13 Embarrassing Mistakes Everyone Makes But Doesn't Talk About


We all make mistakes. That's part of being human. But while we'll cop to some faux pas, there are others we'd rather keep to ourselves. What are they? Take a look at these 13 little mistakes (through the lens of my own revealing anecdotes) that everyone makes but doesn't like to talk about.

1. Leaving Dirty Dishes in the Sink When Guests Come Over

With all the other things you have to do before guests visit — change the linens, fold the towels nicely, clean the bathroom — ya know, the things you let fall by the wayside for longer than you'd like to admit when nobody is coming over — it's easy to forget a task here or there. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink is one of the most common, because it may be habitual and/or they're just plain easy to miss. The problem is, it could suggest that you just didn't care enough to tidy up beforehand or that you're kind sloppy — neither of which are good impressions to leave.

2. Hitting "Reply All" on an Email That Definitely Wasn't Meant for "All"

Since the dawn of workplace email, snarky people have been griping about one another through cyberspace. Though not very nice, it can be quite therapeutic to discuss with a friendly coworker that Linda from accounting keeps wearing totally inappropriate blouses that she's basically falling out of. Or maybe you meant to single out one of your closer colleagues on an email string to be all "WTF?" about the new project that's being proposed.

But then you realize you hit "Reply All" instead of sending your nastygram to just that one colleague. And then your heart drops down into your gut because you deduce that there's a good chance you might be unemployed now — in which case, Linda from accounting or that new project are no longer a point of contention in your life. Mission accomplished.

3. Breaking Something Then Claiming It's "Lost"

Like your brother's Walkman. And if you're exceptionally evil, you'll convince him that he put it in his backpack when he went to school the other day and someone probably stole it on the bus.

4. Sending an Inappropriate Text to an Unintended Person

There are essentially two types of text messages — straight up text with words and texts with images. If we can all be adults here for a minute, let's just recognize that a good portion of our society sometimes transfers racy images between one another. Even the Romans would blush at this behavior — and they were freak-nasty. Nonetheless, if you're not careful when sending this scintillating content — like when you're drunk, because, let's be honest, that's when most people have the liquid courage to think this is the best idea ever — it can go to the wrong person. Like instead of your boyfriend Tim, it accidentally goes to your church friend Tom. Which means you're totally gonna have to pray about it on Sunday. But, hey, at least Tom is happy.

5. Telling a Joke That Doesn't Go Over Well

I'm just gonna put it out there: I think I'm pretty hysterical. As do most people with whom I keep company. (Or at least they pretend — which is good enough for me.) But sometimes I'm off my game, not particularly witty, or a joke just downright misses the mark. There have been plenty of times that I've tried to get a joke or dig in that I thought was hilarious that died right on the spot. Face turns red and people sort of half ignore the flop/look at you like "Really?" Best feeling ever — as I'm sure my fellow bombers will agree.

6. Forgetting the Birthday of Someone Important

A friend of mine reminded me a couple weeks ago that it was my husband's birthday that day. My certificate for "Most Awesome Significant Other Ever" should arrive any day now.

7. Saying Something Terrible to Someone You Love

As much as I've tried to keep this post light and fluffy, there's no humor in spewing terrible, anger-filled verbal garbage to someone you love. Yet we've all done it at some point in our lives — whether to our parents, our siblings, our best friends, or our significant others. Because they understand that mean things are said in the heat of the moment, most people are willing to forgive. But I can almost guarantee, they'll never forget it — especially if the jab cuts particularly deep. The only solution to this problem is to mind yourself when tempers flare so you don't have to apologize (yet again) when cooler heads prevail.

8. Saying Something Dumb in Front of Your Boss

True story: I once went to my company's holiday party, proceeded to get wasted, and turned up way too much. While I don't remember a whole lot of the evening, some parts do stand out, like when I referred to an older colleague's wife as Grandma So-and-So (they actually thought it was cute — thank God) and yelled into the bar area (where both my bosses were) when nobody was cutting a rug that "All you [expletive] need to get on the dance floor."

I took Monday off to look for a new job. Alas, most of my coworkers seemed to think that my antics were the highlight of the night — the ones who weren't sticks in the mud, anyway — so while my guilt and embarrassment was completely warranted, it was all for naught. Totally learned my lesson though; from then on I waited until my bosses were gone to curse uncontrollably at my colleagues.

9. Gossiping Within Earshot of the Victim

This is another totally relatable faux pas, but one that is no laughing matter. While admittedly I can be a gossip, I don't like hurting someone's feelings if I can avoid it. But there are times when you think you're being quiet with your smarmy commentary when the subject of the gossip is nearby, but in reality you're either hearing impaired or just plain stupid. I don't which one I am yet, but I strive to be a nicer person with each passing year. I hope you do, too.

10. Setting Something on Top of the Car and Driving Off Without It

I've lost more than one Slurpee that way — and a few containers of restaurant leftovers. Thankfully, all the babies in carseats have made it inside in time.

11. Forgetting Your Kid at an Activity

I'm not a parent, so I've never forgotten my child someplace — but I have been a child whose parent has forgotten me someplace. I was mortified, and I thought to myself, "this would never happen to the Beav." I still send my therapy bills to my parents' house.

12. Realizing You Don't Have Any Doggy Doo Bags — and Walking Away Like It Doesn't Exist

You know the feeling: As soon as your dog squats down and you reach into your pocket for the bag, and you're like — oh $#!%. Then you look around to see if anybody saw what just went down right before you briskly walk away dragging your precious pooch behind you like nothing happened at all.

13. More Than Lightly Tapping the Front of Somebody's Car

All you city folk with vehicles know that this struggle is real. You try earnestly not to touch the car in front or behind you when parallel parking, but sometimes that bumper-to-bumper tap is unavoidable. And then there are the times when you put a smidge too much pressure on the gas pedal and you kiss that bumper with a small but audible crunch. Just like you beat feet with your dog sliding down the sidewalk behind you, you try to peel out of there like it was a figment of your imagination. Tisk! If only your mother knew the shady things you do.

Do you have any more of life's little mistakes that we all make but don't like to talk about? Share your stories in the comments below.

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