Here’s how to redeem yourself after an embarrassing moment strikes.
We’ve all had our share of embarrassing moments. (Basically, if I’m conscious I’m embarrassing myself in some form.) Whether you just spilled a drink on the hottest guy you’ve ever seen or bitched about somebody without realizing they’re standing right behind you, some blunders are easier to move on from while some are the stuff of decade-long nicknames amongst your friends.
The thing to always remember as you’re hiding under your proverbial rock: You’ve survived embarrassing moments before, and you’ll survive this one too. Below, 9 simple ways to recover—you know, with as much of your dignity in tact as possible.
1. Ignore it
There are times when you’re lucky enough to sidestep an embarrassing moment just before it’s about to happen—or it happens but nobody’s paying attention. Simply continue on with your day (and make time to high five yourself later).
2. Apologize for it
If the embarrassing moment impacts someone else—especially when it comes to those lovely foot-in-mouth fiascos—all you can really do is apologize and assure them you’ve learned from your mistake.
3. Explain yourself
Usually embarrassing moments happen when we’re not paying attention or our mind has wandered elsewhere (for example, accidentally emailing the wrong person or spelling their name wrong). Explaining why it happened shows you’re thoughtful about other people’s feelings and that you own up to the whole being human thing.
4. Laugh about it
It’s always a relief when you’re able to tackle an awkward situation with a sense of humor. Make it so that people are laughing with you, not at you. Most embarrassing moments turn into hilarious stories for future cocktail parties (filled with more embarrassment) anyway.
5. Make a joke of it
If it’s an embarrassing moment that happens to you often—for example, being my mother’s daughter means walking around with food on my shirt—turn it into a funny running gag throughout your interactions with people. Embracing your flaws instead of feeling bad about them will make future embarrassing moments feel less so.
6. Play it up
The one move I admire most is when something embarrassing happens and the person turns it into an epic moment. As everybody’s watching (and laughing their asses off), they stay in the moment a little while longer and turn it into an Oscar-winning performance. Not only does it help lighten the mood, but it shows you can handle whatever’s thrown at you like a boss.
7. Vent about it
Call up your BFF and vent about your mortifying day. It’s the best way to get it off your chest and move on. Plus, BFFs are all about encouraging you to not be so hard on yourself—it’s basically their job.
8. Learn from it
Use them as learning curves to avoid embarrassing moments in the future. For example, I now know not to ever (ever) wear white at the dinner table.
9. Get back on the horse
If you told a cringeworthy joke at the last budget meeting, don’t call in sick for the next one: Step right back into that room and get on with your life. Because everyone else will be so focused on their own embarrassing moments, they probably won’t even remember it happened anyway.
How do you deal with embarrassing moments?
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