You can wriggle out of even the most embarrassing social situations by following some simple tips from an expert.
“Everyone is caught with their pants down now and then,” said Dr. Gilda Carle, a Yonkers, N.Y., therapist, advice columnist and author.
“But if you handle the situation with self-assurance and tact you’ll generally come out of it O.K.”
Here are some common sticky situations and how to get out of them gracefully:
YOU MUST INTRODUCE SOMEONE WHOSE NAME YOU’VE FORGOTTEN.
After saying hello, halt for a second and allow the person to introduce himself. If that fails, simply say, “I’m so sorry, I’ve forgotten your name.” At the same time, gently touch the person on the arm — this sends a warm message of friendship.
It also helps to add a humorous remark, such as, “I can’t even remember my OWN name today!”
YOU GET CAUGHT IN A “LITTLE WHITE LIE.”
Fess up, and explain why you were too embarrassed to be honest. Say: “I should have told you the truth right away and I know that you would have understood. I was just too uncomfortable to tell you.”
YOU BAD-MOUTH SOMEONE — AND THE REMARK GETS BACK TO THE PERSON.
If you want to make amends, tell the offended individual that you spoke without thinking and feel terrible. If what you said got back to the person in a distorted way, clarify the remark and add, “I understand that I shouldn’t have said something that could be misinterpreted in that way.” Clearing the air sets the stage for a discussion that can hopefully work out your differences.
SOMEONE GIVES YOU A GIFT, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE ONE TO GIVE IN RETURN.
Just thank the person graciously. If you lie and say the gift is in the mail or you forgot it at home, you’ll only dig yourself in deeper. You’ll put yourself under the strain of having to come up with an appropriate present very quickly.
Instead say, “Thanks a million, I really appreciate this,” then follow up with a warm note later on. If you wish, you can send a nice gift along with the note.