We’ve all had those moments when we say something that we later regret. Usually, we have a pretty good mental filter; we avoid saying something embarrassing, or something that we know we’re not supposed to say. However, certain situations, such as being inebriated or incredibly tired, can cause us to lose control and blurt out something that we really didn’t want getting out into the open. And sometimes, we just can’t control what comes out of our mouths – because the human tendency is to be honest, even if that ends up hurting us in the long run.
This situation becomes even more severe when the words that we blurt out are about someone that we have feelings for, and when we express those feelings to the person in question. The situations that can lead to this are varied – maybe the two of you are at a party and have both had something to drink, which leads to looser speech and lowered inhibitions. Or maybe he’s looking you in the eyes and you lose any kind of filter that you had set up, just blurting out everything that’s on your mind.
Whatever the reason, the unfortunate consequence is that you may tell a guy that you are crushing on, but haven’t had the courage to speak up to, how you feel about him. There can be multiple obstacles to you telling him the truth – maybe he’s taken, and he has no intention of leaving his girlfriend. Or maybe you’re taken, but haven’t had the courage to tell your current boyfriend or husband that you have feelings for someone else. Or maybe you guys are just friends, and you don’t want to mess up the friendship that you have by bringing romantic feelings into it.
However, when those words slip out, there’s nothing you can do to take them back – and that’s when you have to decide what you’re going to do next. Thankfully, your life isn’t over when you blurt out how you feel about someone within his earshot, or even directly to his face. There are steps you can take to mitigate the damage, or simply to go all-out and try to get the best out of what appears to be an awful situation. Take a look at the following tips to dealing with such a situation:
1. Assess the damage.
Try to figure out exactly what you said and how much he heard, or how much he is likely to hear from other people. Perhaps the situation isn’t as bad as you initially thought it was, and there isn’t much that you have to do in terms of damage control. If you said something when you were drunk, maybe he won’t remember the next day, or maybe the friend that you told can still be convinced to keep quiet. Or maybe what you said wasn’t even as bad as you originally thought it was – meaning that you can say something else to convince people you didn’t mean it that way.
2. Decide if you actually regret it.
Sometimes the things that we say may be shameful simply because they are seen as a social “faux pas” – meaning, you actually did mean to say what you said, and you want him to know, but you just feel bad about it because it’s not socially appropriate. If this is the case, try to figure out how you can pass that hurdle of societal judgment and fully explore how you feel. Don’t let restrictions on what is “right” and what is “wrong” stop you from doing what feels best in your heart. If you really did want him to hear what you said, then tell him again – in a more believable situation, which can actually lead to a relationship in the future.
3. Figure out what you can do to explain it.
If you didn’t want him to hear it, and in fact are mortified that what you said slipped out when it did, then you need to try to figure out what you can do to convince him that you actually meant something else. Whether this means being straight with him and telling him that you were under the influence of alcohol and aren’t fully conscious of what you told him, or whether you think of another explanation for your words, you’ll have to start up a conversation with him and mention it casually so that he does not think too much of it.
4. Be honest with him.
Sometimes, it’s better to just cut your losses and come clean to him than to keep trying to cover it up. Just come up to him, tell him how you feel, and clarify everything. Even if he says he doesn’t feel the same way, you’ll feel a lot better just knowing instead of wondering.