No life is complete without periodic doses of extremely uncomfortable situations or moments. A part of a successful societal identity is about handling these situations better.
It’s not usually taught in classrooms or found in text books. It takes years of exposure to these situations, keen observations, quick unlearning and quicker learning and a dash of self-esteem to conquer these could-have-been awful moments.
As the wise men say, it’s finally the outcome and not the sweat that goes in, that matters. Mastering the skills of coping with awkward instants is not a part of a standard B-school management course, but come very handy in business too. The idea is not to let down people or lose friends who could have been of use in future.
The tricks I lay out here aren’t dumb excuses like “stuck in a traffic jam” or “father critically ill” – those are mostly counterproductive nowadays. Let’s jump straight, without much ado.
Uncomfortable Situation #1: Teleconferencing
You’re on a teleconference with multiple parties. There is a bizarre situation and bosses or clients are suddenly firing at you. It was not anticipated well in advance and you need a minute or so to compose yourself and think through some vague answer. But you don’t have the all-precious minute in hand; so much is the heat in the air.
OK, take your time. Start your defense with “Oops! I was on mute”.
Uncomfortable Situation #2: Undesirable encounters
Someone really unpleasant and unimportant is approaching you at a breakneck speed possibly to ask for some help. Pick up your mobile and answer a non-existent call while you stride away of the hell. People are expected to be unmindful during an important phone call; more so if you keep your eyebrows strained. So you’re pardoned for unnoticing the ‘friend’. It doesn’t really matter whether the call landed on you or you made because you look reasonably absorbed.
Uncomfortable Situation #3: Unwanted party invite
If you’re invited to a party where you have no reason to be, remember that you’re not expected there, it’s just a formality to invite you. You’ve to accept the invitation with all your humility and assure of your gracious presence. Don’t be there at the do. Pay your friend a smile when you cross each other’s path later on. Both of you have moved on without a hard feeling.
Uncomfortable Situation #4: Getting bullied
A group of friends take part in bullying you for something that happened in past. You can’t overwrite the history. Don’t try to explain or justify. Excuses will worsen the game and fuel them further.
Start laughing aloud at every dig they take, louder than the loudest in the gang and add new angles to make fun of yourself mercilessly. Make even the shrewdest blush. They’ll see no value in continuing on that track and probably find a new victim or subject for killing the remaining time.
See Also: How to Deal with a Workplace Bully
Uncomfortable Situation #5: Caught red-handed
You’re caught red handed in a situation that you tried your best to avoid. It could be any of those obnoxious, generic events when you feel death would have been sweeter.
Make a sad face, all you can attempt is a craft known as ‘context switch’. There are always serious things in the world that concern most of the human race including those whom you want to run away from right now. Pose aloof from the current state of affairs and be occupied into something little more global and grave. Then soak others into it.
That’s it! You’ve broken their original rhythm. They’re bound to get carried away into the sea of a momentous discussion.
Try to remember these smart tips for getting out of awkward moments whenever you get into a tight situation. Good luck!
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The commentator, as I started calling myself a few years back, is an amateur in vague blogging.