Life sure can throw some awkward curveballs. Whether you’re at a big party full of mostly strangers or hangin’ at the beach with your bestie, it’s totally standard to all of the sudden find yourself in a weird situation that you’re forced to treat ascompletely normal. If you’re stuck on how to keep your cool when something unexpected goes down, you’re not alone! Read on for our tips on handling whatever comes your way.
My friend just introduced me to the cutest person I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes. CUE: PANIC! Though it seems inconsequential, this is actually a pivotal moment that will inform how you face situations like this for years to come (no pressure!), so kick off the pattern of reactive behavior in the right way. Translation: Do something about that cutie! (Oh, andbreathe.) It’s way easier to text your friend the next day and find out what the deal with this potential love interest is, but the best approach is to leave technology behind andseize the momentinstead. What’s truly cool is being confident enough to strike up an actual conversation with him or her. Is it scarier than sleuthing through their Instagram from afar? YES! Duh. But taking a chance is always better than the regret you’ll feel over not doing something sooner, so don’t wait ’til tomorrow to accomplish what you can right now. It’s as easy as saying, “So, how do you know my friend so-and-so?” and BOOM! You’ll have broken the barrier. (It’s really that easy.)
Holy crap, I’m going to meet my celebrity idol!!! Am I going to faint? Do I have lipstick on my teeth?? Can I have them sign my forehead?! Help! Everyone hasthat celeb—you know, whose posters are your wallpaper and who you’ve dreamt of meeting for-ev-er—so if you’re going one-on-one with your number one, let your fan flag fly! Own it: This day is less about what people are going to think of you and more about how you’re never going to wash your hand after placing it inHarry Styles’s palm. Try to calm yourself out of being crazy-nervous, and remember this is an awesome thing. You’re getting to do something millions of people would die to do, so instead of worrying about that knot in your stomach, approach it like it’s the best day ever. (Because it is!) If you want to say something memorable but don’t know what’s appropriate, go small and meaningful. Rattle off a quick sentence or two about their early acting gig that really affected you, or mention that bootleg demo tape you listened to on repeat years back. By bringing up what most other fans don’t notice or discuss, you’ll stick out and possibly even spur a real, friend-to-friend conversation just like that.
“Oh no. There’s my ex.” There’s no easy fix for the icky feeling that comes withrunning into an ex. The drop in the pit of your stomach, the buzzy brain, all that anxiety—but with some finesse, you can make the interaction a swift and easy one. Be polite and cordial, channeling how your parents talk to neighbors they don’t particularly enjoy. Ask vague questions like “How’s your summer going?” but don’t ask for details. It sounds trivial, but if you discuss their personal life (which includes school and work!), they may infer that you care much more about them than you do. Plus, the longer the conversation goes on, the more awkward it’s going to be, so make a clear, time-centric exit. A “So sorry, we gotta run to this movie” or “I’m late for dinner” works great. That way, you don’t look like a meanie for saying what you really want to—”Well, this was awkward, please leave now”—and you’ll make a clean getaway with no hurt feelings in the process.
I can’t believe I just scored an invite to the biggest party of the year. Should I buy a whole new outfit? Wear the highest heels I own? Document everything? If you want to hit the mall to find something perfect, that’s totally cool, but it should all be in the name of staying true to yourself. It’s important you wear something you feel good in! Would you rather be the girl tugging on hercrop top? Or the one lounging in herfavorite jeanswithout a care in the world? Similarly, when you’re at the actual party, go into the situation with an “I’m just being me” attitude. If you’re the kind of girl who hits the dance floor any time a song’s playing, then do that! If you prefer chilling on the sidelines with a friend and all of the party snacks, then dothat! You wouldn’t wanna be the type who’s pressured into doing something just because others are, so extend that to every aspect of this shindig. And know this: You can always leave! A party’s supposed to be fun, and if you’re bored or if people are getting into stuff you’re not cool with, feel free to bounce. Trust your instincts—they’ll get you further than you think.