How to handle awkward situations

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At one point or another, we’ve all gone through awkward situations that may leave us dumbfounded and make us feel out of place. Whether it’s an awkward question, unwelcome opinion, or an unexpected experience, awkward situations have that tendency to make us unusually question ourselves.

While some embarrassing events may leave us worried for a short while, others may tend to have a lasting impact on our lives; such events don’t quickly fade off our memories. Regardless of how much these events may affect you, there are some tips you can adopt to minimize the aftermath. Here are seven helpful tips for handling awkward situations.

1. Own up to the situation

Owning up to the situation is perhaps the most effective solution for handling awkward occurrences, but it requires a lot of courage. Owning up could mean admitting your mistakes, asking questions, or addressing the subject, or something else as the case may be.

This approach may be tricky and could lead to more awkwardness if you are naturally anxious or shy. Owning up to the situation puts everyone at ease and creates room for you to handle the situation or change the subject if need be.  

Awkward situations

2. Practice Confidence

Since all awkward situations are not the same, knowing how to transition depending on the problem is crucial. Knowing how to move from being shy or lost to projecting self-confidence can help to minimize the awkwardness in the situation to some extent.

To build self-confidence, you may want to practice by having more conversations with strangers, initiating a talk yourself, or making new friends. These types of practices would expose you to unexpected social situations and help you get used to them. When it comes to practising confidence in awkward situations, please do not underestimate the power of faking it till you make it.

3. Move On

Much like owning up to the issue, if you find yourself in a situation where you’ve offended someone or are at fault, it would be helpful to address your mistake and move on simply. Rather than lingering on the awkward words, you should offer your condolences, assistant, or apologies. Showing your genuine concern for the situation would reassure the person of your intentions.

After you’ve successfully addressed the case, your mind can now be at rest to let go and forget about the awkward incident. However, if the problem has nothing to do with making a mistake, maybe it was just a minor misunderstanding. You should also try to move on and forget about it. Always remember that these occurrences are inevitable, and anyone can be a victim.

4. Practice Self-Talk

Affirmations and self-talk can come in handy, especially when humor doesn’t make you feel better about the situation. The truth is, there is no reason to feel anxious about an awkward situation, as it doesn’t change what already happened. However, to minimize your anxiety, you can employ the use of self-talk to guide you through.

Tell yourself awkward situations are only temporary, and this one would pass too regardless of how painful they feel. Also, reassure yourself that everyone experiences these things at one point, and you’ll soon forget all about it. Self-talks and positive affirmations can help keep you calm and focused and make you happier and lighten your mood.

5. Relax Your Nerves

Much like keeping your focus with self-talk, calming your nerves can take you through awkward situations. What you want to do is make a conscious attempt to being focused and in control during the awkward situation; this would put you in a better position to respond. To relax your nerves, you can try some easy breathing techniques to control your heartbeat and keep your palms dry. If you can remain calm, you’ll be much quicker to recover from the awkward experience.

6. Recovery Space

When dealing with an awkward situation, taking some space yourself away from the scene can help. Although it can be sometimes complicated or seem absurd to step away tactfully. Even though the situation makes you feel like cutting and running out of sight, you can easily take a moment to yourself without making issues worse.

All you have to do is politely demand some air or a minute alone, then excuse yourself to another space. The advantage of recovery space is it gives you some moment away from the situation to think and plan your next action. It would also help you effectively manage the situation and keep things in perspective.

7. Give Others the Benefit of the Doubt

If you are at the receiving end of an awkward or rude question, remember that the person may be unaware and not realize they are abrasive. In this case, giving people the benefit of the doubt can allow you to breeze through what may have usually lead to an awkward situation. You want to provide the questioner with a direct and straightforward response without being rude or inappropriate. This could make the problem much simpler compared to when you overreact about the issue.

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