2 way to recover from an awkward conversation
Thrive Global: Thrive community to share their tips on how to recover from an awkward interaction. While everyone has their own way to cope, it’s good to remember it happens to everyone, and you can move on.
1. Empathize with your listener: “I attempt to recover from the situation by extending empathy. I’ve found this helpful especially during emotionally charged situations. As a leader, especially, it’s important to never shy away from sensitive and difficult conversations. I’ve always found it helpful to focus on why people say what they say, as opposed to what they say. It’s important to acknowledge the other person’s point of view and perspective to show that you care to move the conversation forward.”
—Vinutha Narayan, global head of strategic programs, San Francisco, CA
2. Realize that someone’s reaction says more about them than you: “Recently, I was at a birthday party for some friends and neighbors. When the bill came, I took the drink bill because I wanted to pay for it on behalf of my friend’s birthday. The husband of the birthday lady grabbed it and started shouting at me. He said if I paid for it, I would never ever be invited again.
I was pretty shocked and let him pay. I was also pretty hurt, but I waited to see how I felt about it the next day. I did not take it personally — to me, such a reaction signaled he had been triggered, but it wasn’t my fault. —Susy Giddy, life coach, Mont Tremblant, Quebec
3. Look to the future: “I remind myself that everyone is human, and that an awkward encounter has most likely happened to them before, too. The best thing I can do is smile, let it go, and think ahead to our next positive interaction instead of dwelling on the awkward one!”
—Brooke Muller, social media associate in health care communications, New York, NY