Saturday, 1 August 2009

Foot in mouth

Social faux pas number 1- never introduce a friend you’ve known for a few years by completely the wrong name. If this happens turn it into a joke and make out the reddening in your cheeks is due to over zealous application of blusher….actually there isn’t really a way out of this one. Shame on you! Apologise to friend profusely- you owe them a pint…actually make that two.

Social faux pas number 2- you’re walking down the street and the wind blows your skirt up exposing you not only to the elements but to the men on the building site nearby…pull skirt down and pretend it never happened even though the builders close by are wolf whistling you to social death. Curtsey, give them a wink then walk on by.

Social faux pas number 3- you’ve decided to break into those ridiculous shoes with the 6 inch heel- why on earth you decided to wear them on a shopping trip is the most stupid decision you have ever made. On entering a shop being off kilter you knock into a rack of bags which in turn develops into a domino effect knocking another three racks, one…after….the…other. You watch aghast. By this time you’re on the floor (stupid shoes). Show no fear, it’s obviously because you’re feeling very faint and definitely coming down with something and need a glass of water (NOT because of stupid footwear). Down that glass of water in one, take shoes off and run out of the shop then eventually home…or pub for a stiff drink.

Obviously, these are merely examples and not situations that have happened to me…ahem…ahem.

I was mindlessly googling today and found a whole page dedicated to reversing a social faux pas. So read below and reverse your social faux pas in four easy steps (after you’ve initially recovered from embarresment of course).

From this website:

• Step 1
Don’t show fear. The minute you realize you’ve committed a social faux pas, which will be obvious by the stares, the awkward clearing of throats, the winces passing over people’s countenances or even the pregnant silence, your first instinct will be to wince back, stand stilted or return the silence. This first crucial moment after a no-no often determines how long the humiliation will last. Cut the apparent tension in the room right away by laughing or making an off-hand comment. Sometimes a smile does the trick.

• Step 2
After releasing the initial tension with a laugh or a joke, address the social wrong you’ve committed. Pretending you yourself didn’t notice it is almost as embarrassing as the social faux pas itself. Use an appropriate tone to rectify the situation. For example, if you called your boss the wrong name, seriously apologize with a legitimate-sounding explanation. If it’s an outfit malfunction, come up with a light, witty explanation.

• Step 3
Don’t hide or act meekly for the rest of the meeting, evening or event. If you keep your cool, engage in charming conversation and make yourself present and unashamed, others will follow suit and keep their cool. If you act shy and bumbling the whole night, your behavior will be a constant reminder to everyone else that you did something worthy of shame.

• Step 4
You’ve addressed the situation, behaved with aplomb throughout the event and now it’s time to forget the social faux pas. If you find yourself re-living the embarrassing blunder, talk it over with friends who you know will make you feel foolish for ever dwelling on it.

Good luck!

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