Get Ahold of Yourself: Embarrassment

Get A Hold of Yourself: Embarrassment | imshayshay.blogspot.com

Self-inflicted embarrassment is one of the worst feelings, isn't it? Not to belittle the other feelings: sadness, rejection, anger, betrayal, or shame because your mom got drunk and her skirt twirled up, these guys all suck too, but this particular devil has a sneaky way of hanging around. Because it is something you have done to yourself, your silent stewing can be quickly rationalized, belittled, and brushed off, giving you the false security that your feelings are fleeting and will pass quickly.

You think you've just been bitten by a mosquito, but that irritating, itchy bump can end up turning into full on necrosis; a seemingly innocuous ego bruise can evolve into gaping insecurities, slipping into the very core of your being.

When someone feels shame or embarrassment for their own actions, it's because they either did something they already knew was wrong or inappropriate, or, they did something and only became aware that their actions were wrong or inappropriate afterwards. While we, as humans, love falling into the same traps that lead us into familiar shame patterns, it's those first instances of shameful hindsight that can be the most bittersweet. It's often those moments of "after the fact embarrassment" that allow us to learn valuable lessons that you might not have otherwise learned, but it is also those moments that can shatter our self worth. Poor self esteem is not always easy to mend.

Have I lost you here? Am I getting too mushy gushy with my talk about touchy feelings? Let me ground this for you:

Imagine you are on a first date with this super hot, flawless specimen of a human being, and you let out a fart. Your date stares at you, and you feel a swell of embarrassment. You get on with the date, but perhaps you let the fart ruin it for you. After all, you've become that farting person, and surely, your gorgeous date will want nothing to do with you or your audible butthole.

Imagine you are a quiet girl, in your freshman year of high school. You are in Model United Nations, a class that has students from every grade in it, including students that are seniors. In the middle of another student's speech, one of your friends decides to poke you in your side and you let out a loud, undeniable fart. It was so loud that it woke up the senior sleeping behind you, who has now drawn attention to the fact that the small, quiet freshman just made a gross, freshman fart. It's the loudest noise she has ever made. You are so embarrassed that you put your head down for the rest of class.*

What? Too many embarrassing fart stories? I'll up the stakes a little:

Imagine you are a bright, up-and-coming account manager at an ad agency. You you've just come back from an informal lunch meeting with a potential client. You email the potential client the next day, thanking them for meeting with you and asking them when they think they'll make a decision about signing with your company. You are so excited about this opportunity and you want to make sure your boss is in the loop, so you CC them on the email. Your boss immediately calls you into their office and rips into you for breaking protocol, telling you that you had no business meeting this person, let alone sending this foolishly ambitious email; your actions were tacky, unprofessional, and reflect poorly on yourself and the company. You can barely look your boss in the eye and you get nothing done for the rest of the day. Your self confidence plummets, and it takes you months to feel good about your work again.

Regardless of the severity or triviality, feelings of embarrassment and shame can stick with you for a considerable period of time. How do we rectify these awful, soul crushing feelings?

Well... we don't. We live with them. We live with our reputation tarnishings, the people we've let down, and our most embarrassing moments because we can't undo them and we can't force people to forget about them either. We also know that embarrassments are a part of life that everyone experiences, no matter how perfect other people may seem.

The best thing we can do is learn from those pivotal life lessons, and come out better people on the other side. Forgive yourself, ask those affected for forgiveness, and make an active change to your behavior. Own your mistakes, and they will become beacons of hope rather than beacons of regret.

As for the farts? It's probably best to have a good laugh about it. It's only a fart.


PS: If you didn't click on the link at the beginning of this article, shame on YOU. Watch it here anyway, even though the joke has clearly passed.

*I don't have to imagine this because it actually happened to me. Go ahead and check out page 61 the 2001 MVHS yearbook if you don't believe me.

Image Credit: "Embarrassed" by Sarebear:) on Flickr (CC 2.0)

No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Created by pipdig