We’ve all had them: the awkward encounter. You see someone that you really don’t want to talk to and they are coming in your direction. Can you escape without making it obvious? No. Can you look away and pretend you just don’t see them? No. Maybe the ground will swallow you whole? Perhaps. But it’s not likely. Oh god, no. You’re just going to have to talk to this person.
It certainly isn’t a pleasant situation. But don’t worry, I’m here to give you ALL the answers (lucky you). Based on my plethora of experience in these types of situations, I’ve compiled a list of the different types of awkward encounters, and how to get out of them.
You may be laughing at me right now. What do you know, you’re most likely thinking. But trust me, next time you find yourself wishing the ground would open up and close around you, you’ll thank me. You just wait.
GRACE’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING AWKWARD ENCOUNTERS:
- Likely Place of Encounter: the dentist’s office. I mean, it makes sense that you’d run into a miserable person at a miserable place.
- How to Survive: Oh, she/he is here for a root canal? Feign sympathy, smile sweetly, and say “wow…karma, huh?” Then waltz out. No need to be nice, this is your ex after all. Congratulations, you just survived.
2. The friend from high school that you never liked –
- Likely Place of Encounter: the grocery store. Probably near the vegetables. And, damnit, you’ve already got all your vegetables in your cart. Can’t even pretend like you’re looking for the beets.
- How to Survive: When he/she asks how you are, say that you just found out you have the Canadian Polar Bear Virus. And it’s fatal. You likely contracted it from that Eskimo you had an affair with when you vacationed for two months in Canada. Actually, you weren’t vacationing. You fled the country due to a drug arrest. But it’s okay, everything’s resolved. But don’t ask how. I guarantee that conversation won’t last too long. Congratulations, you just survived.
- Likely Place of Encounter: CVS. In the aisle with the condoms and the pregnancy tests.
- How to Survive: When he/she asks you if you’re still in love with them, grab a box of magnums, laugh and say, absolutely not! Then say you have someone waiting for you out in the car. Congratulations, you just survived.
- Likely Place of Encounter: the library.
- How to Survive: Talk about how much you are enjoying Harvard. You’re double majoring in Political Science and Nuclear Engineering. Just wanted to have a broad base of knowledge. You’re president of the piano club. You play lacrosse. You’re dating a senator’s son/daughter. Then ask if he/she knows where the encyclopedia section is. Congratulations, you just survived.
- Likely Place of Encounter: the hardware store. Next to the saws.
- How to Survive: Don’t do it. Just…nope, put your hands back in your pockets. Just walk away. You’re too young to go to jail. That’s right, back away slowly. Now sprint, sprint out the door. Congratulations, you just survived.
- Likely Place of Encounter: Victoria’s Secret. Right next to a huge poster of a half naked model.
- How to Survive: What better time than now? Just ask for the raise. Congratulations, you just survived (Well. Hopefully.)
I know, I know…you’re welcome. But Grace, what about all those other awkward situations? You missed a bunch. Well for everything else, here’s what to do: