How to Handle an Embarrasing Situation

by Skylar Killian

We have all been there. The moment your stomach drops, cheeks burn, and everyone’s eyes lock directly onto you. An embarrassing moment to beat all embarrassing moments. It happens to everyone, and it can be mortifying. So, in case you find yourself in such a situation of desperation in the future, here are several approaches you can take.


As one of the most effective methods of coping, laughing it off can relieve any awkward tension in the moments following an embarrassing incident. The only catch with this strategy is that it can be extremely difficult to stop laughing once you have started. The result can enhance the awkward nature of the experience. If you tend to laugh uncontrollably and employ this tactic, say goodbye to composure and hello to incomprehensible attempts to regain control of the situation.


This strategy can be tricky to execute because it demands an unwavering stoneface following embarrassment. And by this I mean, no laughter or smiling. We embarrass ourselves and calmly walk away. Done. Period.


Right up there with laughter, this is a quirky way to handle an otherwise ridiculous event. For example, let’s say your date is coming to your house for the first time. Well isn’t that lovely? Yes, but wait… there’s a twist. You casually reach for the door, you grab the lock and… the door does not budge. Take two. Here we go! And again… the door refuses to cooperate. In this moment two thoughts are likely racing through your mind: “How do I get this damn door open?” and “What is my sly excuse for my impromptu wrestling match with a slab of wood?” Both important and valuable inquiries, overthinking can be strenuous and anxiety-inducing. So here is your simple move: pull the “I know what I’m doing” line. It will showcase your comedic skills and start the date off with some nervous laughter. So, best of luck!


A classic and easily reusable line. This phrase can be applied at any time, anywhere. The other day, for example, I went to buy ice cream and upon opening my wallet ripped every single one of my dollar bills in half. I then had to tape each one together in order to pay. Let’s keep in mind there was a long line of people waiting behind me. I pulled this line, and me and the cashier had a good laugh. While I do not intend to re-create this rather unfortunate scene, I can verify that this catchy one-liner does the trick.


This one is not always necessary, as embarrassing situations can affect an individual or an entire group of people. However, if another person is affected by the embarrassing incident in a way that could have been harmful, an apology is a great response. It both ensures you remain respected and inadvertently garners empathy from the witness to your humiliation.


Welcome all of you sassy people. This may be the appropriate approach for you! A combination of wit and humor, creative sarcasm allows you to be critical in an overtly hilarious way. This tactical approach is situation-based and can vary in style. Let’s say you are at the gym doing some deadlifts for the first time. You, not so discreetly, drop the bar right as your friend beside you looks over. We can assume at this point that you might have told your dear friend that you know how to do a deadlift, so you cannot risk your pride in this moment. Rather than turn back to their own workout, said friend cracks a joke or critiques your skill. Your response could be “What? Do you not usually test the strength of the floor before you begin?” and if they laugh, you are golden. But, if they look at you quizzically, never fear! Simply add a “Yeah, I always do this, deadly fear of floor collapse.” OKAY, OKAY. This is not the best example, but you get the idea. Be pointed and comedic at the same time, works like a charm.


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