Oops, What To Say When You've Embarrassed Yourself

Strategies you can use to recover from the moment and turn things around.

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Now you did It. You addressed a customer by the name of her competitor. Or you spilled your coffee all over important documents in the middle of a meeting. Or you muttered some private complaint that a large group of people accidentally overheard. And you're embarrassed. You feel your pulse racing and your face turning red. You'd like to be invisible.

Embarrassment is a universal phenomenon. Often, it occurs as the result of a verbal accident. At times, however, embarrassment is the result of an unwitting lack of skill or diplomacy. Sometimes, it results from the combination of unfamiliar situations, unfamiliar people, and unfamiliar expectations.

However distasteful embarrassment is to most people, it can still be a genuine learning experience. In fact, with a bit of advance preparation, embarrassing moments can even be turned around to your advantage.

So no, don't seek out embarrassment. But if you do find yourself muddled in an embarrassing situation, here are a few strategies you can use to recover from the moment and turn things around:

Embarrassment plagues every one of us from time to time. However, while you might try to prepare for embarrassing moments, you can never fully prevent them. But you can always respond to them after they occur. React quickly to these seemingly unpleasant moments and you'll turn your embarrassments into opportunities for learning, humor, even team building. Others will overlook and even forget your embarrassment, but may long remember the strengths and positive qualities you brought to the moment.

By Richard_Ansman

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