The average Brit feels awkward at least twice a day, including when shopping alone, on a date – or simply eating in public.
A study of 2,000 adults found almost four in 10 have been left red-faced after tripping over a kerb, while 34 per cent have been embarrassed after pulling on a door that says ‘push’ or vice versa.
More than a third also admitted to waving at a stranger thinking they were someone else.
And a sixth have felt uncomfortable as a result of realising they had food in their teeth hours after eating.
But the study, by TePe UK found that while more than half of respondents would want to be told if they had food stuck in their gnashers, just a quarter would point this out to someone else if they were suffering from this cringe-worthy situation.
In comparison, less than 10 per cent of Brits would alert someone if they had bad breath, although a third were grateful when they were told of their own smelly mouth odour.
It also emerged the worst time to be caught with something stuck in their teeth is on a date or at a job interview.
TePe’s social behaviour expert, Emma Kenny, said: “People typically wish to avoid awkward situations as they feel uncomfortable and at times challenging to confront.
“Even if you inevitably help the person by informing them that they have food stuck in their teeth for example, the short-term discomfort experienced by both parties is enough to dissuade the observer from taking action, even though in the long-term this would benefit the other party.
“It’s best to face the uncomfortable situation head on. If someone has food stuck in their teeth simply tell them directly.
“If you don’t appear awkward then they won’t feel awkward either.”
The research also found that for one in 10 of those polled, it can take ‘days’ or even ‘weeks’ to recover from an uncomfortable situation.
As a result, many take steps to prevent embarrassing moments with the average adult looking in the mirror at least twice during the average day to check they don’t have anything in their teeth or on their face.
Another one in five carry deodorant and a mirror on them, just in case, while 12 per cent leave the house with toothpicks.
Around one in 10 also carry breath spray in order to avoid unwanted embarrassment.
It also emerged that to get out of an awkward situation, a third of Brits admitted to pretending they needed the toilet and one in six feign illness.
Failing that, 68 per cent think the best way to avoid a cringe moment is to simply crack a joke about it or laugh it off.
But it gets better, as almost two thirds of those polled, via OnePoll, believe awkward situations become less embarrassing with age.