Humans are awkward beings, so it should come as no surprise that we've all experienced our fair share of embarrassing situations. From online mishaps to tripping in front of a crowd, these awkward moments happen to even the most careful of us. They are mortifying and painful for everyone involved, but on the bright side, they can also be downright hilarious. Here are 10 awkward situations we've all been in — or haven't if you're lucky:
1. The Dreaded Autocorrect Fail
Autocorrect is one of the most convenient but also problematic texting tools. It's great for magically turning gibberish into coherent sentences, but these “fixes” can turn into fails just as easily. Autocorrect can completely transform a message's meaning to something very different from the original one. Sadly, most texting services don't have an option to unsend texts, so if you accidentally send a message where autocorrect messed up, you're out of luck. Who knew one word could make such a difference?
2. Sending A Text To The Wrong Person
When you think about it, texting is a breeding ground for awkward encounters. Not only can technology mess up your messaging experience, but also your own mistakes. Perhaps one of the most embarrassing mishaps caused by human error is sending a text to the wrong person, especially if the message definitely wasn't meant for their eyes. It's arguably even worse if you take a screenshot of someone's messages and send it to that person by mistake. They’ll know you were planning on talking about them with someone else, making for an awkward follow-up conversation.
3. The Accidental Instagram Like
If you've ever stalked someone on Instagram before, you've probably accidentally double-tapped and liked one of their very old posts. After the initial mortification, most of us unlike as fast as possible, but even then, the person will still be notified if they have push notifications on. It may seem as if there's no hope for hiding this slip-up, but if worse comes to worst, you could always assume a new Instagram identity and change your account name to John Doe.
4. Tripping, Falling, Or Stumbling In Public
Unlike most land animals, humans only have two legs instead of four, which is probably why we’re constantly stumbling while other animals manage to land on their feet even after falling through the air. Although there are scientific reasons for our clumsiness, it doesn’t make tripping in public any less painful. Thankfully, scientific research has also shown that there are ways to prevent these incidents. Some of these methods include reducing stress, doing core exercises, and avoiding multitasking to improve coordination and prevent another embarrassing fall.
5. Getting Called On In Class When You Weren't Paying Attention
Please don't pick me, please don't pick me... Darn it, the teacher picked me.
Whether it was because you were daydreaming, secretly texting, or just zoned out for a few minutes, being forced to answer a question when you don't even know what's happening is equal parts terrifying and awkward. There's nothing worse than having the whole class stare at you while you're trying to figure a way out of answering the question without making it seem like you weren't paying attention.
6. Forgetting To Mute On A Call
Keeping track of all the new virtual norms can be tricky, especially with all the settings and sound procedures. If you're forgetful like me, remembering to turn your microphone on and off can be a hassle. It doesn't help that the controls are very subtle, with no extremely obvious way to check if your microphone is on besides staring at it. This can especially be problematic during online school and cause classmates and teachers to hear some conversations that were meant to be kept private.
7. Realizing Mid-Argument How Wrong You Are
For the majority of us, the only debate experience we have comes from arguing with parents, siblings, and friends. Even if you’re not a seasoned debater, realizing halfway through an argument that you're the one at fault is still mortifying. At this point, you can either keep arguing and hope for the best or admit defeat and sacrifice your pride. Either way, both options can result in broken friendships, endless embarrassment, and sometimes even both.
8. Birthday Awkwardness
Birthdays should be awesome, right? While the praise, cake, and presents are all very cheery, birthdays definitely have an underlying hint of awkwardness. Some people may bask in the birthday spotlight, but for others, the constant attention can be a little too much, especially when it comes from people you barely know. There's nothing weird at all about strangers congratulating you on being born (even though you have your mom to thank for that). And let's not even begin on how uncomfortable it is when everyone starts singing “Happy Birthday” to you. Even after 14 birthdays, I still don't know whether I should stare at the cake or awkwardly make eye contact with everyone.
9. When Your Yearbook Photo Is Captured at the Wrong Time
Yearbooks are one of the most iconic parts of school and are filled with countless memories. They capture every part of the school year, including the awkwardness that comes with being a teenager. Yearbook photos are the most notable example of this awkwardness. Whose idea was it to plaster hundreds of teenage headshots into 10 pages? Unless you're blessed to be extremely photogenic, chances are that you’ve had some unflattering yearbook photos. You only get one shot for the perfect picture, so if you’re caught in the middle of a sneeze, yawn, or eye twitch, you're out of luck and will definitely be facing some embarrassing high school reunions.
10. Committing A Faux Pas
Faux pas, which literally means “false step” in French, are social mistakes that violate an unspoken rule. From wearing socks with sandals to posing with a peace sign in the U.K, committing one can happen anywhere, anytime. There’s no complete guide to avoiding faux pas since most of them aren't even widely known — unless you happen to commit one. Even with copious amounts of research and observation, completely avoiding these social blunders is almost impossible. Luckily, most people are understanding and often ignore them or brush them off as harmless mistakes.