world, so there's got to be a better way of getting though the humiliation.
Keep moving forward
Sometimes, embarrassment is caused by how we act after we make a goof-up. If the goof is a small one, like tripping over a word (or tripping over your foot), sometimes you can just pretend it didn't happen, and not many people will notice. On the other hand, if you stop, look lost, or get red in the face after you've messed up, then people will really notice, and it will be hard to let the moment pass by. Of course, some embarrassing moments are too big or obvious for this plan to work.
Laugh at yourself
Sometimes when you goof up in a big way or get caught in a really cringe-worthy moment, it doesn't seem funny. Oh sure, other people may laugh, but you just get red in the face and feel like curling up in a ball of shame.
There are some people out there who can laugh at their own mistakes... and sometimes when they mess up, they laugh harder than their friends do! People like this don't stay embarrassed for long, because they're too busy cracking up, and this turns a moment that could be embarrassing into just another funny story. They might even make a joke about their mistake before anyone else gets the chance to. Take these famous examples:
- When President George W. Bush choked on a pretzel and passed out, he was making jokes about it before anybody else. The first time he faced the news cameras after his embarrassing moment, he joked that he should have listened to his mom when she told him to chew his food!
The President may have learned how to react to embarrassing moments by watching his dad, the first President Bush:
- When President George H.W. Bush was visiting Japan, he threw up at the dinner table, right in front of the Japanese Prime Minister! Later he smiled for the cameras and cracked jokes about his dry cleaning bills.
Both of these Presidents took their embarrassing moments and turned them into harmless jokes by laughing about them and showing everyone that they weren't bothered or upset. You may not think you're as smooth or quick as the Prez, but you might find that if you relax and turn your mortifying moments into jokes, the cruel people who would make fun of you won't have the opportunity. After all, why would they bother to poke fun at you when you've already laughed about it yourself?
Hey, you shouldn't fake a laugh if you really feel angry or embarrassed, but changing your attitude or outlook might be worth a try. Remember that at the heart of most funny stories is a little bit of embarrassment, and the thing that makes you cringe today will probably make you laugh tomorrow. So why not try to laugh today?
In the next section, we look at what to do When It's A Friend who's had an embarrassing moment.