How to Properly Handle Awkward Situations

Learn the best 3 ways to handle an awkward situation that is heading south fast!

Richie Frieman
Episode #152

Tip #2:  Remove Yourself From the Situation

Just this past weekend I was having coffee with two other people and discussing an upcoming networking event we’d all be attending.  While talking about who would be attending, one person’s name came up—which started an avalanche of comments. They shot off improper comment after improper comment, which made me very uncomfortable. I knew I had to take myself out of the situation.

I grabbed my pocket as if I had just received a phone call and excused myself. Okay, so I lied, which is not necessarily the proper thing to do, but it was the fastest response I could think of. I politely excused myself and then put the phone to my ear and walked outside.

Through the window I pretended to talk as I watched them slap each other on the back and use improper mannerisms. Once I thought they were done, I came back in and excitedly brought up a new topic. That way I took out the bad and started a new, much more appropriate discussion.

Tip #3: Say Something

If you are in a conversation when someone is making rude comments and just by listening you run the risk of being held accountable for “participating”, you have to speak up. You never want to be associated with a conversation that could land you in an awkward and inappropriate situation.

Whether it’s a friend or a coworker, you should always feel free to say something like, “Sorry, I don’t agree at all and I’ll be leaving this conversation.” It might feel slightly uncomfortable at the time, but when your boss is informed—by an anonymous source, of course—of certain things that were said and your name isn’t mentioned, you’ll be thankful you had the cajones to speak up. 

Do you have a great story about how you handled an awkward conversation? Post them on my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page so we can all hear the details. As always, if you have another manners question, I’m look forward to hearing from you so drop me a line at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. As well, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter  @MannersQDT. And of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Richie Frieman
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