9 things not to say or do when meeting someone new

The ReachOut.com crew tries hard to keep its cool, but sometimes we just fail. Here we ‘fess up to nine of the most embarrassing things we’ve said or done on meeting someone new.

1. ‘Love you’

When habit takes over and you accidentally finish a phone conversation in the same way you would with a family member. Note to self: refrain from telling colleagues and acquaintances that you love them.

2. I wanna hold your hand

When they go for a handshake but you’re already holding something in your hand, so you put out the wrong hand and you end up weirdly holding hands for a few seconds. Handshakes gone wrong are incredibly awkward but hugely hilarious for onlookers.

3. ‘How you doin’?’

When you aren’t really paying attention and end up sounding far too interested in how they’re doing:

You: ‘Hey, how are you?’

Them: ‘Good, thanks. How are you?’

You: ‘Pretty good, thanks. And you?’

4. ‘Mmm mmm’

When you’re introduced to someone while you have a mouth full of food and there’s an awkward moment as everyone waits for you to swallow what you’re chewing before you can greet them.

5. ‘You’re a bit different…’

When you accidentally trigger self-doubt and uncertainty in someone you’ve just met by telling them that they’re different from how you imagined them to be.

6. ‘I know you…’

When you meet a friend of a friend and tell them that you’ve heard a lot about them, only to remember that they’re all awkward stories about how they went to a party and lost their pants. Sometimes it’s a good idea to think first before blurting things out.

7. Kissy kissy

When you accidentally lock lips with your European friend’s mum because you’re not used to their double-kiss greeting ritual.

8. ‘I loved that, too!’

When you lie to make a good impression and they immediately catch you out. Like pretending to have seen their favourite movie, when you’ve never even heard of it:

Them: ‘What was your favourite part?’

You: ‘...I liked all of it. Especially the middle bit.’

9. ‘Nice to meet you … again’

When you introduce yourself to someone you’ve met before. Twice.

What can I do now?

  • Learn how to transform from totes awks to totes chill when you're out and about.

  • Head to the ReachOut Forums and join the conversation about what makes a good friend.

  • Get the low down on how to ditch your shyness.