embarrassing moments

Teaching Teens to Deal with Embarrassing Moments

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I am highly experienced when it comes to embarrassing moments. One of the most memorable in my life happened at my sister’s engagement party. Meeting the in-laws can be nerve-racking to begin with; and, as we drove to the party, I remember feeling the desire to represent my sister and our family well.

As the night progressed, I became more relaxed. I grabbed a soda can and a glass of ice from the minibar and began talking to several of my brother-in-law’s relatives. I asked one of them a question and took a drink. Instantaneously and seemingly out of nowhere, I was hit with an onslaught of uncontrollable coughing fits. In order to avoid spitting the soda in my mouth all over the place, I locked my lips shut. This gave the air from my coughing only one place to exit–my nose. That would have been fine had I not been nursing a cold that week making my nose stuffed. My nose blew out like a party favor and everything in it splattered all over my face. Immediately, I wanted to grab a tissue, but both of my hands were being used. So I awkwardly covered up without a possible solution to my dilemma. Someone finally took my glass and gave me a napkin. It was embarrassing on many levels.

Embarrassing moments can be painful. They have the potential to lower someone’s self-esteem and reduce overall confidence. This is particularly true for teenagers. However, if dealt with the right way, embarrassing moments can be turned into a positive. All we need to do is teach them how to react well. Here’s how to do it:


Be one of the first to call it. The worst thing you can possibly do is try to ignore the fact that it happened or hope others won’t remember. They will remember and pretending it didn’t happen makes you look insecure. When you are the first one to call yourself out, it takes the sting out of the incident.

Have a Sense of Humor

Laugh at yourself and show them you are comfortable being you. You will lead the way in taking the awkwardness out of the situation and turning it into something funny. Most people have no idea what to do when something embarrassing happens to someone. When you laugh at yourself, it gives others permission to laugh with you. It’s a relief to them and shows your confidence.

Makes for a Great Story

Everyone loves a good story. Embarrassing situations make up some of the best. Figure out how to tell it in the most amusing way. Consider it an asset that you can pull out in conversation to entertain others.

Huddle up with your kids tonight and ask, “Have you ever been embarrassed? How did you handle it?”