Survey on Brit's Most Embarrassing Situations

Survey on Brit's Most Embarrassing Situations

Complete silence in an elevator with a co-worker or a family gathering gone wrong? Situations with people you know or complete strangers can go south at any time, which happens every day worldwide.

What do Brits find to be the most awkward settings, and what do they resort to when these situations arise?

Gala Bingo has conducted a survey with 1000 participants from the UK (ages 19-65) on situations in social settings, topics to avoid or turn to, and just how embarrassing certain moments can turn out to be.

Awkward pause… Enjoy the results below….

How likely are you to use humour to ease tension and lighten the atmosphere when faced with an awkward situation?

Answers Answers (%)
Very Likely 38,50%
Likely 37,30%
Somewhat Likely 20,00%
Unlikely 3,60%
Very Unlikely 0,60%

Which of the following topics do you find most uncomfortable to discuss in a social setting?

Answers Answer (%)
Family conflicts and disputes 15,50%
Personal finances 15,20%
Relationship problems 11,80%
Money and salary 11,10%
Controversial social issues 9,50%
Politics 9,30%
Past romantic relationships 9,00%
Religion 8,30%
Health issues 7,30%
Work-related stress 3,00%

How often do you resort to small talk to avoid awkward silences during conversations?

Answers Answer (%)
Very often 17,80%
Often 35,90%
Occasionally 35,00%
Rarely 10,20%
Never 1,10%

How likely are you to pretend to be engrossed in your phone to avoid talking to someone you'd rather not interact with?

Answers Answer (%)
Very Likely 24,20%
Likely 30,10%
Somewhat Likely 21,90%
Unlikely 17,50%
Very Unlikely 6,30%

What's your go-to icebreaker topic when you meet someone for the first time at a social event?

Answers Answer (%)
The weather 22,80%
Compliments and observations 20,30%
Favourite TV shows or films 9,20%
Food and drinks 9,00%
Recent events (sports, concerts, etc.) 9,00%
Recent news or trends 7,80%
Own hobbies and interests 6,50%
Travel experiences 6,20%
Pet stories 5,10%
Local events and activities 4,10%

In what social environment do you find yourself chatting with new people and enjoying the conversation the most?

Answers Answer (%)
At pubs or local bars 29,20%
Sports events 13,60%
During outdoor activities 13,30%
Hobby and interest-based meetups 11,20%
Music festivals 7,20%
Social networking events 6,50%
Charity and volunteer activities 6,10%
Fairs and markets 5,00%
Community or village fairs 4,70%
Bingo halls or pub quizzes 2,30%
Art galleries or museums 0,90%

In your experience, which of the following spaces tends to be the most awkward or uncomfortable to be in?

Answers Answer (%)
An unfamiliar social event with no acquaintances 23,90%
A room with an unfamiliar and uncomfortable silence 11,80%
In an elevator with a stranger 9,50%
An awkward family gathering 8,60%
A crowded elevator 7,70%
A stalled conversation at a dinner party 6,30%
A silent waiting room at a doctor's office 5,90%
An overfilled pub with no available seats 5,10%
The tube or a commuter train during rush hour 4,80%
A packed bus with limited seating 4,80%
A busy supermarket checkout queue 3,30%
A meeting with an unexpected technical glitch 3,30%
An overcrowded sidewalk with no room to pass 3,00%
A quiet tea room during afternoon tea 2,00%

Which of the following situations or encounters do you typically find the most awkward?

