We have all found ourselves in awkward situations we’d rather avoid, with our latest research revealing three-quarters (75%) of smartphone users look down at their mobile phones as a way of getting out of a jam.

There is a good reason for this, as leading UK psychotherapist, Nick Davies told us: “People reach for their phones as it is often the most plausible reason for averting someone’s attention, and it helps avoid embarrassment.”

So, why do people really fake being on their phone? According to our findings, this is why:

The Top 5

  1. To avoid interactions with other passengers on public transport (32%)
  2. When approached by salespeople in the street (28%)
  3. To avoid awkward conversations at a family gathering (22%)
  4. To avoid an old friend (20%)
  5. To avoid a current friend who they don’t want to speak to (19%)

Other reasons include avoiding an ex (19%), being stood with someone they don’t like (19%) and during a first date (7%).

No one likes being in an uncomfortable situation, and reaching for our phones to appear “busy” can often be the easiest way out. However, there are many ways you can get through these encounters without having to fake a phone call or text message.


Don't Panic

Here are our top suggestions for dealing with those situations when you're tempted to just reach for your phone. Most of the time it's better to just meet the situation head on.

1. A simple “no thanks” isn't so difficult
Always get approached by salespeople in the street? Get into the habit of smiling and saying 'Thanks, but no thanks'. It's much more polite to acknowledge someone, and learning to say 'no' is a useful life skill.

2. Keep your phone out of reach
Smartphones are distracting, and having it on the table next to you is the ultimate tempation. Whether on a date or in a meeting, keep it away in a bag or pocket, and it'll be much easier to engage with the person in front of you.

3. Listen to a podcast
It's possible to make the most of your phone without completely cutting yourself off from the outside world. With a podcast or ebook playing, you can while away your commute without missing your stop or tripping over someone's bag on the way out.

Of course, we do still love our smartphones, and if you're looking for the best deals on the latest handsets, check out the amazing contract, upgrade, and SIM free options at e2save.