6 People Told Us About Their Most Awkward Encounters That Still Haunt Them To This Day

Awkward encounters
Contributor: Charisa Boss

I don’t know if you’ve ever had this happen: you’re comfy in bed, about to doze off, and suddenly your brain hits rewind on all the cringe moments you’ve ever experienced.

A genuinely awkward moment sticks with you, something you’ll even recall during the twilight years to other retirees yelling, “Why did I have to pass gas in that small elevator 30 years ago?!!”

An awkward moment can occur for various reasons. Sometimes if we haven’t had eight hours of sleep or need a Snickers, and our eyes are a little foggy, this causes us to say and do things we usually wouldn’t. 

Roshani Chokshi wrote in her book Aru Shah and the Song of Death, “There are certain horrific moments in life when the only way to fix an awkward situation is to be awkward.” Leaning into this theme, we’ve decided to embrace these deliciously awkward encounters that make us want to suddenly combust in flames.

A belated congratulations 

“I hadn’t seen this co-worker for a few months, we’ve never been close friends or anything (only acquaintances), so I knew her primarily from things she’d post on social media. She had recently announced she was engaged via Facebook, and I hadn’t seen her since this post.

While we were at post-work drinks, I took this opportunity to congratulate her on this milestone, only to have her burst into tears in front of all my co-workers and say, “He broke it off”. I had no idea how to respond, so I sat there consoling her and said, “At least your wedding won’t be cancelled due to COVID”. Now, every time we cross paths, I avoid eye contact.” – Connie

Fake it or face it

“One time I was at my cousin’s wedding, wearing a cute outfit and really feeling myself that day. While I was on the dance floor absolutely shredding it up, I accidentally tripped over and managed to rip my dress. I was so embarrassed by the whole thing; I pretended to pass out. I wanted people to think I was unconscious rather than uncoordinated.” – Erin

Time to find a new coffee joint

“My local barista is always trying to invite me to his band’s gigs, and I end up constantly thinking of a lame excuse to get out of it. But, this one time, he asked me if I wanted to come and watch his band play, but I told him I couldn’t as I had a friend’s birthday that night. To which he replied, ‘But wait, I haven’t even told you the date yet.’” – Paul

A classic introvert move

“I was in a clothing department store, and this lady came up to me and said, ‘Excuse me? Do you have these shoes in my size?’ Rather than trying to explain I didn’t work there, I ended up asking the shop assistant to find her shoe size.” – Alicia

Flatulence faux pas

“While I was completing a year 12 test, I suddenly had the urge to fart. However, as the room was dead quiet, I knew I couldn’t just let one rip without a distraction. Luckily, it was an open book test, so I thought I’ll drop my textbook and time it perfectly with my fart – that way it’ll drown out the noise. I ended up stuffing up the timing. I accidentally dropped my book too early, then everyone in the class looked at me while I let out the biggest fart. It only lasted for about three seconds, but it felt like six months.” – Mateo

Four festivals and a funeral

“After a horrible breakup, I decided to play the field and begun dating two guys at once. Frequently I would get these guys confused. This one particular time, I asked guy A, ‘Did you have fun yesterday?’ And he said, ‘You mean at my aunt’s funeral?’ Then I realised I had mixed him up with guy B, who had gone to a music festival the day before.” – Lara