Top 8 Awkward Public Encounters


Nobody Wants To Experience Them!


Sometimes combating the general trials and tribulations of life are just way too mundane a task whilst "adulting"! This is where life’s awkward little encounters like to come along and spice things up! Their sole purpose is to give you something nice and cringe worthy to dwell on momentarily, or if like me, you are a self-certified over thinker they will haunt you forever!

I know you know what I am talking about!

Those moments that replay in your mind just to remind you what a fool you are , particularly when you’re about to drift off to sleep.

Take a little look below at this list of my Top 8 Awkward Public Encounters in no particular order of cringe level! How many have you had the displeasure of experiencing?!

1. The Third wheel


For a socially awkward queen this has to be one of the worst situations to be in.

Picture this, you are walking along with someone you know and they see someone they know that you have never met, and they decide to STOP and TALK. What on Earth are you as the third wheel supposed to do in this situation? Do you;


A. Continue walking ahead slowly hoping they’ll get the hint and speed up the conversation?

B. Take out your phone and start fake browsing to seem occupied?

C. Listen to their conversation intently whilst trying to exude friendliness and happiness about this awkward situation?


This is especially weird if you don’t even get an intro to who this person is and vice versa. I mean what are you supposed to do with this?

2. A Mini Meeting of Fools


Reaching a mini roundabout the same time as three other people.

I feel I barely have enough patience when I am driving as it is, but there is nothing more ridiculous than reaching a mini roundabout and realising not a single person wants to enter the roundabout because you are all giving way to the right! I mean, it starts off all courteous and polite but then it’s like OK guys, CLEARLY one of us has to go!

I feel like I’m always the first to move and when I do I silently congratulate myself for escaping permanent roundabout imprisonment. Although sometimes someone else has the same idea and then you both end up awkwardly taking a chance at the same time. Then you have to go around each other because you both thought you were wild enough to break the rules at the exact same time! Highly Awkward.



3. Do I know you?


That mortifying moment when you smile and wave at someone with loaded enthusiasm, only to realise not only are they not the person you thought they were, but you have no clue who they are and by the look on their face they CLEARLY do not know you. Unfortunately this has happened to me more than once, the first time should have been a clear sign that I needed my eyes checked👀. I even went as far as to cross the road to go and talk to someone, but thankfully although they were not the person I thought they were, it was at least someone I knew, just not very well! They definitely were not worthy of a road-crossing-greeting!



I’ve now chosen to adopt the speak when spoken to approach when it comes to saying hi to people outside. So I kindly ask that if you see me in person please say hi. I promise you I am not being stoosh I just have precautions in place to stay off of the Awks-o-meter. I really should also book another eye test!

4. Until We Meet Again...Like…Right Now


Saying goodbye to someone and then going the same way immediately after.

This is just the weirdest thing. Like what do you actually do? You’ve ended your conversation, you have nothing more to say and you have things to do. So what next when you both say goodbye and then proceed to walk alongside each other silently because you’re going in the exact same direction. Or, you are in a supermarket and you have said your farewells but you both now need butter? What is the plan of action here?


A. Pretend you didn’t see them

B. Smile and make more awkward small talk

C. Speedwalk past them


I would say A and C are pretty brutal but do you really want to endure B again with the potential risk of doing the same goodbye-but-not-goodbye thing again after? Choose wisely my friend!

5. Congratulations!


Mistaking someone for being pregnant.



Ok so this is a sensitive area. Yes this has happened to me. Nope, no one mistook me for being pregnant. Even when I was pregnant no one thought I was, to the point where nearly fainting on a train was just about enough to get a seat during a commute!

No, this time I was the one making the assumptions. The thing is, the girl didn’t even look pregnant, I just had a complete brain fuzz . She said she was on her maternity leave and I automatically asked “when is the baby due” only for her to say she had already had the baby. I really couldn’t get out of this one, I just muttered something about thinking she was on pre-birth maternity leave. Terrible.

I guess an even worse case scenario is when the person hasn’t even had a baby at all and the assumption is made that they are pregnant. Someone just straight up looking at your belly asking when you are due cannot be a good thing when you are not "with child".

This happened to my mum once and in true character of my mum she replied “no I’m just fat”! That really did switch the dynamics of the awkwardness.

6. Brain Fuzz


When you mirror what someone says or reply to them with a generic response out of habit.

Brain fuzz can infiltrate at any time and when you least expect it. This particular version has happened to me on more than one occasion. My favorite has to be when a waiter tells you to enjoy your meal and your brain tells your mouth to say “you too”. Makes perfect sense!

I finished my weekly shop at a supermarket the other day and when the lady said "here's your receipt" my totally logical response was "you too" because I had anticipated her saying "Have a nice day!". An absolute shambles!


"Enjoy your meal!" "You Too"

7. Out The Mouths of Babes


They say there are none more truthful than a drunk person or a child. Please explain to me what I am supposed to do when a small child calls me out? Especially in front of other people. Or even worse still, if it is your own child calling out someone else! I will never forget the day (and neither will my sister) that my oldest daughter , 2 years old at the time, was climbing on my sisters back as she was laying on the floor watching TV. All of a sudden she shouts out, “Auntie has the biggest bum in the whole wide world!”. We were both in shock and didn't know whether to laugh or cry , or cry with laughter. Luckily my sister has a sense of humor or that could of been a lot more awkward!

8. 1 Metre Distance Please!


Even before Covid -19 I was very big on personal space.

I guess you could say I was social distancing before it was ever actually a thing. So it is the most awkward thing for me when I am queuing in a shop and for every mili-step (I don’t know if this is actually a thing) I take, the person behind me wants to inch up behind me like my slightest movement warrants a queue shift! Please tell me why you are so eager to have your face in the back of my head like this? Let us get some breathing space at least!




I hope these 8 things didn’t bring back too many traumatic memories for anyone! What awkward encounters have you had? Please subscribe to thatgirljoza to be alerted for all of my posts and follow me on Instagram @thatgirljoza for daily inspiration!

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