I’m someone who is always making faux pas.
Nobody is a bigger klutz than I am. When I can’t remember a person’s name at a conference, fall-over an antique end table at a holiday party, or arrive home to find food on my new tie that hadn’t been there when I left, I’m mortified that I may have been walking around with this unseemly splotch. What do you say after “I’m sorry”?
- When you’ve forgotten someone’s name: In a group setting socially or in business, bring someone else into the conversation and the two other people will introduce themselves to each other when you say, “Do you two know each other?” Or ask for her/his business card or to enter their contact info into your phone. Lastly, admit that you’re having a “senior moment.”
- When you’ve taken a fall in public: As quickly as possible stand up and shake it off with a laugh. Humor and humility go hand in hand. Before wearing new shoes to an event, scuff up the soles by wearing them outside the house first.
- When you spill a drink or food: We’re all human and we all make mistakes. Make a fast recovery by offering to clean up or pay for the dry cleaning, if you happen to have spilled red wine on your colleague’s skirt-suit. A bit of humor goes a long way in relieving the sense of embarrassment that you feel. The same goes for those witnesses who feel for you.
- When you’ve forgotten a birthday, social event or left a good friend off your guest list: With great sincerity say, “Please, forgive me.” Even with the best of intensions sometimes we find ourselves so busy that we forget an important milestone, occasion or good friend.
- When you discover anything you wouldn’t want a boss or lover to see: Check your privacy settings on all social media outlets and delete, delete any post, photo or video that could be potentially embarrassing whether it involves alcohol, drugs, too much flesh, sex, or is too religious or too politically left or right wing.
- When you’ve mistakenly responded to Reply All: In a group email, if you make a misstate send a follow-up email apologizing or make it more personal with a phone call or a short notecard.
- When you falsely assume someone is pregnant: Never assume anyone is pregnant, has been pregnant, and will be pregnant. Furthermore refrain from asking about children unless a man or woman has hinted at the fact that they have children. It’s a huge faux pas. So don’t say, “Do you have children?”
- When you have a wardrobe mishap: A broken high heel, store tag hanging off the back of that new sweater, or that the décolleté of your dress is too deep when you’re seated, take it as a reminder to do a serious wardrobe check and make sure any fallen hem or shredded pant cuff is mended before worn again.
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Accepting A Compliment