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49 Painfully Awkward But Very Real Things Every British Person Has Done

Being irrationally angry when someone uses your favourite mug.

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1. Half-running, half-walking across a zebra crossing and waving apologetically at any vehicles, even though it’s your right to cross the road there.

2. Hating the "scone" pronunciation debate but always taking part anyway, because deep down you feel passionately about your preference.

3. Getting to the meal deal section at 12:30PM and feeling devastated because all the good options have sold out.

4. Buying a packet of crisps you really don’t want, because it’s part of the meal deal.

5. And then realising at the till that one of your items wasn’t in the meal deal but being too polite to take it back, so it ends up costing like £6.97 instead of the sacred £3.

6. Pretending to understand what someone said after asking them to repeat it for the third time and hoping your fake reaction is appropriate.

7. Missing the punchline to a joke and laughing anyway.

8. And then panicking when someone asks you to explain it to them.

9. Having to break a Terry’s Chocolate Orange in front of a group of people and not knowing how aggressive to be with it.

10. Trying to decode the personality and hygiene of every person on the bus in 12 seconds before deciding where to sit.

11. Praying no one sits next to you but also being offended when they don’t.

12. And barely hearing your music through your headphones because you have the volume turned down low in deep fear of it disturbing the person next to you.

13. Feeling guilty for not standing up when someone with a pram gets on the bus, even though you’re sat at the back.

14. Feeling guilty for not giving up your seat for a pregnant or disabled person, even though you’re already standing.

15. Waving at someone who was waving at a person behind you, and then pretending you were waving at someone else the whole time.

16. Tripping over and playing it out like it's part of your cool new way of walking.

17. Having to come up with different ways to say “thank you” when someone does more than one nice thing for you in a row.

18. Getting spat on by someone who’s talking but being too polite to wipe it off because you don't want to embarrass them, so just letting it sit there.

19. And walking in the wrong direction and pretending you just got an important message on your phone before dramatically turning back around.

20. Having to speed walk because someone is holding a door open for you.

21. Holding a door open for someone before realising they’re a little too far away and they probably now hate you for making them speed walk.


22. Going through a door you didn’t intend on going through because someone held the door open for you.

23. Buying a kettle for your new home before buying any furniture.

24. Being irrationally angry when someone uses your favourite mug.

25. Walking in the opposite direction to where you need to go just so you don’t have to walk with someone you don’t want to talk to.

26. Trying to get the attention of an employee at the self checkout machines by just swaying your body around and imitating a lost puppy, instead of actually calling them.

27. Someone making you a bad cup of tea and being too polite to not drink the whole thing.

28. Not going to pee because someone else just went to pee and you don’t want it to seem like you’re following them.

29. And not going to pee when they’re back because it might come across as rude if they think you waited for them to come back.


30. Waiting in fear for someone to come and yell at you for sitting in their reserved seat on a train, even though you know it’s your own reserved seat.

31. Starting to say something at the same time as someone else and you both keep insisting the other goes first 'til neither of you say anything.

32. Not wanting your 1p change or your receipt but feeling obliged to wait for it.

33. And waiting for permission to leave a shop even after giving the cashier exact change.

34. Apologising when someone bumps into you and then apologising again when they apologise back until you both just drown in apologies.

35. Saying “just looking thanks” to a retail worker instinctively when you actually did need help.

36. Filling an awkward silence by talking about the weather and berating yourself for sinking that low, but you secretly did kinda want to discuss the weather.

37. Layering up because it was cold the day before and being scorching hot for the rest of the day.

38. And dressing down because it was warm the previous day and being freezing for the rest of the day.

39. Reading and rereading an email to make sure it’s friendly but not too friendly, and formal but not too formal.

40. Accidentally pressing the stop button on the bus early and hanging your head in shame for wasting the driver's time.

41. Missing your stop because the person next to you fell asleep and you felt weird about waking them.

42. Trying to squeeze past the person next to you when they don’t get up but they instead just twist and move their body, as if their legs aren’t still in the way.

43. Panicking and getting things you don’t like put in your salad or sandwich.

44. Having your order messed up in a restaurant but eating it anyway because you feel too polite to say anything.

45. And apologising profusely if you do decide to tell someone.

46. Knowing that at any mention of your eyesight someone will tell you where you should've gone. Even if you did go there.

47. Saying “thank you” when you’ve done something for someone else.

48. Going in a shop wearing something from that shop and being paranoid that they think you’ve stolen it.

49. And not being able to eat from a box of Celebrations without launching into a debate about whether Mars or Milky Way is worse.

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