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Ill At Ease

When you cannot relax because something is causing you stress or embarrassment, you are feeling ill at ease.
EX: When Tez arrived at the party, none of his friends had arrived yet, and he didn't know anyone there. Normally he really lights up at parties, but here he felt rather ill at ease. It was awkward not seeing any familiar faces there.
EX: Living in a new city without having a job makes me feel really ill at ease. I like the weather here but I'll be more relaxed when I have a paycheck too.
A simpler way to say you feel ill at easy about something is to say it makes you uneasy. A phrase that is stronger than being ill at ease is to get bent out of shape about something. For instance, when something makes you very upset or anxious, especially when other people don't seem to mind it, you get bent out of shape about it.
EX: Interviewing for new jobs always makes me a bit uneasy. I'm nervous I'll say the wrong thing and ruin the opportunity.
EX: I understand why Dave doesn't like spending a lot of time with his coworkers outside of the office, but I don't know why he gets so bent out of shape about seeing them by accident at the bar. It's no reason to get so stressed out.


Incompetent describes a person who doesn't have the ability or the necessary skills to do something. Similar to inept, incompetent can often refer to specific skills or abilities, whereas inept might be basic abilities.
EX: The former secretary in our office was pretty incompetent at her job. She forgot to write down phone messages all the time and she was really bad at using the computer.
EX: Jay is a pretty incompetent tour guide. He gets lost on the subway all the time, and more than once I saw him give the wrong directions to tourists.
If you are incompetent at doing something, you can say you are useless at doing it. Another word for this is to be hopeless at doing something. If a task is extremely difficult or impossible for you, you can say it's like herding cats.
EX: I'm really useless at cooking rice. Every time I try to make it, I either completely burn it, or I put in so much water that I make rice-soup.
EX: Teaching kindergarten can be really rewarding, because the children are so cute and you have a real impact on their lives. But you have to be a very competent teacher. If you don't establish a very regular routine with them, getting them to stay on task is like herding cats..
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