By Vanessa Edwards

Are you socially awkward? It seems I am a magnet for any and all kinds of awkward social situations. So much so that I decided to create a post on all of the social traps and how you can avoid them.

Awkward Situation #1: Forgetting you have met someone before

Has this ever happened to you? You walk up to someone and say, “Nice to meet you!” And then they say, “Uh, we have met before, like a bunch of times.” And you’re, like, “OMG awkward!”

I am constantly meeting people who I already have met before at parties and networking events. And I frequently forget I’ve met them and then have to go through this awkward re-introduction, apology, foot-in-mouth process.

The Social Save: Never, ever say “nice to meet you.” Always, always say “nice to see you.” Whether you are meeting someone for the first time or not, this always works and it’s a nice thing to say.

Awkward Situation #2: You laughed at a joke you didn’t get

It looks like this.

[Fake laughing]

And then, someone calls you on it.

“So, what do you think about that?”

The Social Save: Sometimes I have trouble hearing people in loud bars and sometimes I am too slow to get witty jokes, so this happens to me fairly often. The best thing to do is actually turn this into a joke yourself. Here’s what I say when this happens:

[Fake laughing]

“So, what do you think about that?”

“Oh, I have no idea what you were talking about, but I was laughing to appear engaged and friendly, ha-ha.”

Awkward Situation #3: Someone knows your name and you don’t know theirs

They say, “Hey, Vanessa!” And you’re, like, “Hey….you!”

Ugh it’s the worst! Names are really tough to remember. First, use the ‘Nice to see you’ to buy yourself time. Second, ask them for their card with something like, “Hey, did I get your card last time? If not, can I grab it again?” or, best of all, if you came with someone, set-up a secret cue beforehand.

The Social Save: My husband and my friends all know that if we ever introduce the other first, we don’t know the person’s name and they have to ask. It goes like this:

“Hey, Vanessa!”

“Hey, good to see you! This is my husband Todd”

“Hi! What’s your name?”

Awkward Situation #4: You put your foot in your mouth

You did it, and it tasted bad. You put your foot in your mouth.

You asked a woman if she was pregnant and she wasn’t.

You asked how their job was going and they got fired.

You asked about their spouse and they got divorced.

The Social Save: No worries! It happens to me all the time. I have found the best thing to do when this happens is to turn on a little humor, apologize quickly and move it along. Here’s my go-to line:

“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry. I need to get us both more ______.”  (fill in the blank: wine, cocktails, snacks, cupcakes)

Or if you are truly desperate, you can just fill in the blank by saying:

“Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry. I need to get myself more tact.” They laugh, you laugh and awkwardness is saved.

Awkward Situation #5: You talk about things you know nothing about

Admit it, sometimes you say you know things, people and facts that you actually have no idea about.

Oh ya, The Bloody Monsters, love that band…

Who? Carol Klingmanpooper? Oh yes, I love her political policy!

Hmm, definitely loved that book Bridge to Nowhere. Yeah….

And then, someone calls you on it.

Their favorite song? Oh…ummm.

What do I think of Carol Klingmanpooper’s foreign policy? Hmm…

What did I take away from the book? Did I love the ending?

The Social Save: I am a big fan of coming clean and stopping the lie before it gets too far. In fact, you can use this as an opportunity to ask someone else’s opinion — and everyone loves sharing their opinion. When this happens, just fess up and toss it back to them. It looks like this:

You know, I’m not sure. How about you?

Actually, I have no idea. Can you update me on it?

I don’t know if I ever really read it. Remind me?

Oh, there are so many more awkward situations I have gotten myself into, but I think that’s plenty for now.


About LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) Monday Morning Minute is crafted to provide decision-makers with important information about the economy, investments and corporate retirement plans in a format that allows a reader to consume the information in less than 60 seconds. As an independent, objective investment adviser, LRPC has access to many sources of research and shares the best and most relevant information with its readers each week.

About Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based independent, objective Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) providing investment advisory, fiduciary compliance, employee education, provider management and plan design services to employer retirement plan sponsors. The firm specializes in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) strategies for retirement plans and is a pioneer in the field. LRPC currently has contracts in place to provide consulting services on nearly a half billion dollars in plan assets. For more information, please contact Robert C. Lawton at (414) 828-4015 or or visit the firm’s website at Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser.

Important Disclosures

This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors and is not intended as authoritative guidance, tax, legal or investment advice. Each plan has unique requirements and you should consult your attorney or tax adviser for guidance on your specific situation. In no way does Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC assure that, by using the information provided, a plan sponsor will be in compliance with ERISA regulations. Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. The statements in this publication are the opinions and beliefs of the commentator expressed when the commentary was made and are not intended to represent that person’s opinions and beliefs at any other time. The commentary does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC and should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC offers no tax, legal or accounting advice and any advice contained herein is not specific to any individual, entity or retirement plan, but rather general in nature and, therefore, should not be relied upon for specific investment situations. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser and accepts clients outside of Wisconsin based upon applicable state registration regulations and the “de minimus” exception.