing. With that being said, let’s take a look at 10 everyday uncomfortable situations that we all often find ourselves stuck in:
1. Someone waves at you, you wave back and then realize that they weren’t waving at you at all.
You don’t recognize her, but she’s waving directly at you – you must have met her somewhere, perhaps in a bar or at an old place of employment. Being an amicable kind of guy, you wave back with gusto. But then her face changes. She initially looked so happy, so thrilled to have noticed you walking towards them, but now that joy has morphed into concern. You keep your hand raised aloft, but a wave of anxiety rushes through your body. Then your worst fears are confirmed; they’re not waving to you at all.
As your hand remains lifted skywards, someone brushes past you and heads straight for the individual whom you suspected just 10 seconds ago was courteously greeting you. They hug whilst you slowly withdraw your wave, scratching the back of your head in the vain hope that she may believe that you were simply lifting your hand (and waving it vigorously) in order to deal with an itch. As you walk by her and she continues to suspiciously eye you up, you resign in the knowledge that this is not the case, and you have just publicly humiliated yourself.
You go home and sit in a darkened room, vowing to never go outside ever again.
2. Greeting someone for the first time
In an ideal world everyone would greet each other in the same manner. Regardless of gender or age, the most preferable way of greeting someone knew is undoubtedly the handshake, as it is the greeting in which you are least likely to make a fool out of yourself. The hug presents a problem in that it can sometime be misconstrued as you lunging in for a kiss on the cheek, with it also presenting the problem of how many arms you use in order to hug the person you’re meeting. If you use one you look distant and uninterested, but if you use two you could look like you’re too into it. The kiss on the cheek is also a minefield of potentially awkward moments, as both individuals must be completely in tune with one another in order to successfully land it without uncomfortably meeting in the middle and becoming dangerously close to one another’s lips.
Unfortunately the handshake is not as universally accepted as it should be, with it instead being frowned upon as being too formal. While it is true that implementing a handshake in order to greet your mother or your grandma would be awkward, it is the perfect way of introducing yourself to someone you’ve just met. But no, things aren’t allowed to be easy in this life, so we’re all encouraged to go lunging towards each other with our arms outstretched and our lips puckered.
3. Walking into a room filled with people you don’t know
Everyone here is looking at you, meaning that if the universe was ever going to pick a time to ensure that you did something disastrously embarrassing, now would be it. Entering a room filled with people you don’t know, whether it be in a party, meeting or another event you desperately wish you weren’t attending, is one of life’s many little hardships that you’ll be forced to undertake whether you like it or not. Unless you decide to become a hermit, which at the moment likely seems a much better alternative.
It feels like years go by as you walk through the room and to your seat, with all eyes fixated upon you, waiting impatiently for you to fall over or do something similarly emotionally scarring that they’ll all talk about when they leave. As you make your way to the safe haven that is your chair, you suddenly feel like you aren’t in control of your own body. Are those your legs? If so, why do they feel like they’re being operated by someone else? And what do you do with your arms and hands when you’re walking? Do you put them in your pocket, or keep them fixed to your side like a robot?
Depending upon how successfully you navigated your way through the room and to your seat you’ll either feel a huge sense of relief due to your successful avoidance of a potentially humiliating situation, or a crippling existential dread that will haunt you for the rest of your life.
4. Waiting outside the women’s fitting rooms.
One of life’s great mysteries is why so many clothes stores find it appropriate to situate the women’s fitting rooms right next to the women’s underwear section. As if the process of waiting for someone to try on thirteen items of clothing that they have no intention of buying isn’t laborious enough, you must then attempt to stand next to a crowd of women looking of thongs and not look like a pervert. You can whip out your iPhone and pretend to text your friends, but then you start to worry that the other women in the store may think you’re using it to take photos of the thongs you’re standing next to. In the end you wind up staying in silence, trying not to maintain eye contact with anyone and generally making everyone’s shopping experience a little less bearable with your mere presence.
