You’re Not the Only One! Awkard Moments for Adults


I had an awkward moment last night when greeting an aquaintance. I went in for a hug at the same time he went to kiss me on the cheek. He ended up kissing the side of my head getting caught in my uncombed hair! Not much I could say while he pulled a hair out of his mouth!

Apparently, I am not alone in that awkward things happen to you as well. Here are some situations people have shared with me along with hopefully some helpful solutions. In next week’s blog, I’ll share some awkward moments with kids so stay tuned…

Situation: What do you do when you’re talking to someone and he/she invades your space and stands super close to you while talking?

Solution: Casually lean back, take a step backwards, or if that fails, move away to “get someone” or “look at something” and then try to put something between you and the offender to make a space that you’re more comfortable with.

Situation: You meet someone and instead of them shaking your hand they move in for a hug.

Solution:  Preempt a meeting, especially in business, by extending your hand first to signal the handshake so that they get the idea and not go in for the hug. If they do hug you don’t make a fuss just give a quick hug and move on.

Situation: Is it rude to stand in one line and have another family member stand in another line to see which is faster?

Solution:  While I have been known to do this at times, it is not exactly the correct thing to do. In the grand scheme of life waiting another minute in one line is better than really making other shoppers mad!

Situation: A friend innocently asks “What are you doing on Saturday?”  They could be inviting you to the best party of the year, or asking you to help them move apartments for six hours.  What should you say to avoid getting roped in to something you might not want to do?

Solution: You can say something like, “I’ll have to check – what did you have in mind?”  Otherwise, if you should say, “Nothing, I’m free,” your friend could say, “Perfect!  I need someone to help me sort through my Tupperware,” and you’re trapped.

Situation: How do you get away from someone (like your grandfather) who repeats the same story over and over again?

Solution: Instead of saying “you told me that already!” you could make a comment about it like “Oh yes, I remember that great story you told me last Christmas. That is so funny!” Be patient and listen and then wait for your chance to change the subject.

Situation: You are out after work with coworkers and one of them gets drunk. Do you leave them or take care of them even though you are not that close with them?

Solution: It’s not safe to leave them alone because they might try to drive themself home or it might not be safe to leave them especially if it’s a female. The best thing to do is to tell the person that you have to leave and that you insist on getting him/her a taxi because it’s not safe for them to drive home. It’s best not to bring it up at the office or tell other people about it. They will forever be indebted it you.

Have awkward moments with kids? Please share them with me and I wil share them in next week’s blog (no names). I can be reached by leaving a comment here or by emailing me at

Aimee Symington is the CEO of Finesse Worldwide, Inc. which offers children’s etiquette classes in Davidson and in the Charlotte area. For more information go to or for the Charlotte class Sign-Up page here.