Do you feel like you never know what to do when you put your foot in your mouth? Finding ourselves in that situation is something that happens to the best of us from time to time. It is an unintentional thing to do but it can still be awkward and embarrassing. These are 7 things to do when you put your foot in your mouth to recover and move on.
One of the first things you can do when you put your foot in your mouth is apologize. If you realize that something you have said is offensive to someone in your audience, you can apologize to hopefully spare their feelings. Most likely you had no intention of being offensive, which is why they call it putting your foot in your mouth. It is accidental. But nevertheless, an apology can go a long way to making this moment disappear for you and the person you offended.
2. Make a Joke
A lot of times it isn’t that big of a deal when we put our foot in our mouth. When that is the case, we can choose to make a joke. Saying something funny can get the subject moving in a different direction. It can make the moment a little lighter. You kind of have to consider your audience when you do this, though, and decide if they would appreciate your humor.
3. Let It Slide by
Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all. This is usually the case if you know the person you may have offended is one that you would really struggle to make things right with. An apology or another manner of trying to smooth it over would not work. My grandma always said, “Least said, soonest mended,” and there is a lot of truth in that statement. You may even get lucky and no one will notice what you said.
4. Explain What You Really Meant
If you put your foot in your mouth, you may want to consider explaining yourself a bit. Usually when we end up in this situation, we are thinking of something or someone totally unrelated to those we are in the company of. It can be a good thing to explain that. It helps to let others know you were not directing what you said at them. This can kind of clear the air a bit.
5. Explain That Each Situation is Unique
You may want to explain that each situation is unique when you put your foot in your mouth. Usually this involves explaining that you understand the person you may have offended has reasons for whatever they do that you were accidentally referring to. You more or less let them know you see where they are coming from. This can be tricky so use this approach with caution. Sometimes you end up in a stickier situation if you are not careful.
6. Admit You Put Your Foot in Your Mouth
Sometimes you just need to admit you put your foot in your mouth and try to laugh it off. Which choice you decide to go with will probably vary depending on the group of people you are in. If it is people you don’t know well, you may want to try to let it go. If it is people you are very comfortable with, this may be a good option. In this situation, you know that they care about you regardless and will forgive you, so you can just admit it and go on.
7. Learn from It
Sticking your foot in your mouth is an awful position to find yourself in. It is awkward for both you and those around you. It is best to try to learn to avoid being in this position. Try to be careful to think before you speak. No one can do this perfectly but you can work toward this.
These are 7 different responses you can use when you put your foot in your mouth. What do you do to recover when you do this? Share your tips with us!