1. Making small talk while getting a haircut.
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.
2. Being the first one to get to a restaurant and waiting around awkwardly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
6. Entering a party on your own and standing around with no-one to talk to.
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.
7. Saying goodbye to someone, and then realising they’re going the same direction as you.
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.
8. Not being able to deal with a possible cheek kiss when meeting someone.
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.
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.
10. Leaving a party when you’re not sure where the people you know are.
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.
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.
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.
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.
14. Realizing a story isn’t as funny as you thought it was halfway through.
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.)
15. When someone calls instead of texts.
What you should do: Have a conversation.
What you want to do: Throw the phone out of a window.
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.
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.
18. Seeing a colleague on the way to work.
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.
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.
20. Running into someone at a supermarket, and then continuing to meet them in every single aisle.
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.
21. Accidentally touching hands with a stranger on public transport.
What you should do: Ignore it.
What you want to do: Get off and walk from wherever you are because nowhere is safe now.
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