What to Say in Awkward Situations

A Word From Verywell

Not every awkward conversation is a bad one—many can be salvaged with a bit of effort. By putting the above tips into practice, you will become more adept at being that person who always knows the right thing to say to make others feel better in your presence.

Social Media and Social Anxiety Disorder




We are not perfect. We make mistakes like everyone else. Let’s say that you drunk texted someone, a chain of texts that can barely be understood. You annoyed that person and now they are ghosting you.

Maybe you were angry and sent a bunch of angry messages, whatever the reason may be, at this point, this person is frustrated with you now, they are not texting back, or they are angry at you and ask you to never talk to them anymore.

The truth is, when someone cares enough about you, they will find a way to forgive you.

The problem would be solved on its own in time. You would apologize, they would accept it. Unless of course, you made a terrible mistake and said some hurtful things you can never take back.

If someone didn’t care enough about you, to begin with, they wouldn’t invest enough time and energy in you to fix the situation.

Either way, as soon as you can, apologize and accept the fact that some things can never be fixed and some people will never like you as much as you like them.

Learn when to walk away with dignity without going further down the hole. Learn your lesson from this experience and don’t do it again.

The awkward situation: You’re firing an employee

What to say: “We recognize that you were instrumental in assisting your department with [whatever project]. However, for the last year we’ve attempted to work with you on [whatever skill]. We’ve decided to terminate your employment effective [whenever].”

Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, an etiquette and civility expert and the author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom,” cautioned that you’ll definitely need to talk to your company’s human resources department before letting anyone go. They can tell you the specific language you’ll need to use.

For example, if there’s a chance that the person being fired might take legal action against the company, your HR department might advise you not to start off with something positive, since they can use that against you. Otherwise, Randall said you can probably acknowledge one positive contribution they made.

In closing, you should end on a positive note: “We wish you well and thank you for your service to the company.”

2. Celebrate Their Wins

When someone shares great news with you, instead of dismissing it, sharing good news of your own, or even bashing their good news — celebrate their win by being genuinely excited for them.


What is the synonyms of awkward?

Some common synonyms of awkward are clumsy, gauche, inept, and maladroit. While all these words mean “not marked by ease (as of performance, movement, or social conduct),” awkward is widely applicable and may suggest unhandiness, inconvenience, lack of muscular control, embarrassment, or lack of tact.

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9. Listen To Their Voice

People will reveal a lot about themselves by not only what they say, but how they say it. Some people connect better when you speak loud and fast, while others prefer to be communicated to in a softer tone — know your audience.

Why do I feel awkward in social situations?

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a mental illness. … People with social anxiety disorder feel very nervous and uncomfortable in social situations like meeting new people. Or they might feel very anxious when they have to do something in front of other people, like talking in a meeting.

8. That whole, “hug or kiss on the cheek, shit this turned into a real kiss” confusion

i0.wp.com That kiss on the cheek is presumptuous and only leads to kissing less “chic” individuals with a kiss on their neck that they did not want.

The awkward situation: You want to ask your coworker to quiet down

What to say: “You know, I have never been able to concentrate unless it’s totally silent. And I know that’s unrealistic … but can I ask you, for the next couple hours, I’m working on this project, would you keep it down for me? I’d really appreciate it.”

Then, after those couple of hours have passed, come back and thank them. The idea is to soften the request.

Randall said it’s important not to talk to your coworker like you would talk to a child: “Hey, could you keep it down over there?” Sometimes that makes people feel challenged.

This is also an opportunity for you to say, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make our open space quarters more pleasant for you.”

Whatever you say, try to do it in private. If you’re in an open office, whatever you say may be overheard by the rest of the staff and might embarrass the offending coworker.

Foto:           It's inappropriate for an intervie

Foto: It’s inappropriate for an interviewer to ask if you have kids. source Kat Grigg/flickr


Nerves and emotions get the better of us when someone dies. Especially if you aren’t super close to the person who passed away — it can be difficult to know what to say. Here’s a few:

  • Share a fond memory about the deceased person
  • “I know this is a hard time for you and your family — please know that my heart goes out to you.”
  • Speak about the deceased person’s accomplishments (family, career, personal)
  • Offer to cook dinner or help clean up after their guests leave

Baby Shower

I always find baby and bridal showers so awkward! There are a bunch of women from all parts of the guest of honor’s life — but sometimes they have nothing in common. Well — at least you would think that at first:

  • “How do you know the mom-to-be?”
  • Ask what the person’s favorite book was as a child
  • Bring up travel plans — hopefully this will get the conversation flowing
  • Mention a movie that has something to do with weddings or babies

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