What is your most embarrassing encounter

Embarrassing, embarrassing: what to do if you can't sink into the ground?

On the other hand, the reactions with which many people try to make the best of the situation afterwards are problematic: withdrawal, white lie or aggression.

Retreat. Example: You messed up at the choir performance and skipped the next 2 rehearsals. The problem: a retreat, the reason for which is not clearly recognizable from the outside, is easily seen as unreliable. If you are distant, you will be treated distantly yourself.

White lie. Example: You are approached by your boss about an urgent assignment. You pretend it's already done and then frantically get down to the forgotten job. The problem: With a white lie or a lazy excuse, you risk a far greater embarrassment - namely that of being caught doing it. There is also the risk that wrong decisions will be made on the basis of your false information.

Aggression. Example: You are overlooking the right exit on the motorway. You then accuse your partner of distracting you by looking for the traffic channel. The problem: If you blame others for your mistakes, even small mishaps can turn into relationship problems.

Just apologize once

Even if you are inwardly urged to do so: the more often and verbatim you point out your faux pas, the more it will be remembered by your counterpart. Offer your apology only once, and in concise language. You will then return to the normal conversation. In your next contact, make an unabashedly positive reference to the encounter (“We liked your party very much!”).

simplify advice: Avoid lazy excuses. Stay as close to the truth as you can without losing face for your counterpart. Mr Höflich should of course not point out that the lady looks older than her husband because of her gray hair!

Stay away from the repeat button

Is the embarrassing scene going on over and over again in your head? Are you pondering about possible consequences (“I can never scratch this gap again!”)? Distract yourself! If you are in company, consciously participate in the conversation; are you alone, listen to music, or give someone a call. Also good: a task that occupies both body and mind. Move a drawer or go for a walk, stepping only on the dark pavement slabs.

simplify advice: When the incident comes back to you afterward, tell yourself: If even I was too distracted to think about it for a while, so will everyone else.

Get a realistic assessment

Most people overestimate the importance of their behavior. Think back to other embarrassing situations. Have your relationships really suffered as a result? What can you laugh about today - maybe even together?

simplify advice: Forgive yourself for making a thoughtless remark to your neighbor yesterday or for accidentally spilling gravy on your colleague in the canteen. Then you can better imagine that the other one says "Sponge about it" too.