That Was Awkward
1 A friend’s dress sense is inappropriate. You love your friend’s fun personality, but you don’t like her revealing clothes. It’s tricky to tell her without hurting her feelings; the key is to start off by giving her a compliment on something that you do like. Then suggest she wears a longer skirt or higher-cut top that will prevent her from accidentally exposing herself. Or offer to go shopping with her, and then point her to more appropriate styles.
2 You don’t want to be friends any more. Your friend has borrowed money from you and ‘forgotten’ to pay you back one too many times. Or perhaps there have been more uncomfortable silences when you get together. Ending it face to face is best, and be honest.‘Being polite doesn’t mean you should hide your feelings,’ says Charlotte Youens, an etiquette expert. ‘Tell them that you don’t have much in common and would prefer not to be friends.’
3 You have developed a romantic interest in a friend.You are trying to ignore your feelings, in the hope they disappear, but all you can think about is him or her. ‘Take your time to decide if you want to speak up,’says Charlotte. If you choose to go ahead, do so in person and be truthful – they may feel the same way. But if they don’t, try not to push them away. Ask for time if you need it and hopefully your friendship is strong enough.
4 A colleague has bad body odour. Other than blurting out ‘What’s that smell?’ when they are near you, telling someone they have unpleasant body odour or bad breath is difficult. Talk to them in private,asserting that you don’t want to embarrass them, but that you would want to know if you were in their position. ‘Try telling your own smelly story so they don’t feel like they’re the only one,’ says Charlotte. Or buy them a fragrance for their birthday.
5 Someone’s fly is down. As your boss gets into the lift, you notice their zip is undone. Should you or shouldn’t you say something? The kindest thing you can do is to tell them. Yes, it maybe embarrassing, but he or she will be really thankful. The same goes if your female manager has lipstick on her teeth.
6 Telling a friend their partner is cheating. Be certain of the facts before you say anything– the last thing you want to do is spread lies and hurt people. Next you need to approach the person who is having the affair and tell them what you know. It’s their responsibility to come clean to their partner. But they may refuse to be honest, in which case you should ask yourself this: if the situation were reversed, would you want to know? If you decide to say something to your friend, do so carefully, affirming that you’re there to support them.
7 Your sister’s haircut looks weird. This is all about the art of diversion. If she asks for your pinion, say that you preferred the previous style or mention a different style you think would look good on her.
8 You’re right, they’re wrong. We all love to be right, but is it really necessary to point it out to people? Ask yourself: have they requested your advice? Are they doing something illegal or immoral? If you still feel it is necessary, do so constructively by starting and ending off on a positive note.
9 Their jokes just aren’t funny. Your brother thinks he has a future career in comedy, but the joke is on him. The best approach? Just don’t laugh. It may lead to an awkward silence, but he should eventually get the message. If his jokes are offensive ,tell him you’d rather he doesn’t make disrespectful comments around you.
10 There’s spinach in your date’s teeth. Let’s be honest – we all want to know if there’s food stuck in our teeth. If you’re the bearer of the news, wait a few moments to see if they notice it. If not, discretely point to the corresponding area in your own teeth. If they don’t realise what you’re pointing to, lean over and quietly mention there’s something in their teeth.