You see a lot of articles about dealing with guilt whether it be from parenting, past mistakes, or addiction. These are important things that need to be addressed and I’m glad that so many people step up and give their unique viewpoint on handling it. I feel that dealing with embarrassment is a topic that often gets overlooked, though, but it is also an important emotion that really should be addressed. If you are struggling with embarrassment, these tips can help.
I truly struggle with embarrassment and don’t hide it well. When I begin feeling embarrassed and my body is suddenly pumping out 200 degrees of heat my face looks like an angry mood ring. My coupons don’t scan at the register and the line starts backing up? Yep, I’m going to start sweating. I lose my temper with my kids and make a probably already tear-filled situation worse? Here comes the blushing cheeks, or in my case the totally red face, neck, and ears.
Dealing with embarrassment is a topic that gets overlooked. If you are struggling, these steps will help. Click To Tweet
This is not limited to publicly. I recently had a blogging faux pas of posting a link not allowed on a group page. I received an automated response about it. No one knew about this mistake but I had to sit in front of a fan to cool down while the embarrassment passed. Crazy, right?
You have to have clear and defined steps for dealing with this. Eventually you get to a place where you are no longer embarrassed as easily. If you struggle with this like I do, these steps will help you in dealing with embarrassment, too.
1. Take Ownership of the Feeling
(A psychologist gave me this tip.) Tell yourself, or whoever you are interacting with, that you are embarrassed. You move past it much more quickly by owning up to how embarrassed you instead of pretending that you’re not embarrassed.
2. Take Preemptive Measures
If there are situations that happen frequently (or inevitably) that embarrass you, take the time to write them out and put a different spin on them.
I know that I will have temperamental coupons again, I will lose my cool with the kiddos, and eventually make another (possibly more public) digital faux pas. I am deciding ahead of time of alternative ways to think about the situation.
- Coupons: There are so many variables with scanning coupons. The coupon printed funny. The scanner is malfunctioning. The cashier is brand new or a myriad of other things. It is not my own personal failing when this happens. I am trying to save my family money. If the people in line with me become impatient actually say something cruel to me it says a lot about their character.
- Kids: I am not perfect, as is no one, and my kids need to learn that as well. If I acknowledge that losing my cool was not the best response, they are learning valuable lessons that I hope they carry with them into adulthood.
- Digital Faux Pas: There are a lot of guidelines and regulations for posts on your blog, in groups you belong to, and social media and sometimes, I am going to make mistakes. I am not the only one. (An example of this is Facebook posts with the disclaimer.) When it is truly a mistake and not a blatant disregard for rules and etiquette, it is okay.
3. Write It Down and Destroy It
If you’re having trouble letting something go (you still become embarrassed thinking about it) write it down on paper. Allow yourself to feel embarrassed one more time and then destroy the piece of paper. Tear it up, throw it in the composter, or burn it with your firewood but actively destroy it. This journal is great for getting out embarrassment and frustration. Remember that you have the greatest grace of all and if God has forgiven you, who are you to not forgive yourself?
What is your worst embarrassment trigger and how do you handle it? Let me know in the comments!