This logo features an elegant monogram combining the letters "MK" in a stylish and elegant way, accompanied by the full name "Manners with Kristina" written in a complementary font.

How To Deal with Embarrassing Situations

From mixing up gifts at a televised gift exchange to telling my boss that there’s a hole in his suit pants. It happens to all of us. That terrible moment where you have spinach in your teeth, your fly is down, or your lipstick looks messy. The question is, what to do in these situations? Should you tell the person? Should you find someone else to address this issue? Or should you act as nothing happened?

Table of Contents

During my career as a Head of Protocol, I’ve found myself in various socially awkward situations. From mixing up gifts at a televised gift exchange to telling my boss that there’s a hole in his suit pants. It happens to all of us. That terrible moment where you have spinach in your teeth, your fly is down, or your lipstick looks messy. The question is, what to do in these situations? Should you tell the person? Should you find someone else to address this issue? Or should you act as nothing happened?

In this post, I’ll explain what is appropriate to do when you notice that someone’s got something embarrassing going on. If you’re interested to learn more about how to navigate yourself in various social situations, check out my courses or get in touch.

Take action

I remember telling my boss that there was a hole in his suit pants. I felt hesitant at first, but then I thought to myself “If I was him, I would want to know!”. It happened during a meeting abroad. Fortunately, it went unnoticed by our hosts and thanks to my sewing kit, which I always carry in my handbag, the pants got an easy fix just in time for the next meeting.

No one wants to end a business meeting or leave a social event realising that they have toilet paper stuck to their shoes, or that they have some greasy spot on their face. Sometimes, even a subtle motion toward that area helps to make this person aware that there is something wrong. 

You’ve got something in your teeth

Remember, however, not to do any touch-ups directly at the dining table or in a meeting. If someone notices that you have something in your teeth, excuse yourself and do a quick check in the bathroom.

Your fly is down

Should you feel awkward telling someone because the matter could be rather “delicate”, such as telling your boss their zipper is open, you can always ask someone who is closer to this person to speak up.

Sorry, I left a mark

If you leave a mark on someone’s face after a cheek-to-cheek kiss greeting, it should go without saying that you should make this person aware that there’s a smudge on their face. Offer a tissue and simply say “Sorry, I left a mark.”

# Tip

If you can’t talk, as you might be in a meeting, and the flaw is easily fixable, use your phone or write a note. Once, I noticed something on my boss’s face during a meeting. I typed it in my phone and showed him the message discreetly. That’s all it took.

To sum it up, addressing these sorts of situations is never easy. However, it would be a mistake not to say anything. That’s why I always take action!

 

If you want more tips on how to navigate various social situations, check out my etiquette classes. For more personalised help, I’m also available for 1-on-1 sessions.

Share this post:
Facebook
X
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular
Social Media
Subscribe

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for the latest news, updates, and expert tips. Choose the category that interests you the most and become a better version of yourself today!