10 Faxpas and how to deal with them

Being Nothing but modest (of course), you are funny, articulate and quick-witted. But when it comes to the cringe-inducing moments of life, your brain cells tend to freeze up. And the earth doesn’t oblige you by opening up and swallowing you either.

Seema Hingorani, psychotherapist and relationship expert, says that when something uncomfortable crops up suddenly, we tend to go into a state of shock, reacting impulsively, which in hindsight embarrasses us even further So it’s best to be prepared. Check out these potentially awkward situations and learn what to do to emerge looking good despite the metaphorical egg on your face.

1) The Ex Effect: Nothing stirs up emotions quite like an unexpected encounter with an ex- boyfriend or girl friend. Depending on how bad the break up was, there are varying degrees of pent up anger mixed with jealousy about his / her current squeeze. Given that you both probably move in the same circles, a face off is imminent.

Face Saver: If you are still single and you see your ex striding towards you with his/her partner, smile and brave it. While you might die to unsheathe your claws, any display of emotion will tell him/her that you are stm hurting. Instead, smile and make sparkling conversation. If you can’t be witty, be British and talk about the weather And if you’re no longer single yourself, resist the urge to play tongue hockey with your partner right in front of your ex, says Seema. Also don’t chortle like you’re on laughing gas to prove that you’re having a good time. No one gets taken in by that act but you.

2) Friendly Fire: There you are, content with your life, and then disaster strikes! A couple you are pals with break up and suddenly you feel like a wish bone being ripped in two. Both want to meet you for “advice” and both, most important, want you to make a “choice” between them. You are faced with trembling lower lips, emotional blackmail and all sorts of accusations.

Face Saver: Resist the urge to take the first flight out of town. The warring former couple will still be around when you get back, and you will still have to make the big decision about which one to stay friends with if the break-up was a bad one. Don’t even try and broker peace, says Seema. You might end up losing them both. Since you have to make a decision one way or another, stick with the person who you have known the longest or feel closer to. Yes, the other person may be hurt, so you’ll have to ease him/her gently out of your life.

3) Disproportionate Assets: The one month dating anniversary or Valentine’s Day, leaves you wishing you could pedal back into the Stone Age where the only things you could give ranged from smartly cut rocks, roasted meat and if you were feeling particularly loving, the latest in animal skins. Now, you have to deal with the awkward moment where you and your beau’s gifts differ substantially in value.

Face Saver: You have an easy way out, says Seema, in such scenarios. Just say you can’t possibly accept something that costly so early in the relationship. If you want to keep the gift, explain how broke you are when you hand over your own gift. If you are feeling particularly guilty, buy something nice for him/her next month. “If the situation is reversed and you are the one who constantly receives small gifts, you need to figure out if the person you are with really cares for you. Never make the mistake of buying a person’s love,” she warns.

4) Bloopers Reel: A mispronounciation is a Freudian slip that re,veals a little too much about you; making a bitchy remark about a person and then realising she/he is standing right behind you – all fall in the “wrong time, wrong place” territory And it happens so often

Face saver: Trying to cover up what you said amounts to jumping into the fire and burning to a crisp. Don’t try and say the word you slipped up on since you will probably mess it up again because you are nervous. If you have said something unpleasant, don’t try and justify the remark. Apologise instantly Even if the person doesn’t forgive you, she/he will feel slightly mollified. If you can’t get any words out of your mouth, Seema recommends disappearing from the scene. Excuse yourself, go to the washroom and emerge after the situation has defused by itself.

5) Officially Yours: Nothing is quite as devastating as an office fling gone wrong since the two most important prongs of your life love and career – are under attack. Battling gossips is the least of your troubles, especially if your ex works in the same department as you or is higher up in the hierarchy

Face Saver: While you might want to dump the contents of your lunchbox on his/her lap, a civilised coffee break conversation is what you both actually need. Agree to keep it professional and leave personal issues for after office hours. Any sarcasm or discord within office premises wil1tell badly on both of you. So keep it short, simple and formal. If you can’t do so, the only other recourse, according to Seema, is changing departments or quitting your job.

6) Crossed Wires: We will all been there. A dear friend suddenly plunges into love with you. It would be perfect if only you the same. What’s worse is when you are on the other side of the fence, only to be met with a stunned silence or upcourious laughter If you have been there, Comfort yourself by saying you arent the first and you wont be the the last.

Face saver: If you have inst main that gigantic leap of love and are rthine into the abyss of non-neceptance. pull open the humour parachute. Use lines like; maybe it is for the best. Our kids would probably be too perfect for this world.'” What is important.says Sema. is not to feel dejected. Dont brood because only in movies do people fall in the dark, Wounded hero or the dismal in tears but if it is your friend who has turned amorous, let him her down gently advises Seema. Use lines like "I am not ready for any kind of commitment"or "I adore you as a friend but we wouldn’t work as a couple”. Be serious and dont crack jokes. It takes lots of guts to say those three words.

7) Split Wide Open: It has happened to all of us. Juggling a phone and office papers, while making a quick trip to the loo, you emerge with unzipped pants and discover the horrifying error several hours later And if buttons pop open right in the middle of that board meeting or pitch to a client, the old trick of picturing your audience naked is turned on its head.

Face saver: You will be teased mercilessly and be called everything from “top of the pops” to “zipless wonder”. The best thing to do is laugh at yourself. But don’t try to zip up or button up right there. “Excuse yourself and do it in the washroom to minimise the embarrassment,” says Seema.

8) Happily Never After: so you’ve been going around for a while now and the world thinks you both are joined at the hip. You plan the perfect evening at the fancy restaurant to pop the question or if you are more traditional, ask her parents for her hand. Everything goes off without a hitch, except the moment she says “No”.

Face saver: Getting off your knee would be a good idea. Demanding why not in a loud voice is not. Instead, make the understatement of the year – “Maybe this isn’t a good time”. You will have the discussion you are itching to have later but right at that moment, try to look and act normal. If you want to heap coals of shame on her head, be extra sweet and attentive. But if you are in a state of shock, leave the place immediately.

9) After Sunrise: Beauty is after all in the eye of the beer. So if you wake up the morning with with a strange person in your bed, blame the lord of spirits. Bacchus, and your own alcohol flied brain. After that, it is time to square your shoublers and take stock.

Face Saver: Clamp down on that urgo to lip too out of the room halfdressed and then skip town. Instead have a frank Conversation before you leave preferably with a cup of coffee to sober you up. “Explain how you were drunk and not in your senses if you don’t want to pursue a relalionship. Talking helps nip any filture misunderstandings in the bud. The person you have slept with might read badly but that is something need to face to avoid trouble later says Seema. After all, you don’t want to end up eating that dreaded dish served cold revenge.

10) Red Handed: sure, it seems cool when Shaggy sings about it, but infidently is possibly one of the biggest personal crises you can encounter “Betrayal, anger: loss are all overwhelming emotions and if you catch your partner red-handed cheating on you, it is natural to go ballistic,” says Seema.

Face Saver: If you’ve been cheated on, remember you have the upper hand. They are naked and you are not. Just staring aggressively can be enough to reduce the erring duo to a squirming mass of guilt. But crying or abusing them destroys that upper hand. So maintain your dignity and walk out. But if you’re the one caught cheating, keep mum. “Hang your head down and act sorry If you try to justify your actions, the situation could turn nasty quickly” says Seema.