How To Handle an Embarrassing Moment on the Job

During the course of your daily work, you may have done a thing or two that causes humiliation to yourself or to other people.  Here is how to handle moments such as these:

  1. Know that everybody is human and prone to causing humiliation at some point.  Diffuse the blame and realize the fact that those who have witnessed your humiliating moment may have had similar experiences.  Just this knowledge is enough to help you deal with it.
  2. Don't focus too much attention on the event.   People are constantly thinking of things, so they might think about what you've done for a few moments but quickly go on to other thoughts.  If you keep on reacting to it, you'll just remind people of whatever happened and reinforce their initial reactions.  Keeping a calm manner shows your professionalism and composure in dealing with adverse situations.
  3. If the embarrassing moment includes other people, think about how to diffuse the tension.  You could smoothly change the topic or bring out good points of what happened.  You may also point out the fact that this happens to everybody, so there's no reason for making a big deal out of it.  This way, you will be remembered as someone who is brave and clever enough to handle an embarrassing situation and make it turn out well in the end.
  4. If the embarrassing thing is completely your fault, then don't blame it on somebody else.  Own your mistake and say that you realize what you've done, and also say what you could do to remedy the mistake.  Just make sure that you follow this up so that even though people may remember your humiliating action, they will also think about how you have changed for the better because of it.
  5. If other people cause you to be humiliated, evaluate your working conditions and relationships, and think about what can and cannot be changed.  Also, manage your emotions as much as you can in order not to complicate the situation.
  6. If you really can't handle an embarrassing situation by yourself and you think that it may have traumatized you psychologically, then consider going to a counselor or a psychologist.  He may help you deal with your thinking processes, feelings and reactions to the event and also discover and treat hidden factors that cause your excessive embarrassment.
  7. If the embarrassing moment has not yet happened, then you may probably be thinking of things that could go wrong.  If so, then refuse to give in to the habit of thinking negatively.  What you can do is think about the possible mistakes that could happen while doing what you plan to do, know the likelihood of each event, and prepare well so that you will avoid being humiliated.  Just remember not to overdo thinking and planning, because this will cause you to lose your focus and increase the risk that you may commit a mistake.  If anxiety is bothering you constantly, consider seeking help as well.

The key to handling embarrassing moments is being humble and focused.  Nobody is perfect, and everyone is bound to make a mistake, but the important thing is to keep doing what you're supposed to do no matter what you feel at the moment.


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