Moving On After A Verbal Gaffe

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It’s pretty easy to say something stupid and get caught up in the guilt of making a mistake. I can’t tell you how many employees have blurted out racist, sexist, or homophobic jokes and have regretted it for the rest of their careers. I’ll often hear —

  • I didn’t mean it.
  • I’m not like that. I don’t know where that came from.
  • I love black people/gay people/women. That came out wrong.

For the most part, I always believe them. Human beings are emotional. Sometimes were blurt out the worst things at the worst moments because are brains are wired poorly.

If you’ve ever blurted out something stupid, the worst thing you can do is to get caught up in a cycle of apologies. Apologize once. Mean it. Move on.

On the other hand, if you have a habit of saying inappropriate things, it’s worth taking a little time and exploring the stupid stuff that comes out of your mouth. Ask yourself — Is your filter broken? Do you have a desire for more attention? Are you angry about something at the office?

Most of the time, it’s something simple as this.

You aren’t as funny as you think you are.

Unless you’re a writer and noted comedian like George Carlin or Lenny Bruce, people don’t get your sense of humor. They never will. And that’s okay… but learn from your mistakes and try to keep your quips to a minimum. You’re better for it — and so is your career.

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