Answers Answer (%)
Walking into a room full of people and realising you don't know anyone 19,90%
Attempting to break the ice at a social event where you don't know anyone 11,30%
Making a speech at a wedding or other special event 9,20%
Joining a group of people who are already engaged in a conversation 9,10%
Handling an unexpected public speaking engagement 7,80%
Managing an uncomfortable disagreement with a close friend 6,20%
Discussing personal finances with someone outside your immediate family 5,60%
Handling an uncomfortable moment during a job interview 5,20%
Going on a first date with someone you've met online 5,00%
Making small talk with a distant relative at a family gathering 4,30%
Sitting through a lengthy and awkward silence during a meeting 4,00%
Navigating a conversation with a colleague after a workplace disagreement 3,90%
Exchanging pleasantries with a neighbour, you rarely see 3,40%
Apologising to someone after a minor social blunder 2,80%
Dealing with an unexpected interruption during a serious conversation 2,30%

How would you typically react to the following work-related situations? Please select the response that best describes your reaction to each scenario.

Answers (%)
It would not bother me I'd find it amusing and make light of it It would make me uncomfortable I would be rather embarrassed but handle it gracefully It would be super embarrassing and fluster me
Sending a 'reply all' to an email by mistake 12.30% 21.60% 27.70% 25.70% 12.70%
Accidentally using the boss's chair during a meeting 20.70% 31.60% 22.20% 18.10% 7.40%
Getting caught talking to yourself in the office restroom 23.70% 33.80% 16.10% 18.90% 7.50%
The elevator stopping with coworkers during an awkward silence 30.90% 27.30% 29.80% 8.80% 3.20%
Realising you've been using someone else's coffee mug 14.80% 28.40% 23.40% 25.90% 7.50%
Joining a surprise video call without fixing your bedhead 17.10% 30.50% 23.10% 19.40% 9.90%
Being the unintentional star of an office meme 12.30% 26.90% 23.60% 18.40% 18.80%
Struggling to stay awake during a tedious presentation 12.80% 18.30% 35.30% 23.50% 10.10%
Dealing with a never-ending 'reply all' email thread 36.20% 19.50% 27.50% 12.40% 4.40%
Office thermostat wars: Too hot or too cold? 34.90% 27.60% 24.80% 10.00% 2.70%
Accidentally revealing a personal browser tab during a screen share 14.60% 25.30% 26.70% 21.70% 11.70%
Finding a surprise office pet (spider, ladybug, etc) at your desk 46.30% 21.90% 20.40% 8.50% 2.90%

At a social event, how would you most likely react to the following scenarios?

Answers (%)
It would not bother me I'd find it amusing and make light of it It would make me uncomfortable I would be rather embarrassed but handle it gracefully It would be super embarrassing and fluster me
Mispronouncing a guest's name when introducing them at a social gathering 9.50% 28.20% 30.90% 24.30% 7.10%
Wearing the same outfit as someone else at a party and getting mistaken for twins 26.90% 38.30% 17.00% 13.80% 4.00%
Accidentally spilling your drink on the host's carpet during a housewarming party 4.60% 7.40% 27.70% 28.40% 31.90%
Laughing uncontrollably at a joke no one else finds funny during a dinner 16.10% 25.20% 25.00% 21.50% 12.20%
Breaking furniture or falling over while attempting a dance move at a wedding 5.60% 20.20% 21.30% 24.20% 28.70%
Responding to someone who's waving at you, only to realise they were waving to the person behind you 9.20% 24.60% 22.70% 28.30% 15.20%
Forgetting someone's name right after they've introduced themselves to you at a social event 10.60% 22.20% 31.40% 27.10% 8.70%
Accidentally photobombing a group picture at a friend's wedding or a special occasion 19.60% 33.30% 21.90% 17.50% 7.70%
Being asked to give an improvised speech at a gathering 12.60% 11.10% 29.50% 18.50% 28.30%
Mixing up your drink with someone else's at a cocktail party and taking a sip of their drink 14.70% 32.60% 21.80% 21.70% 9.20%
Being the only one at a casual get-together who shows up overdressed in a formal suit or gown 13.00% 25.70% 27.60% 19.50% 14.20%
Starting a conversation with someone you think is a fellow guest, only to discover they're a hired service staff member 29.70% 35.20% 14.70% 15.80% 4.60%
Misinterpreting the dress code for a themed party and arriving in a completely unrelated costume 8.30% 29.30% 23.90% 19.00% 19.50%

How would you react to the following situations at a family gathering?

