Top 10 Cringe Life Moments That Are Bound to Happen

Woman looks surprised and embarrassed to the side

We've all had those moments that make us wish the ground would just swallow us whole. From awkward encounters to embarrassing slip-ups, cringe moments are inevitable. If you’ve had one recently and it’s kind of keeping you up at night, we hope this list will remind you that it’s a universal experience:


The accidental wave

Woman in Yellow Top Waving

You see someone waving in your direction, so you enthusiastically wave back, only to realize they were actually waving to the person behind you. Cue the awkward shuffle as you try to play it off cool, but they noticed. Oh, they noticed. Don’t worry though, they won’t remember after a few minutes.

Forgetting someone’s name

woman in black long sleeve shirt covering her facePhoto by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

You run into an acquaintance whose name you can't quite remember. Instead of admitting it and just asking them, you spend the entire conversation trying to avoid using their name or awkwardly using terms like “buddy.” It’s even worse when, somehow, some way, you need to use their name and you have to come clean.

The unanswered high-five or fist-bump

silhouette of man and woman during sunsetPhoto by Benjamin Wedemeyer on Unsplash

You go in for a high-five or a fist bump, but your hand is left hanging in the air because the other person didn’t see it. It feels so incredibly uncomfortable! You try to brush it off, but you feel like the whole world saw it and no one likes to feel rejected, even if it wasn’t intentional. But hey, you have to remember to take it in stride. You could even make a joke out of it and laugh it off.

Sending a message to the wrong person

woman using gold smartphonePhoto by Chad Madden on Unsplash

Not just any kind of message, a juicy message with gossip or personal details. When you realize you’ve sent it to the person you were talking about or someone you’re not close to like that, that’s a moment of sheer panic. You can try to delete the messages real quick, but if they saw it, get ready to backpedal and apologize. And you know what’s worse? Sending a screenshot to the same person you took the screenshot from. That’s the stuff of nightmares!

Tripping in public

Tripping in public

You're walking down the street, minding your own business, when suddenly you trip over an invisible obstacle and stumble in front of a bunch of strangers. You try to laugh it off, but inside you're dying of embarrassment. It feels so awful and for what? It’s no big deal, people trip all the time… But embarrassment doesn’t always follow logic.

Laughing at the wrong moment

smiling woman embarrassed while covering her laugh with one hand

You find yourself in a serious or somber situation, and for some inexplicable reason, you burst out laughing at the worst possible moment. Whether it’s because someone said something that sounded like a joke or you remembered something funny, laughter has a way of coming at some of the worst moments. There’s nothing left to do but give an apologetic look and keep your head down.

Misunderstanding a joke

man and woman standing in front of louver doorPhoto by Lucas Lenzi on Unsplash

Someone tells a joke that everyone else finds hilarious, but you completely miss the punchline or misinterpret it entirely. You still try to laugh along, but it comes out all awkward and people notice. This is usually followed by a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, which feels like an eternity. Don’t worry though, the conversation will resume and everyone will forget. Except you; you’ll cringe over the memory a few times in the coming weeks before letting it go.

Accidentally liking an old post

red and white like love wall decorPhoto by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

Nowadays, stalking people’s Instagram after you meet someone new is common practice. We all do it and we all know it, but we don’t want to be perceived doing it. That’s why accidentally liking a post from a few months or years ago gives anyone a mini heartattack. You quickly unlike it, but the damage is done, they already got the notification.

Getting caught in a lie

image with the phrase "a lie has no legs"

Listen, we’ve all told some white lies in our lives or used exaggeration to impress people or make a story a bit more interesting. The thing is that getting caught in a lie, no matter how innocent, is mortifying. Especially if you get called out in front of other people. That can make anyone squirm and wish they could disappear from the spot like a wizard.

Failing to recognize someone

Portrait of a woman with a questioning expression

We’ve all been here! You run into someone you've met before, but you can't for the life of you remember where or when. So you do what most people do in this situation, nod along and try to make small talk while your brain is working overtime to try to place this person. It’s even worse if they notice because that’s when you realize you could’ve just been upfront about it. Oh well, you live and you learn!

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