No one is totally free from going through uncomfortable situations from time to time, and it is normal that throughout our lives there are several and diverse situations where we do not feel completely at ease with what is happening.

It is part of the functioning of social relations to deal with moments when ambiguity makes us not know what attitude to take (or even hesitate to make it obvious that we realize something is wrong). That is why, surely on more than one occasion, we have asked ourselves the question of how to face an uncomfortable situation?

In this article we will review a list of the best ways to take the burden of discomfort off certain experiences in which we hesitate about what to do, in part, because of the image we may give.

7 tips on dealing with uncomfortable situations

Here are some ideas and tips that can be very helpful when dealing with uncomfortable moments in your life.

1. Note that situations are relative

From this perspective the discomfort of the situation will diminish to a great extent, since by seeing the event as something relative we are taking away weight from the annoying effect it may have on us .

What is uncomfortable for us need not necessarily be for others, and many times it happens that by assuming that others are feeling bad we feel uncomfortable ourselves.

It is always best to make sure of the feelings of others before making judgments, to avoid discomfort. If you have doubts about how others feel about talking about a certain topic or being in a certain place, you can ask them so that you don’t feel uncomfortable about them.

2. Learn to manage silences

Silences don’t always have to be uncomfortable. Depending on the moment it is important to handle what we say and when we are going to say it.

Although it is true that there are moments in which not saying anything generates a moment of tension and discomfort in the conversation, in other scenarios keeping silent represents an attitude of intimate understanding among the participants.

For example, when we are asked a question that we did not expect and we keep silent instead of answering, the atmosphere can become tense, while when someone is venting their negative experiences, to have several seconds where nobody says anything is natural and expected.

The best thing to do in these cases is to be assertive and say how you feel about a question that raises doubts . Of course, always in a polite way and without giving signs of displeasure; keep in mind that maybe the other person didn’t try to make you feel uncomfortable.

3. Practice assertive communication

This point is about learning to communicate our thoughts and emotions in an appropriate way , without giving up saying how we feel and at the same time respecting the other.

It is common for uncomfortable situations to occur after a misunderstanding in conversation. Therefore, to avoid experiencing uncomfortable situations, the ideal is to use good communication styles , and the first thing to do is to recognize our emotions before expressing them.

Once we know what our emotions are we will be able to manage them better, and we will avoid emotions controlling us and saying things without thinking.

4. Know thyself

The more you know about yourself, the less likely you are to be exposed to uncomfortable situations with others. If you are armed with knowledge of the things that bother you and are clear about them, then you will be able to accept them and avoid them acting as a trigger for uncomfortable situations.

Knowing ourselves makes us more tolerant of the opinions and thoughts of others . Instead of them bothering us with their ideas we may be able to respect them even if we don’t share them, and so you will not show signs of hostility to opinions that are far from yours.

5. It is not necessary to answer everything

It is important to understand that there is no need to answer to everything and everyone, each person is responsible for his or her words and actions. We must not let the words of others take away our peace of mind.

Sometimes it is enough to know that we are right without the need to get into an argument with people who are not willing to give up. You don’t have to win every argument .

Sometimes peace is found in the ability to avoid arguments, even when we know we have the best arguments. Keep in mind that there are people who deserve an answer, others who deserve an explanation, and some who deserve none of it.

6. Avoid conflicting relationships

Our environment significantly influences the situations to which we are exposed. It is important to have the personal resources to deal with uncomfortable moments, but it is also fundamental to know how to choose our personal relationships .

If our circle of people close to us is largely made up of people who are prone to engage in conflicting discussions, then we will inevitably get into that habit.

7. Timely release of your emotions

When for some reason we avoid expressing what we feel, perhaps it is best at that time, out of prudence. But we also need to have the opportunity to let out what we think; otherwise, we will accumulate emotions and the moment will come when we will be put through uncomfortable situations by the action of anxiety .

To avoid this you can keep a diary where you can vent your emotions in a fluid and honest way, or you could also tell them to someone you trust. It is important to properly release your emotions to preserve our emotional health.

Bibliographic references:

  • Ferguson, S. D.; Lennox-Terrion, J.; Ahmed, R.; Jaya, P. (2014). Communication in Everyday Life: Personal and Professional Contexts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Turner, L.H., and West, R.L. (2013). Perspectives on family communication. Boston: McGraw-Hill.