The workplace is the playground of grown-ups. There is no hierarchy and embarrassing moments seem to last forever. While healthy working relationships are built on mutual respect, it is possible for someone to feel embarrassed if they find themselves in a difficult situation. After the embarrassing event, the person might feel embarrassed, humiliated, or even depressed. Extreme emotions can result from embarrassment that can cause workplace anxiety.
Embarrassment refers to the shame or self-consciousness you feel when you make a mistake or do poorly in front others. Sometimes embarrassment is more severe when the audience is larger. Sometimes, it could be a matter of how important the person is. For example, the shame of spilling coffee on your boss in front of strangers.
Embarrassment can cause shame, guilt, or fear. Maybe you are shy and embarrassed by your shyness. A social anxiety disorder such as extreme embarrassment anxiety could also be a problem. Fear of embarrassing yourself can limit your ability to be socially involved, which could ultimately lead to poor social and mental health. Seek help through online counselling and learn better ways to deal with feel embarrassment.
How to Handle an Embarrassing Moment at Work
- Remain calm.You can lose your nerve easily after a mistake, but it’s important to stay calm. Take a deep breath and get back to your senses.
- Accept your mistakes.Recognizing a mistake before another person does it can help to ease any tension. To make everyone feel more comfortable, you can use humour to address the situation.
- Make amends. Make amends if you are liable for the actions of another person.
- Keep moving. Instead of dwelling on the mistake, try to get back on track. The less you remember the incident, the faster you can recover.
- Keep things in perspective: While it can be hard to keep your emotions in check when you are upset, you should make sure that your emotional reaction is proportional to what you did wrong. Except for those who are pilots, surgeons, or military personnel, making an error at work does not mean that you will die. Most mistakes can be fixed or corrected immediately.
- Admit: It’s okay to admit that mistakes can have consequences in life. Sometimes, however, your mind can exaggerate and distort the possible consequences of your mistake. This can send you into an agony state and stress you out. Ironically, this can lead to more mistakes in the future. You can find it helpful to face your worst-case scenario, whatever that may be, and then make peace with it so that you can move on.
Take Better Care of Yourself
Many working professionals are sleep-deprived. If you don’t get enough sleep, your attention, concentration, reasoning and problem-solving abilities will all suffer. According to some studies, working while you are tired is as harmful as working under the influence of alcohol. Poor performance at work can also be caused by sleepiness, poor nutrition and dehydration, prolonged sitting, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition. If you want to avoid making errors in the future, make sure that your physical health is taken seriously. You might find more clarity and less errors if you treat yourself like a professional athlete.
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What an Employer can do
- Communication: Talk to the embarrassed person calmly. Calming, soothing tones can be a mental balm for panicked people. Employees may naturally panic, cry or yell. The embarrassed will recover faster if they speak calmly, without any humour or condescension.
- Refrain from judging: Take the embarrassed person to a quiet place or office where he can be alone. Allow the person to have a chance at regaining control of his situation. The embarrassed person will be able to regain control by quiet reflection so that he can face his peers again.
- Accept responsibility: If the situation requires it, encourage the embarrassed person. An example: If you are caught gossiping or sending inflammatory emails to the wrong person, an apology is required and possible meetings. Tell the person that embarrassment happens to everyone, and that he will soon forget about it.
- Clear direction is important. This will ensure that employees follow the leader’s lead. Keep calm and don’t make comments about the embarrassed person. Do not engage in conversation about it and do not walk away from anyone who does. If necessary, discourage employees from posting comments, photos or videos about the event. This could cause embarrassment and further embarrassment.
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