How to gracefully survive an awkward moment

Sail through a #fail with a smile.


Picture this: my boyfriend and his friend are having a night on the town, and I’ve offered to be their designated driver. I get a call and jump straight in the car without looking in the mirror. When we arrive in the city we’re all hungry, so I decide to join the boys in a pub for a quick meal before leaving them to it.

There I am, standing in line at the bar when I look up and there she is. My super stylish boss, in one of her classically chic ensembles. It’s been a while since we’ve seen each other as I work freelance, so of course I’m excited! And then I remember what I’m wearing: a t-shirt dress with a “Friends”-themed oversized hoodie over the top, and trusty Havaianas on my feet. My hair is a big, fluffy, un-styled cloud and I have zero makeup on. I’m reminded of the time when I was working in a shoe shop and, at five foot eight, felt short and curvy next to the Miss Australia contestant who came in to try on fabulous heels while I took photos of her for her Instagram.


Nine times out of ten, I like to look put-together. Planning an outfit and getting ready is sometimes the most fun part of going out! But of course as life would have it, you only run into people you know or admire when you’re wearing your rattiest “chill around the house” clothes. Both times, I could have turned into a blushing, mumbling weirdo, but I chose to smile and get on with it.

It’s not easy to survive an awkward or surprising situation, but it isn’t the end of the world. So you ran into a model, or a fashionista friend, or even an ex on the one day you hadn’t washed your hair. Maybe they noticed, maybe they didn’t. But short of putting your head in your handbag and hiding behind a tree, you can’t do much about it! So just smile, be your usual dazzling self, and even make a joke so you can have a bit of a laugh together and feel more comfortable. Life has a funny way of reminding us that we don’t have to appear perfect all the time.


Hanna Sloan is studying a Creative and Professional Writing degree at QUT. She grew up wanting to be either a writer or a professional dancer, or both. Nothing has changed. She is passionate about performance, fashion, and social progress, and is a confirmed #NastyWoman. Hanna is the proud curator of a shoe collection surpassing sixty pairs, and always thought Andie Anderson in 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' was crazy for not wanting to write about shoes for a living. In her spare time Hanna can be found devouring a book or magazine, watching 'Friends' or asking her parents for Snapchats of the family’s two beagles.