How To Survive Embarrassing Office Moments

One of the easiest things to want to do when you’ve just experienced an embarrassing situation or been through a less than perfect experience is to crawl into a hole and never come out.

Embarrassments can range from the minor to the professionally damaging. Did you slip down the office stairs and land on your head? Did you cry in front of your boss or perhaps you just let out a loud fart in an elevator full of your work colleagues? Whatever the case is, there is no need to take your life :). Here are some truths that will help you overcome that embarrassment and live to see another day.

  1. Show Your Face. If you can forgive yourself for an embarrassing situation, others will too. Daring to show your face is the first step to recovery. If there’s an explanation to make to someone, explain what went wrong and move on. Don’t let it hang over your head and deplete your confidence further.
  2. Laugh. Some embarrassments in hindsight, can be humorous. Once you have fully recovered, you should be able to tell the story and laugh about it. Others will probably tell the story anyway. The more you can own the moment, the less disheartening it will be.
  3. Learn something from it. Embarrassments can happen when you are unaware of what you should know or make mistakes. Learn from your embarrassments and move on. Don’t let them define you. Remember, you are who you think you are. Don’t give the power to other people to define who you are.
  4. Stop trying to be perfect. Embarrassments typically stem from our need to be perfect. When we feel that we have made a mistake and that our weaknesses have been exposed to others, it can cause us to feel embarrassed. Remind yourself that it is ok not to be perfect. No one is. If someone else were to be in your shoes, would they be perfect? Most likely not. Accept yourself & your peculiarities the way you are. If you have a weakness you can improve, do so. Otherwise, accept yourself, your limitations and make the most of your strengths.
  5. Realise that you are not alone. Seek out embarrassing stories and you’ll be amused at what others have to say. Understanding that you are not the only one to have gone through a situation can help you cope better with what has happened.
  6. Put your situation in context. What’s the worst thing that can happen as a result of your embarassment? Probably nothing. Let it blow over and if you're lucky, no one will remember it in the next couple of weeks.

And just for some laughs, here’s a list of some embarrassing office moments compiled by OfficeTeam, a staffing service.