1. Figuring out what to do with dirty dishes.
Do I leave it on the table? That seems rude. Do I take it to the sink and wash my single dirty dish? That’s treading on the fine line between politeness and overkill. Do I do the fake ‘reach for the check’ type move where I go to take the dish to the sink to see if they’ll react by saying “No, I got it” or what?
2. Not wanting to finish food or drink.
Ah, the prequel to the dirty dish. There’s something about not finishing a meal prepared for you by someone else, with their own ingredients, under their own roof that feels slightly disrespectful. Whether it tastes bad, or you’re simply full, it turns into a three option debate: waste this, finish this, or pretend to finish this but secretly waste it.
3. When they don’t answer the “I’m here” text or call, and you have to go straight to the door.
Is it 1995? It’s so much easier on the socially inept to be able to announce their arrival and be greeted at the door than it is to use primitive habits like door knocks and bell rings.
4. The arrival of any guests you weren’t expecting.
You were just getting comfortable in this person’s home when Jeff Who You’ve Never Met shows up. Dammit, Jeff Who You’ve Never Met, why’d you come in here being all friendly and socially capable? Now it’ll take a few moments to regain a sustainable level of coziness with the new vibe.
5. Shoes on or off?
Is this strictly a custom in some cultures, or is it an Anyone Who’s Renting And Doesn’t Want To Pay For New Carpet When Their Lease Ends tradition?
6. Sleeping there.
Only because when you wake up you have to hope you didn’t do anything embarrassing whilst in your slumber.
7. Waking up before them.
If you do stay the night at someone’s place, what’s the move if you wake up before them? Scroll through your phone? Watch TV? Quietly make a hasty exit? Is that rude? Is it rude to stay? Are they lying there with their eyes closed hoping you’ll leave on your own so they don’t have to say bye?
8. Remaining silent to avoid coming off as needy.
Whether it’s enduring mind-consuming levels of hunger instead of asking if they have anything to eat, or being ice cold because you don’t want to request a temperature change, you’ll withstand some discomfort because it’s easier than coming off like some kind of pesky diva.
9. Logging into your email or social media on their computer.
What if your password is stored and now they have access to your email or something? How scary that they might see all of your spam from that online store you bought a pair of shoes from once, four years ago.
10. Needing some silence/isolation.
You can’t just like, go in an empty room in someone else’s home and shut the door for an hour. Five minutes in the bathroom offers temporary relief, but sometimes the simple fact that being anti-social isn’t currently a socially acceptable option is apprehension inducing in itself.
11. When people are arguing and they’re the only person not involved.
Have you ever hung around a couple or any small group of people when they’re butting heads? It’s awkward, albeit entertaining, it’s incredibly uncomfortable. Not only do you not want to pick a side, but you also don’t want to experience the awkward, post argument small talk, that’s basically a bunch of tense conversation being had to avoid complete silence.
12. Being left “alone.”
There may not be another human physically there with you, but what if there are CAMERAS? That’s right, this could be an elaborate setup. You could’ve been left alone on purpose, so that they could secretly record you and see what kind of weird things you do when nobody is around. Clever ruse, but you’re too aware to fall for it. You’ll be extra normal and give them nothing. By the way, you’re not crazy for even thinking this is possible, it’s totally feasible. They’re the crazy ones for trying to secretly record you. Yep.