How to deal with embarrassment and shame
There’s a purpose why we think we’re “dying of embarrassment“: because when we’re in the middle of an embarrassing episode, dying really seems to be a safer option.
No human being I know is immune from them; nevertheless,
I seem to have a hard time accumulating a huge range. After a recent event that made me want to crawl in a corner of the world without wi-fi, my writing and my spiritual counselor gave me excellent guidance. “It’s okay to be embarrassed,” he said. “It’s cleansing.
This one has already passed, and passed nicely, like a kidney stone after the first day. You may relax.”
Of course that didn’t stop me from feeling embarrassed some more. So after collecting some nuggets from friends and professionals,
I compiled these 7 ways to really deal with embarrassment in real life. I hope they help you feel better the next time your client, colleague, or date tells you that you’re wearing toilet paper on the sole of your shoe.
1. Ask Yourself This
“When you try your hardest to live up to other people’s expectations of you, you fail you,” Suhani says. “The next time you feel embarrassed by other people’s perception of you, ask yourself ‘am I not deserving of my own happiness?'”
Although there is no doubt that failure is part of life, it can also be humiliating to lose. However, loss, as Suahni points out, is also steeped in the standards of others. When you realize that and set your goals first for yourself, you will put your shame into perspective and treat it better.
2. Try Putting The Blame On Your Insecurities
While no one has ever said that passing the buck was a positive idea, you would have a better grasp of how to wrangle certain stuff back in if you can see that your shame is the product of your insecurities.
“Sometimes embarrassment has to do with our insecurities,” Suhani says. “Ironically, while trying to avoid triggering those insecurities is when they manifest the most. I advise my clients to create a list of what those insecurities are and read them out loud to someone else for feedback. This will help you minimize the unexpected blow to your ego and self-esteem.”
It may feel like hard work, but when you make a list of your insecurities, it encourages you to write stuff down and look at those insecurities square in your face.
3. Practice “Embarrassing” Scenarios
In order to stop feeling embarrassed in the future, take the same list and start planning scenarios,”Take that same list and begin preparing scenarios to prevent feeling embarrassed in the future,” “Most of the time, this exercise helps you work through the fragile self-esteem you developed because of the insecurity.”
It might sound dumb, but think of it this way: the more you hear it, the more you are compelled to be subjected to it, the more indifferent you can become, if anyone can easily annoy you by telling a certain something. You build up a resistance like everything else and practice will get you there.
4. Stop apologizing.
This is an emotional one for me. I truly believe that if I’m sorry, I’m going to get back to feeling normal. And if I’ve been sorry only five minutes before that point.
I guess I’m an apology addict. “Just one more apology and I’ll feel okay.” No. You’re not going to. In reality, you’re going to feel worse. And, again, your attention is to the past, not the present, where you don’t have to apologise for something. So stop it now.
5. Be you. Neurotic you.
St. Francis de Sales has four wise words for the achievement of spiritual excellence: “Be you very well.” It also refers to neurotics, like me, who wear their psychological charts on their sleeves and are so clear that any idea they have is reported as a bulletin on their faces.
When you’re finished that way—or, rather, if you want to live that way—you’re going to feel much more humiliation than, say, a girl who puts away her feelings to see only safe people. But if Francis is right, that’s the price I’ve got to pay for being me.
6. Laugh about it.
This is a simple one in retrospect. I know, embarrassing stories make a perfect cocktail party stuff. I can’t tell you how many times the story of David tossing the kid into the water served like an icebreaker. Funny things, guys.
But when you’re in “sensitivity land,” laughing is a bit of a struggle, which is why you need a good friend to help you do it.
7. Keep the right tense.
All embarrassment has taken place in the past. Theoretically, if you could sit completely in the moment, you wouldn’t have an ounce of embarrassment – because all the signals inside your brain belong to a different time and place.
Now I know it’s almost difficult to be present at a moment where you’re having the twisted knot within your gut that says something like,
“You can’t be trusted with anything, you idiot!” and you’re feeling the acute symptoms of embarrassment (somewhat like the flu), but if you can recall for even a minute here or there to draw your attention to the situation, you’re going to be relaxed.
Embrace Your Embarrassment
It’s a cringe-inducing embarrassing moment, it’s jaw-achingly awful, and we both wish it had never happened. Although the problem is that they do exist. For everyone.
Trying to get away from it is the hardest thing that you can do. Chances are, you will fail and continue to suffer to get over it. The only thing left to do is to welcome and head-on fight the humiliation.
All the above approaches I have revealed here to solve an embarrassing circumstance require direct intervention by you. You need yourself to handle it. In your head, enjoy your goofiness, make sense of it, or tear it down. Don’t let it fester, whatever it is.