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Ask Aslinn: How to Survive Embarrassing Moments

Dear Aslinn:

I’m at an awkward stage in life and I feel like I’m always doing something embarrassing, like tripping, spilling something, breaking stuff, etc.  How do you recover from an embarrassing moment, other than running out of the room crying?

Sincerely,

Embarrassed

Dear Embarrassed,

I feel your pain. My nick-name as a teenager was “Az the Spaz” because I was… a little on the unrefined side.  Here are some examples of my most famous faux pas:

  •  I once was lightly kicking on bathroom stalls to see if any of them were open.  Apparently, the latch wasn’t secure on one of them and the door swung open hitting the “I don’t want to touch the toilet seat so I will squat” lady.  It hit her in the head so hard that it knocked her over and she fell into the toilet she was trying so hard to not touch.
  • I was in a chorus production at school and had the highly coveted job of strutting across the stage holding up a sign at the crescendo of the performance.  I couldn’t figure out why the crowd was laughing at me until I got off stage and realized I had been holding it upside down.
  • After visiting the restroom, I accidentally tucked the back of my skirt into my underwear.  I came out of the bathroom and walked down a long hallway.  Following right behind me was a boy I had a crush on.  It wasn’t until I met up with my friends later that they told me my butt was showing.
  • One time during a Christmas party I went out to the barn to put a blanket on our horse because it was really cold.  I reached underneath to grab the strap and pull it across his body, but I accidentally grabbed…. well… something else.  It could have just been a weird secret between me and the horse except that a guy had walked outside with me and witnessed the whole thing.  He ran inside laughing, telling everyone at the party.  To this day (a solid 15 years later) I still get teased about what I accidentally did to that horse.

Unfortunately, I have more stories like those.

I think the best you can do in those moments is to laugh along with everyone else.

(Except in the story where I knocked the lady into the toilet.  That wouldn’t be a good time to laugh).  Everyone gets embarrassed at one time or another.  There’s no point in being too proud to laugh.  I say giggle right alongside everyone else at your mistake.  People genuinely like someone who is a good sport.  It will make you more endearing to your friends if they see you handle humiliation well.  If you leave and refuse to come back because you can’t face the embarrassment, then you’ll look like you have no self-esteem and aren’t mature enough to handle life’s blunders.  Even though you’d rather crawl under a rock and never come back out, face the horror and show that life DOES go on after spilling your drink, tripping down the stairs, or having the toilet overflow at a party.

What are some of your embarrassing moments?  Come on… I can’t be the only one.