This question came to my mind when yesterday my students were telling their 4-years stories and there were some very embarrassing ones from early semesters and still got the "victims" hiding their faces. Actually such a things happened in our cousins/childhood friends/school/university days (to anyone I guess) and often such a stories end up getting someone deeply embarrassed remembering that moment.

Suppose person A is in a reunion and such a story about him/her has been brought up during memories, how should one avoid it (assuming person A doesn't like such a story to be reminded back)


Another alternative is described in this answer on the Workplace. Its effectiveness depends a bit on how embarrassing the story still is and if you can handle it.

If you cannot beat them, join them.

Join in. Make jokes about it yourself. Next time someone mentions it, say something like:

Oh by the way, anybody need the kettle today? I planned on trying chili con carne this time. Ok, just kidding. The kettle is safe for now.

There is really no way to hurt you by making jokes about you, when you do it first. They will either laugh with you (not about you) or they will become bored and just let the topic die.

If there is no way to steer the conversation clear of your story, being embarrassed about it, or drawing attention to it, might only make things worse. The harder you resist, and the harder you make it clear you are resisting, the more people will insist to tell the story.

So instead, own it. If there is no way out, make sure you tell it yourself, and play it down, or make jokes about it yourself. Take away the grass from under their feet, so they can't make as big of a deal out of it.


You cannot control the actions of others.

The majority of people who get together for "old time's sake" (high school and college reunions) do so to remember the good times they had together back then (not, as you might imagine, to network, learn who is doing better/worse/has changed, other). Since that embarrassing story about you is part of someone's "good times", it will get brought up. Since you can't control what other people do, you can't truly prevent it.

You can try, however.

You can say something to the effect of, "Oh, not that boring story again!", which may cause some to be even more interested in hearing.

Or you can try to appeal to that person's decency. Maybe a very early, "Please don't," with a pained look on your face will do it.

Do expect a moment of awkward silence if you succeed, so be ready with a different story of interest to people.

Reunion, American Style: The Ritual of Recommuning, in Sociological Snapshots 5.

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    If you're basing this answer off of an academic source (you appear to cite Reunion, American Style: The Ritual of Recommuning, in Sociological Snapshots 5 at the end of your answer), it probably should be an academic source that describes reunions in Pakistan.
    – user288
    Sep 16 '17 at 17:29
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    @Hamlet - Last time I looked, people are more alike than they are different. While manners may differ, the OP's story as he tells it is certainly one I as an American can empathize deeply with, and probably many other cultures probably can as well. Sep 16 '17 at 21:28

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