Don’t you just hate awkward social interactions. You know, the kind that you reflect on afterwards and realize the entire situation was easily avoidable. But alas, social anxiety is a real thing, folks.
The following Ask Redditors feel your pain, and share their ‘shake my head in disappointment’ moments below.
Interested in reading about more awkward situations? You can find the original thread at the end of the article.
“The other day at my small office I went to the bathroom to fix my shirt which I had worn inside out. When I went into the stall the bathroom was empty.
As I flipped my shirt around someone walked into the stall next to me. I also used some toilet paper to wipe my nose (I had a slight cold) and dropped the paper in the bowl. This triggered the auto flush sensor and it flushed.
My predicament began when I realized I also had to pee, but since I had already used toilet paper and flushed my twisted mind decided this would seem really weird to the person next door. ‘Why would someone use the bathroom, flush… and then stand up and pee again?’ said no one ever… But I just couldn’t do it cause I thought they might recognize my shoes and know who I was.
So instead I hatched a clever deception. I left the stall and washed my hands to seem normal, despite that I hadn’t even used the washroom yet.
After drying my hands, I walked loudly to the exit, opened the door into the hall then I said, ‘oh excuse me’ like I had accidentally bumped into someone else coming in, and then walked right back in.
I made sure to change the sound of my footsteps walking more quietly so that stall-man would think I was a different person and not some freak playing bathroom charades. Then I went to the urinal, peed and then washed my hands again, using the farthest sink so he couldn’t spot my shoes.”
“I drove to a party, sat outside of it in my car the entire time and then left.
The next day, whenever someone asked I said I was there.”
“I’m from Ireland (a Catholic enough country). I deliver pizzas and one night a women said ‘God be with you’ as I was walking away and I stumbled over my words and said ‘peace be upon you’ like the freaking pizza Pope.
I cringed pretty hard walking away as she just looked at me.
Toppings be upon you my children.”
“After work, I decide to get a beer at a bar. I teach night classes on a side of town Im not used to, so I go into random sports bar and I sit alone. I do not watch most sports. Later…
Me (in my mind): Its getting late. I should go home.
Random guy: Hey, this Texans game is good! Cant believe (something football-y happened)
Me (pretending to know football stuff): Yeah, these dudes are dope! The Texans are in for some trouble if they mess up!
Guy: FINALLY! Someone on my side!
Then this guy buys me beer. We are now best friends. It turns out we are the only fans of whatever the other team is in this bar. We bond over our outsider status. I have no idea what to say and as the night goes on, he keeps buying beer. I have pretended to like football for too long to come clean now. I end up watching the whole game. Our team lost and I didnt get home until midnight.”
“I was at a chipotle and the girl taking my order asked me how my day had been. I said ‘large please’ because I got confused and thought she was asking what size I wanted.
Then she asked if I wanted white rice or the other rice they had and I said ‘yes!'”
“I went into a store I used to work at expecting to see my coworkers so I could greet them. A lady was there, but I had no idea who she was. She asked me if she could help me and I stuttered a no.
Then I stood and kind of tapped my feet around like I was a frigging tap dancer and I tried apologizing but instead said ‘I uh….Im not looking for you.’
She looked so confused and I could feel my face getting red. I literally ran out. I didn’t just walked quickly, I ran and slammed into the door (it was heavy) and hurt my arm.
Though I was injured, I trudged on. I heard her call out and ask if I was okay as I ran out and now I can never go back.”
“My girlfriend was a server at a restaurant called Bonefish and she was supposed to ask, ‘Have you ever dined at Bonefish?’ but instead she asked ‘Have you ever boned at Dinefish?’
She was mortified but her customers thought it was hilarious.”
“The bartender asked me what my name was….I forgot and had to think about it.”
“When I was about 11, I stood in a room with my mom and her employees after an office Thanksgiving luncheon. They were chatting away about various things and we were all snacking. I took a bite of turkey and as I went to swallow it, it lodged in my throat. I kept swallowing as hard as I could but it wouldn’t budge and I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t have a drink near me, either.
So, I stood there attempting to get it down while giving NO INDICATION that I was literally choking on my food…
Because I didn’t want to interrupt the conversation or draw attention to myself. My vision was starting to black on the edges and I was full-on panicking inside when I finally got it swallowed down. I remember breathing heavy through my nose and my eyes watering, thinking how stupid I just was but now I DEFINITELY couldn’t say anything about it.
Sometimes it feels like anxiety will kill you and sometimes it almost does.”
“I once hid from my family when they came over for the holidays out of fear of interaction. I hid especially from one of my cousins who was socially aggressive and just made me really anxious.
I had nowhere else to hide where there wasn’t people, so I went into my bathroom and hid under the sink (I was about 8) and just planned to stay there as long as possible. My cousin (the aggressive one) came in, took a long and winded crap and then left. I just stayed there and am to this day even more terrified of interacting with him.
I saw nothing but I heard… every… sound.”
“I once got off the wrong bus stop on purpose because I didnt want to tell the bus to stop, so I just waited for it to stop itself.”
“I walked into a bar that was packed full of people who had all come home for Christmas to my small town. I knew everybody there. I walked in, walked through the crowd, right past my sister, and out the back door.
When my sister and I saw each other, she looked at me, like, ‘oh crap.’ You’re freaking out I bet. She knows all about my social anxiety. She knew exactly what I had just done and she thought it was hilarious.”
“I once hid under a pile of blankets to avoid talking to someone I knew was coming up to my boyfriend’s apartment for a few minutes.”
“This moment haunts me still. It’s kind of long-winded but I hope it paints the picture.
About 15 years ago I was a young teen browsing the electronics section of Walmart. As I was leaving that area this guy and girl around my age were coming into the electronics area. They saw me and both enthusiastically said ‘Hey!’ like they were happy and surprised to see me. I didn’t recognize them but I thought maybe we had a class together or something so I was like ‘Hey! How’s it going?!’ feigning cheerfulness as I tried to place where I knew them from.
They both looked at me weird and made a face then walked past me to a guy and girl behind me, greeting them.
I was so embarrassed and anxious I just got out of the electronics department as fast as I could without running and went to the next department over. Which ended up being ladies clothing, the bra and panty area. A female employee came over and asked if I needed help, looking at me confused because of the department.
I was flustered and said, ‘Sorry just trying to find electronics’ to which she replied ‘Oh, it’s over this way come with me.’
I didn’t want to go back but now I was obligated so I followed her back and as we approached I saw the two teens I had the awkward interaction with and their two friends all looked up and stared at me. ‘There ya go hun’, the employee said then she started chatting with the cashier in electronics.
At that time Walmart’s electronics section was like a big square with only one opening for entrance and exit to deter theft.
So now I’m trapped in this area with the people I just had the awkwardness with and the employee that just escorted me from women’s clothes. I was so embarrassed and my whole body felt hot from anxiety. I just blankly stared at the video games behind the glass until the other people left and then I took off.
Points were edited for clarity.