Answers (%)
It would not bother me I'd find it amusing and make light of it It would make me uncomfortable I would be rather embarrassed but handle it gracefully It would be super embarrassing and fluster me
Accidentally knocking over a family member's prized homemade dish 5.00% 9.30% 28.00% 23.50% 34.20%
Being caught on camera while making a funny face during a family photo 22.50% 44.20% 13.70% 13.80% 5.80%
Showing up to a casual family barbecue in an overly formal outfit 21.90% 32.30% 22.20% 18.30% 5.30%
Repeatedly mispronouncing the name of a family member's new partner 10.60% 24.00% 27.90% 25.60% 11.90%
Playing a board game and losing dramatically in front of a competitive family 43.10% 25.50% 15.30% 12.30% 3.80%
Accidentally revealing a surprise party plan before the big reveal 6.30% 13.70% 27.20% 26.70% 26.10%
Being tasked with a family game that you're terrible at, and it's quite obvious 23.80% 29.10% 23.40% 15.50% 8.20%
Discovering you've unknowingly picked up someone else's identical-looking gift and opened it in front of the family 8.90% 28.90% 24.10% 24.60% 13.50%
Attempting to play a musical instrument during a family sing-along and hitting a series of off-key notes 21.50% 34.20% 17.30% 15.60% 11.40%
Unknowingly bringing the same dish as another family member to the potluck dinner and being playfully teased about it 31.50% 38.40% 14.70% 11.50% 3.90%
Accidentally starting a heated debate on a sensitive topic during a quiet family dinner 18.00% 16.80% 36.50% 19.50% 9.20%
Offering a toast at a family celebration and forgetting the names of those you're toasting 8.80% 30.20% 23.70% 21.80% 15.50%
Becoming the centre of attention during charades and not having a clue about the answer 18.90% 30.60% 21.40% 16.40% 12.70%
Offering to help with the family barbecue and ending up turning the meat into charcoal 9.40% 24.00% 23.80% 23.70% 19.10%
Attempting to tell a family-friendly joke that falls flat and leaves everyone silent 10.20% 24.20% 32.00% 18.90% 14.70%
Mistaking someone else's plate for your own and beginning to eat their meal 9.10% 26.60% 27.30% 21.60% 15.40%

How would you react to the following scenarios during a family gathering for a family tradition or festive event?

Answers (%)
It would not bother me I'd find it amusing and make light of it It would make me uncomfortable I would be rather embarrassed but handle it gracefully It would be super embarrassing and fluster me
Receiving an unexpected gift from a distant relative and realising you have nothing to offer in return 14.90% 12.80% 44.00% 17.90% 10.40%
Trying to politely hide your disappointment when unwrapping a gift that isn't to your taste 27.00% 19.00% 28.50% 21.60% 3.90%
Forgetting a family member's dietary restrictions and accidentally serving them something they can't eat 9.40% 15.40% 30.60% 25.40% 19.20%
Attempting to sing a holiday song solo and forgetting the lyrics in front of everyone 16.50% 35.50% 18.10% 15.30% 14.60%
Overhearing a family member gossiping about you during a festive gathering 14.50% 15.20% 37.80% 16.00% 16.50%
Witnessing an awkward reunion between family members who haven't spoken in years 26.70% 18.80% 33.30% 15.20% 6.00%
Accidentally breaking a cherished family heirloom while decorating for an upcoming festive event 5.90% 9.70% 25.40% 21.90% 37.10%
Attempting to serve a holiday dish that didn't turn out quite as expected 12.00% 30.90% 23.80% 22.40% 10.90%
Trying to discreetly dispose of a gift you don't like, only to have someone find out you sold or got rid of it 9.90% 14.60% 30.70% 23.90% 20.90%