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  • Héctor A. Venegas

How do you cope with embarrassment?

Although we are all different and have different levels of self-confidence, there are a lot of things that we find embarrassing.

For some it’s being seen naked, for others being found out that they are not able to do something and yet for others it is the little things that happen all day, like burping in a restaurant or spilling food on your shirt.

For all it is to be seen in some kind of way, that was not meant to be, an unwanted attention to private matters or personal flaws or mishaps. It’s being perceived as inappropriate social behavior.

This is a very personal and emotional state, we feel when being exposed to others in a way which was not intended.

Embarrassment can have a deep and lasting impact on our behavior and our self-esteem.

As it is such a very personal emotion, even very positive actions or reactions from others, such as being called beautiful or smart, can cause embarrassment on the receiver’s end.

It all goes back to being exposed to an unexpected situation and not being able to cope with it at the time. While being exposed, it is also the very personal and individual feeling, based on the thought of being judged by others for the behavior. It doesn't even matter if others have even noticed the behavior or would judge it.

Embarrassment happens solely in the head of the one feeling it.

As everyone has encountered embarrassment at some point in their lives, the feeling is so strong within us, that we actually can feel the embarrassment from others, as it happens to them.

Same as we can feel embarrassed ourselves by something another person did. This usually happens, when the other person is close to us. Our partner, friend or family and we feel they are within our circle, exposing us with them to strangers. The bond is so strong, that they can make us feel humiliated too, even if they themselves wouldn't feel it as strong as we would.

Embarrassment is strongly bond to vulnerability. It affects us more, when we are feeling vulnerable.

The feeling we are left with can be so strong, that it can affect the way we act and behave in the future. As we cannot avoid getting into these situations, where we feel embarrassment, we should find ways of coping with the situation.

Recovering from embarrassment is not easy, although most would claim, it didn't affect them as much. Nevertheless, they will avoid another exposure of that kind for a long time, after feeling embarrassment, some will even develop a feeling of panic when thinking of a similar situation for their whole life.

How can we get over this?

The following are some points you can do to support the recovery:

First of all, you are not alone!

This situation, whatever it is, has happened to millions of people before you!

It is not something that happened to YOU individually, BECAUSE you are you.

It is something that happens and by coincidence it was your turn.

Second, is it really so humiliating?

Or is it just funny and can we all laugh about it.

If so, telling the story to others is helpful. Have a laugh and get on with your life.

This will strengthen your self-esteem and turn the situation into a funny story.

Third, be real!

Stop worrying about what others think of you!

You are NOT that important to the world outside, that they would judge you all the time.

Of course we believe, we are the center of the universe….but, so do the others!

Fourth, focus on the positive things!

You are not your mistakes! You are so much more!

For some you might even be the world. They love you for who you are, with all your edges and all your flaws.

Fifth, if it really bothers you, talk to a friend!

When we speak out our worries, we will be able to reorganize our thoughts about them.

Speaking to a close friend, family member or partner will give us the possibility to receive feedback, to reflect and to see it from a different angle.

Work on that embarrassing moments. Reflect on them and share them with the ones that are close to you. You will see how they lose the importance…

Try it! You will see how it works!

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