1. Shake a hand in the restroom
So you bumped into an old friend of yours that you’re just so fond of! Except this meeting was in a restroom… I know, of course you want to reach out and show proper courtesy, but believe it: the best thing to do is not to make any contact at all. Don’t worry. Him being a male, he’ll understand. Call him to have a beer later on.
2. Don’t wash your hands
This is related to the previous case. You should always wash your hands after going to the restroom. If you don’t, chances are that someone will sooner or later see it. And this is not one of those things that go unnoticed very easily. You just started a time bomb of awkward situations with your co-workers. People will think twice before shaking your hand.
3. Say someone looks like someone you know
You saw someone that looks so much like that actor or that acquaintance of yours. The resemblance is remarkable! Don’t get tempted in saying it to him/her. There are two possible outcomes here: the person will either be offended by the comparison or, if it is a gorgeous Hollywood artist, think you are hitting on him/her. Of course, if that is the case, by all means go ahead.
4. Take too many liberties with people you just met
You just arrived at a party with a good friend of yours but you don’t know anyone. When people spot your friend, they begin to warmly greet him saying out loud: “Hey you motherfucker son-of-a-bitch! So glad you came!” You start getting in the mood of such pleasant camaraderie and cries out to your friend: “Hey Jon, why don’t you present me all those motherfuckers!” Silence. Jesus, what’s the matter with you? You barely know these guys. Mind your manners a little more.
5. Tell minority jokes
You know that awesome Jewish joke that is just biting you to share with everyone. If you don’t know everyone’s background, it is very possible one day someone is going to say: “I am Jewish.” You never know how people are gonna react to these jokes. They might laugh aloud with you. But if they’re not already friends of yours, chances are they get offended. Do you really wanna take the risk?
6. Ask strangers why they are limping
You are so adorable! Always concerned about the well-being of others! So you just met someone and realize a difficulty to walk. What a wonderful subject to cheat chat. Surely there is a good story behind that person’s problem. By your life experience, this almost never fails right? Except when it fails… IT IS SO GODAMING EMBARRASSING! You asked a person who was born this way what’s wrong with her. Think again before rushing into questions.
7. Ask how many months she is pregnant
“Hey Brenda! Long time no see. I see you have a huge belly ready to pop up there. How many months are you?”. “ What are you talking about? I had Jason 6 months ago!” If it makes you feel any better, practically everybody has heard of a story that goes along these lines. It is not an uncommon gaff. Unfortunately, people continue doing it. There are more subtle ways to find out if she is pregnant as the conversation goes along. Be careful.
8. Telling everyone your guilty pleasures
If you have a guilty pleasure, then by its very definition you feel embarrassed by it. So why telling everyone? Don’t get me wrong. Everyone has a guilty pleasure. Maybe you like lady Gaga or Barry Manilow. Maybe you like reading superman comic books after you turned 30. If you still haven’t come to terms with yourself on that, why tell others?
9. Express yourself through ringtones
This might look a little too much, but the fact is it really draws people’s attention when they hear a non-neutral ringtone. One day, you are going to be in a meeting, and your cell phone will go off with a song that gives out much more information about you than you ever wanted. Let’s just hope it’s not a love song.
10. Try to fix a gaff
So you mistake that person’s name. What to do? Nothing. Don’t even try to go on a story that you know someone that looks so much like him/her and that’s why you switched the names. That would only rob that person’s identity in the world and would incur in mistake number 3. For some mystery in the universe, try to fix a gaff only makes it worse. Just pretend nothing’s happened and take it with a little humor later.