5. Regretful hangovers.
There is little else in the world that is worse than waking up and immediately regretting everything you did the night before. As if the pounding headache and awful taste in your mouth wasn’t enough to make you vow to never drink again, you’re then faced with the uphill battle of trying to remember the events of last night, and trying to decipher who you need to apologize to.
As your day rolls on and your memory becomes less foggy, memories of each of your indiscretions come flooding back to you. You avoid answering your phone or responding to text messages/Facebook wall posts for the next 24 hours, knowing that when you eventually do you’ll be forced to concede that yes, you did make a fool of yourself no, you’re never leaving your house again.
6. Being placed in command of someone else’s child
Children are unpredictable. Whereas one child may be quiet and generally easy to be in the company of, others can be nightmarish and firmly devoted to making every second you spend with them an intense combination of stress and worry. Parents know this, and the majority use the cover of a family party in order to palm off their spawn to others and give themselves a much-needed break for a few hours. However, if you’re the guy that has been placed in command of a child, then rest assured you’re in for a difficult few hours.
Watching children go about their daily business will make you question what happened to the boundless energy you used to possess, and how you now cannot function without a dose of caffeine potent enough to kill a small horse swirling around inside of you. As they bounce on your head, run circles around you, keep asking you to play inane games and make nonchalant jibes about your physical appearance, you leave with a newfound respect for parents.
7. Falling over.
In the future the human race will hopefully evolve to the point where we develop a third leg that we can use as a tripod, in order to prevent us from ever tripping over ever again.
We can now perform face transplants, we’ve created technology that allows amputees to utilize mechanical limbs and we’re continuing to make advancements in space technology in order to eventually colonize Mars, yet we’re all still prone to stumbling over our own two feet. What is wrong with us? Why do we still do this? You never see animals falling over. Their bodies seem to be perfectly catered towards staying upright, while we’re faced with one patch of ice on the floor and the next thing we know we’re lying face-first on the ground, with the whole world pointing and laughing at us. Why are we cursed with such a tumultuous relationship with gravity?
8. Forgetting someone’s name.
When you forget someone’s name you’re essentially looking them straight in the eyes and saying “your face and personality wasn’t distinctive enough for me to remember.” There is no greater social faux pas than forgetting who someone is (or even worse, calling them by a different name) but come on: there are so many people on this planet that you’re bound to forget a few acquaintances along the way.
Unfortunately that doesn’t make the situation any more bearable when you come face to face with someone and wind up stumbling upon a bunch of different names in the vain hope that one of them will be correct, only to leave and immediately remember that their name is Dave and you’ve spent the past 5 minutes operating under the assumption that their name is Steve.
Rest assured that Dave now hates you, and you thoroughly deserve it.
9. Your body decides to talk.
You’re sitting in a quiet meeting. Everyone is listening attentively to the speaker. Then, from out of nowhere, your stomach makes a noise that could only be translated as “GLOOOOOOORP.” It’s loud, people stare, and your eyes widen as you try to comprehend how that noise possibly could have emanated from your body. You aren’t hungry, nor do you need the bathroom, the only two potential reasons for a body to decide to burst into song.
Thus begins an intense conversation between your brain and your belly, two components of your body that have a tumultuous relationship at best, in which your brain repeatedly yells at your stomach to stop whatever it’s doing and shut up, while your stomach continues on its mission to make you a talking point for your entire office.
10. Telling a joke that no one finds funny.
It’s the kind of immensely uncomfortable situation that will see you waking up in a cold sweat years after it has taken place. There’s nothing worse than lunging into a conversation with a quip or an anecdote that you find hilarious, only for everyone around you to greet it with unanimous silence. Every now and again you’ll find one do-gooder who’ll summon a pity laugh in order to back you up, but often that only serves to make it worse. “I’m so unfunny that someone has gone out of their way to make me feel better about myself,” you’ll think, before immediately cancelling any plans you had to venture into stand-up.
It’s even worse when you tell a joke that no one in their right minds would find even remotely humorous yet you decided to unleash it upon the world anyway, and then make the decision to fill the inevitable silence that ensues with your own laughter. There’s arguably nothing more humiliating than feeling the need to validate your own awful sense of humor.
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