22 Awkward Moments: How You Should React Vs. How You Want To React

Because it’s not socially acceptable to just run away.

1. Making small talk while getting a haircut.

FXX / Via funnyarena.net

What you should do: Chat casually and pleasantly.
What you want to do: Yell at them to please not talk and then shut your eyes.

ID: 3051021

2. Being the first one to get to a restaurant and waiting around awkwardly.

Universal Studios / Via thegiflibrary.tumblr.com

What you should do: Wait happily, maybe ordering a drink, or taking an pre-emptive look at the menu.
What you want to do: Hide under the table, and pretend it’s a fort, because nothing bad ever happens in a fort.

ID: 3051019

3. Awkwardly standing with a stranger in an elevator.

What you should do: Stand. Not awkwardly.
What you want to do: Stop at the next floor, get out, and walk up the 14 stories to the actual floor you need to be on.

ID: 3051026

4. Dancing with the appropriate amount of enthusiasm.

What you should do: Dance. Like a functional human being.
What you want to do: Anything but dancing.

ID: 3051028

5. Greeting someone and fumbling the handshake.

What you should do: Confidently shake their hand, and leave them wondering just how you got so damn confident.
What you want to do: Hug them like a boxer, so they can’t do anything and you don’t have to deal with the aftermath.

ID: 3051020

6. Entering a party on your own and standing around with no-one to talk to.

Relativity Media / Via gurl.tumblr.com

What you should do: Introduce yourself and start making new friends.
What you want to do: Leave and go back home. It’s safe there.

ID: 3051129

7. Saying goodbye to someone, and then realising they’re going the same direction as you.

New Line Cinema / Via gifbay.com

What you should do: Carry on walking.
What you want to do: Dive into the nearest shop and stay there for at least an hour.

ID: 3051875

8. Not being able to deal with a possible cheek kiss when meeting someone.

Relativity Media / Via gif-database.tumblr.com

What you should do: Use this centuries-old basic human greeting.
What you want to do: Politely explain that at least one of you probably has a communicable disease, so all contact should be avoided.

ID: 3051384

9. Being left alone with a friend of a friend that you don’t really know.

What you should do: Start a conversation. Using your words.
What you want to do: Run away.

ID: 3051503

10. Leaving a party when you’re not sure where the people you know are.

NBC / Via reddit.com

What you should do: Boldly make your farewells to the room, and leave everyone wanting more.
What you want to do: Leave immediately by the nearest exit, regardless of whether it’s a door or window.

ID: 3051132

11. Joining a group of people and desperately trying to find something to say so you can participate in the conversation.

What you should do: Wait until an appropriate juncture to make an interesting comment.
What you want to do: Say literally the first thing that comes into your your head, regardless of how bad it is.

ID: 3051136

12. Realizing you’re walking near someone you know.

What you should do: Say ‘Hi!’
What you want to do: Stop and use your phone for at least twenty minutes until they’re gone.

ID: 3051220

13. Realizing you’re walking the wrong way down the street.

What you should do: Turn around.
What you want to do: Keep going and walk the entire way around the block until you get back to where you wanted to go.

ID: 3051207

14. Realizing a story isn’t as funny as you thought it was halfway through.

Working Title Films / Via thegoodfilms.com

What you should do: Deftly end the story, and move the conversation on.
What you want to do: Spontaneously add more exciting and completely fictional elements to the story until someone laughs. (This will not happen.)

ID: 3051222

15. When someone calls instead of texts.

The Montecito Picture Company / Via guh-gifgarden.tumblr.com

What you should do: Have a conversation.
What you want to do: Throw the phone out of a window.

ID: 3051223

16. Telling someone an amazing story and then realizing that they’d told you it originally.

What you should do: Acknowledge your mistake and talk about something else.
What you want to do: Give up on talking to people from now on and go home.

ID: 3051498

17. Forgetting someone’s name when introducing them.

What you should do: Calmly make a joke of it.
What you want to do: Make up a name. Any name.

ID: 3051380

18. Seeing a colleague on the way to work.

ABC Family / Via wut-awkw0rd.tumblr.com

What you should do: Greet them and catch up on any news.
What you want to do: Put your earphones in and stare at the sky to avoid catching their eye.

ID: 3051260

19. Waving back to someone you don’t know.

What you should do: Move on.
What you want to do: Pretend you have another friend behind them that you were actually waving at, and really commit by waving furiously until it looks like you might actually be calling attention to a fire.

ID: 3051496

20. Running into someone at a supermarket, and then continuing to meet them in every single aisle.

HBO / Via imgur.com

What you should do: Carry on shopping.
What you want to do: Give up on shopping, leave, and start a new society in the wilderness.

ID: 3051492

21. Accidentally touching hands with a stranger on public transport.

Universal Studios / Via giphy.com

What you should do: Ignore it.
What you want to do: Get off and walk from wherever you are because nowhere is safe now.

ID: 3051264

22. Messing up the system in a coffee shop and causing chaos for everyone.

What you should do: Sort out the mix-up.
What you want to do: Find a new coffee shop, preferably in a new city.

ID: 3051263

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Luke Bailey is a staff writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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