The How-To Lounge: Handling Embarrassing Moments


I don’t care who you are; embarrassing moments happen to all of us. But countering a humiliating situation with awkwardness only makes it worse. Instead, with a little grace, it’s easy to put an embarrassing situation behind you in no time. To check out my hints on how to deal with the agony that follows a public fall or a foot-in-the-mouth moment, read more.

  • Unless you’ve made a serious mistake — think political sex scandal — the best fix is to just laugh it off. Wouldn’t you rather people were laughing with you than at you? So find the humor in the situation and have a good belly laugh.
  • Once you’ve laughed it off, don’t continue to draw attention to the incident. Talking about it endlessly isn’t going to erase anything from anyone’s mind.
  • For whatever reason, even if we stop referencing our slipups directly, we sometimes end up channeling our embarrassment into our actions for some time afterwards. Again, this doesn’t help anything and only serves to create the potential for more awkward moments, so just act normal.
  • If others continue to bring it up, don’t get angry or attack them. Should you find that your feelings are hurt by their commentary, it’s OK to let them know. Just say that you feel foolish and you’d like to let it go.
  • If your embarrassing mishap is something more serious, the best method to get through it as quickly as possible is to confront it head on. Acknowledge your mistake, make an apology if necessary, allow for others to talk about it, and then, move on.

Just remember that no matter what foolish mistake you make, someone else has done something worse and made it through — and you will too!

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