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11 Pieces Of Advice From Issa Rae To Make Your Life Less Awkward

She's an expert, after all.

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Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

Issa Rae's ~big break~ came through a web series of her own creation called The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. And now she’s back with her very own comedy series, Insecure, on HBO. Given the titles and subject matter of those shows, who better to give us tips on how to avoid life’s awkward moments — and slay at life in the process — than Issa Rae herself? BuzzFeed sat down with the powerhouse star to get her advice.

1. So you accidentally sent a text to the wrong person. What do you do now?

Issa Rae / Via

Issa Rae: This has happened to me several times. Once I sent a text to a friend about this event that she had taken me to that I was so mad she had taken me to. She obviously got the text, and it was like, “‘Stupid bitch took me to this spot." [And she texted back,] "You just sent me this?" And I was just like, “Girl! I was talking about our other friend, the other day." Just finish the message with something else completely different. Works every, never, time.

2. How do you start a conversation with someone you’re interested in IRL, as opposed to on a dating app?

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

IR: I say, “Wait, have we met before?” And if they are interested in having a conversation with me, then they’ll be like, “No, but..." And if not they’ll just be like, “No.”


3. And how do you ask someone out without feeling like a dingbat?


IR: I honestly just make it really mild. Say, “Do you wanna do coffee?” Or I’ll invite them to social gatherings — so it can come off like I’m not necessarily trying to hit on them. It can be a friend thing, but if they’re interested, it can be more.

4. How do you break news to someone that you know they’re not going to want to hear?


IR: I say, “Look, you’re not gonna want to hear this.” And then I relay the info. I’m always very honest, which makes things very awkward, but you kinda have to be.

5. What are your tips for navigating a party where you don’t know anyone?

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

IR: I don’t go. [laughs] I just did that. I got invited to Solange’s listening party, and thought I could have a plus-one, but I couldn’t. So I did not go, I missed out.

6. So what happens if you put your foot in your mouth real bad? What’s the next step?


IR: You have to acknowledge that you put your foot in your mouth, and then start over. Be like, “This is a temporary reset button,” and people tend to understand. [Just ask,] “Wait, can I start over? And we can pretend that this didn’t happen?”

7. What do you do when two of your close friends are no longer friends?

Issa Rae / Via

IR: You just have to navigate being friends with them separately, and respect their choice. It’s the social media part that gets hard. I was not wanting to post pictures with one person, or the other. So you’ve just gotta keep both parts private. Be clear to both of them that you’re never talking shit about the other. Treat them as completely separate friendships.

What about if you’re having a party or something like that?

IR: I’d give them both a warning, and tell them to invite people that they’re comfortable with. Then they'll probably just avoid each other all night.


8. How do you confront someone who’s stepped out of line?

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

IR: You give a demonstration. You get a blank piece of paper, and you draw a line, and you say, “This is where you were, and this is where you are now.” And then they usually get the message. They might ask questions, and then it’s them initiating that part of the conversation.

9. How do you deal with haters and negative people, particularly on social media?


IR: It sucks! The negativity doesn’t bother me as much as when things aren’t true. If something isn’t true, then I’ll respond to it because I feel like I have to. If it’s just pure negativity, I just don’t respond at all.

10. What would you do if you were being ghosted?

Issa Rae / Via

IR: I’m good at accepting ghosting. Because I do it. But it does depend on the length of the relationship.

How far into things would you accept ghosting?

IR: I feel like three months is the limit. You can ghost before three months. You can’t completely ghost, but you can fade out.

I’ve seen someone drop off the face of the earth with their ghosting after a few months.

IR: Now, that’s fucked up. You can’t do that.

Would you call them out? Or would you just let it go?

IR: I would call them out, I think, just via text. Just be like, “You know what, I find this disrespectful. I’ll leave you alone, but this is fucked up and karma is a bitch.” Then block their number so they can’t respond, and move on.

11. What makes you feel confident?

Jon Premosch / BuzzFeed

IR: For me, what makes me feel most confident is whenever I put my work out there. That’s it. Writing and creating makes me feel the most confident, because I’m doing something; I’m creating something from scratch.

Be sure to catch Issa Rae in her new series Insecure Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on HBO!

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