How to Handle an Accidental Bathroom Encounter

You've happened into the sum of all fears. Follow these tips to ensure you don't make a bad situation worse.


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OMG, you did NOT just do that! Well, here's how to deal with it.

You Will Need

  • Quick thinking
  • Tact


  1. Step 1

    Don't panic

    Your worst enemy is fear-induced paralysis. If you're the one whose privacy has just been mercilessly trampled upon, cover thyself.

  2. Step 2

    Act promptly

    If you're the careless intruder, leave immediately; the other party has nowhere to go.

  3. Close the door as you scurry away. There are few things worse than compounding a walk-in with a door left ajar.

  4. Step 3

    Secure the area

    Find your own stall, lock the door to avoid a retaliatory attack, and do your business. Before exiting, take a few deep breaths, and prepare to pretend like nothing happened.

  5. Step 4

    Avoid contact

    Avoid all contact with each other. Resist the urge to apologize or make light of the situation, as this will only make things worse. Remember: The encounter never occurred.

  6. Step 5

    Learn your lesson

    Learn your lesson. Before entering any bathroom, knock forcefully and take a moment to listen before you proceed. If someone knocks on your stall, shout back firmly, "Occupied!" Anything less could leave you in the hot seat.

  7. A study found that 37 percent of people close the bathroom door even when they're home alone.