WHEN A FRIEND SCREWS UPAugust 14th, 2015 |
Ouch, writing this pains me because it concerns a recent humiliating experience. Babbling away at a small celebration and enjoying some bubbly, I knocked my glass of champagne off the mantle on a hardwood floor about a foot from the party-giver’s white carpet. Upon hearing the shatter, Rebecca, the hostess glided over and began picking up the shattered pieces. Seeing my distraught expression, she smiled and said, “Oh. Leil, it’s nothing. It was just an old glass that I have dozens of.” She interrupted my garbled apologies with, “Don’t be silly Leil,” and joked “at least it wasn’t red wine on the carpet.” Her two gentle comments about my clumsy blunder made me soon forgot the episode.
A half hour later, walking through the dining room on the way to the bathroom, I did indeed see that she had other glasses like it. But these were carefully displayed in an antique rosewood cabinet. Hmm, they looked suspiciously similar to the one I broke! Pressing my nose against the beveled glass of her cabinet to behold the exquisite crystal red wine, white wine, champagne and cordial glasses, I realized that the one that now lay in smithereens at the bottom of her garbage can was part of her cherished set.
In the bathroom, realizing what I had done, I wanted to be flushed down the toilet with the tissue. As I left the ladies room, another sentiment swept over me—tremendous renewed respect for Rebecca and the way she’d handled her disappointment and loss. She avoided making me feel like the clumsy klutz I deserved to.
LITTLE TRICK OF BIG WINNERS: When someone inadvertently does something that he/she is embarrassed about, try to hide your disappointment. Then wrack your brain to think of something–anything–to say that will make them feel less embarrassed and distressed. You will win their gratitude and respect.