How to Recover From a Bad First Impression

When you’re an in-demand social being, the occasional social faux pas is inevitable. It happens to everyone, don’t get down on yourself. The entire night isn’t doomed. Simply take a minute, gather your thoughts and move on with confidence. You can absolutely redeem yourself from a bad first impression. Instead of dwelling on it, take these 4 steps to a quick fix. 

Avoid trying to justify your mistake

Backpedaling will only reveal more self consciousness and probably dig you into a deeper hole. The damage is done. It’s best to move on. If a completely out of line joke slipped out, for example, and the awkward silence is more than you can bear, say something like “hmm … it sounded funny in my head, I promise.” This sends the message that the joke came from an innocent place, but that you’re also confident enough that a small social slipup won’t ruin you.

Don’t assume the worst

Assuming everyone saw you make a fool of yourself will fling you straight into a universe of insecurity. Avoid worrying too much after the fact – it’ll only make you too preoccupied to control how you present yourself. Laugh at yourself and show everyone that you don’t take yourself too seriously. An easygoing attitude is always admired. Think about it like this. If you’re in a party scenario, other people were probably just happy that the attention / pressure was off them for a few minutes. In an odd way, you did them a favour. Deep, deep down in their heart of hearts, in a weird way, they actually appreciate you for it. 

Trust yourself

You already know that you’ve demonstrated enough sanity and social skills to get you this far in life. Trust in your ability to show that to people simply by being yourself. Pus, you took the care to leave the house not looking half bad – that will help. Thinking too much about what happened will inhibit your ability to live in the moment and respond as you want. Clear your mind and just be yourself. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. 

Give yourself a reality check

We all have egos and doing something socially awkward might feel like the end of the world in the moment. After the mind numbing embarrassment alleviates slightly, come back to reality. Is it true that these people are in any position to judge you? Are they better than you? If you’re all humans, you’re all equal. We all embarrass ourselves, went through awkward adolescent phases, failed at one time or another, etc. You might hold the people around you in high regard, but remember that the only thing that really makes anyone a great or worthwhile human is kindness. If they can’t accept you for who you are, they’re probably not worth your time anyway. 

Tags: bad first impressions, embarrassing moments, first impressions

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