Tatler Tips: How to Handle Embarrassment


February 28, 2017 | BY Isabel Martel Francisco

In light of the 89th Academy Awards' Best Picture debacle, we thought it would be a good idea to help people figure out how one should react when in an embarrassing scenario.

As the world watched the most awaited awards ceremony in Hollywood, the 89th Academy Awards, no one could have predicted what had happened. In the rare case that you missed the show last night or have not read the news, here is a quick summary:

Announcers, Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway, declared La La Land as the winner for Best Picture. The whole cast went on stage and gave several beautiful speeches only to have PricewaterhouseCoopers interuppt the cast's celebration to reveal  a terrible mistake... Best Picture actually goes to Moonlight! What a throwback to the 64th Miss Universe and an epic twist ending to an evening of accolades.

We all go through humiliating moments at one time or another, hopefully not as outrageous as the 2017 Oscars debacle, and have to learn how to move past the “awkward”. Every experience is different for each individual and we all react in our own ways. Hopefully, these 5 tips can help you navigate the uncomfortable minefield of awkward that comes with each embarrassing encounter.

Laugh about it

A great way to diffuse tension in an awkward situation is to laugh it out. Learn to laugh about yourself and to not take things too seriously or personally… unless the embarrassing situation was brought on intentionally, then that is an entirely different story.


It is OK to be shocked, sad and upset. You were just hit with some information that made you feel bad, uncomfortable, self-conscious and awkward – it is perfectly normal to feel a whole lot of emotions. Allow yourself to experience these feelings and react naturally, but do your best to tone it down until you are in private.

Be gracious

If you were wronged in an embarrassing way, be gracious about it instead of making the person who embarrassed you feel bad… because they probably did not mean any harm. Take the high road. Acting elegantly in any scenario is always the key. La La Land's producer, Jordan Horowitz was a class act during last night's mega mix-up.


If you are the wrong doer, be sure to apologise for your mistake. Make sure you mean it and that your apology is sincere. In this case, you as the wrong doer should not laugh it off as you are in the red.  

Stop reliving the moment

Stop replaying it over and over in your mind. Let it go! Move on! Mistakes happen and it is out of your hands. Simply learn from the experience, laugh about it and take the next step forward.