1. The excruciatingly long hallway dance
You’re minding your own business and then BAM. An acquaintance thirty feet away is walking directly towards you and there’s no escape route, so for the next 12 seconds your brain thinks of nothing but where to place your eyeballs until the exact moment it’s appropriate look up and make eye contact.
2. The handshake/hug/kiss greeting uncertainty
You know the moment when you go in for a hug as the other person comes in for a peck on the cheek and what you end up with is a startlingly intimate neck kiss?
3. The Super Bad
Making small talk with someone and then departing, but realizing you’ve departed in the exact same direction, like Evan and Becca in Super Bad. In fact, for many of life’s awkward and excruciating moments Super Bad’s a must see.
4. The 3-years-old Facebook photo ‘like’
There’s no better way to tell someone, “Hi, I’m stalking you,” than to like a picture on someone’s Facebook that’s 11 pages deep and a few years dated.
5. The response to someone who was actually never talking to you
You’re leaving work and someone you don’t talk to much says, “Bye! Have a good night,” and before you realize that the goodbye was not addressed to you at all, but to the person behind you, you say those damning three words, “Thanks! You too.”
6. The reciprocal wave at someone who’s not waving at you
A similar pitfall to number five. Hey, it happens. Just be cool and adapt by running your fingers through your hair or scratching your nose.
7. The warm smile at someone who looks an awful lot like your friend
Ever accidently beam at someone who you thought you knew but really didn’t? You may very well have frightened them, but fingers crossed your brightened their day.
8. The unintentional body graze
Even an innocent finger graze is disagreeable (do you acknowledge that you just touched hands, or do you keep walking?) but experience an unintentional boob or butt graze and things get pretty weird.
9. The caught smelling your armpit
You’re really doing society a favor because you don’t want to go around reeking all day, but it’s still embarrassing when someone catches you in the act. You can try and pass it off as a mere arm adjustment, but you both know what you were really doing.
10. The dance alone in your car and realizing the car next to you saw it all
You might feel like your car is a private space, but your antics are really quite visible from fellow autos.
11. The wondering if you should tell someone they have food in their teeth internal battle
If you fail to tell an acquaintance that they have a piece of food stuck in their teeth within the first moments of conversation, then the ship has sailed and you’ll spend the rest of that conversation regretting you missed the golden opportunity. You also would have saved your acquaintance from the dismaying moment when they look in a mirror and wonder how many people saw (and did not point out) their sticky friend.
12. The flipping someone off in your car then ending up at the same stop light
Sometimes road rage gets the best of us, and we drive a little closer, swear a little louder, and give a few more birds than we should. But remember, the moment may come when you hit a poorly timed red light and you’re stuck averting your eyes from the recent victim of your rage.