Whether you split your pants, fell in the mud or blurted out a poor joke, know that embarrassing moments can strike even the most cautious of people. When the mishap occurs in front of someone you like, it might feel like the end of the world, but the damage can be repaired. You can't travel back in time, but you can take several steps immediately after the incident to redeem yourself and come away looking confident.
It's easy to make an embarrassing situation worse by panicking and giving off the wrong reaction. For example, if you fell in the mud in front of your crush, you might shout out a few obscenities or even blame her for your mistake. When you feel flustered, the key to regaining your composure is breathing. Taking three or four slow, deep breaths from your diaphragm can provide immediate relaxation, suggests college counselor Liz McKinney in her presentation, "Relaxation Techniques." So before you open your mouth, pause for a second and breathe.
If you admit to your embarrassment, you are more likely to be forgiven and trusted by others, suggests clinical psychologist Mary C. Lamia in the Psychology Today article, "Embarrassment." This is because embarrassment is an emotion that maintains social order, says Lamia. With this in mind, the first words out of your mouth should be something like, "Well, that was embarrassing." Aside from some playful teasing, you will find that the person you like won't completely shun you for your mishap.
Make a Joke
Once you've handled the incident with grace, aim to own the situation with a bit of humor. For example, if you've split your pants, make a quip that you apparently have been gaining some weight. If you fall in mud, say, "Wow, when did that get there?" Not only will this earn a chuckle from the person you like, but it will also help ease your own tension. Making a joke right after embarrassment isn't always easy, warns Therese Borchard, assistant editor for PsychCentral, in the article, "How to Overcome Embarrassment." You can always jokingly bring up the incident later for a laugh.
Don't Hang On
People commonly re-imagine embarrassing incidents that involved themselves long after others have let it go, says Lamia. This can have a negative impact on your self-esteem, or even cause you to apologize repeatedly for an event no one else remembers. Step away from the incident, says Lamia. Remind yourself that it isn't the end of the world, and you, just like everyone else, are prone to be imperfect. Learn from your mistakes and avoid the same mishap in the future.
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