Coping with Embarrassment



Seems the older I am becoming the less embarrass I become. I remember I was in a meeting, I sat down, missed the chair and fell to the floor. I assume, those in the room tried to help me because no one laughed.  I really didn’t feel embarrassed. I was more baffled why no one came to assist me or make sure I was alright.

Embarrassment, why do we feel embarrassed? We are embarrassed when we are conscious of our actions which falls short of our expectations or reveals our flaws.

We are ashamed of having our short-coming exposed before others. We are more concern how others will perceive our action than how we feel about our actions.

Whenever we are embarrassed, we are demonstrating self-awareness. One could associate embarrassment with perfectionism. When expectations are set to a certain standard one might feel embarrassed when the standard is not upheld.


What should we do to help ease the feeling of embarrassment? 1) learn to laugh at yourself instead of reacting to others laughing at you. Take the edge off of the embarrassment with laughter.  2) Don’t take life too serious, loosen up. 3) Keep in mind, the embarrassing moment or experience will soon pass.

Besides, people have short-term memories more likely than you suspect. You are more prone to think about the incident than others. 4) If your embarrassment involves another person, apologize if necessary. Acknowledge what has happened if needed. 5) Give yourself permission to recover. 6) Don’t be hard on yourself. Release the guilt. 7) Forgive yourself if needed.

I could give countless tales of personal embarrassing moments. Many of you can too. What we share in common- regardless of the embarrassment, like in all things “this too shall pass.”

Keep in mind, whatever the mishap, the embarrassment does not last forever. You may live with the consequence of our actions, but the feeling of embarrassment because of your actions does dissipate.


15 thoughts on “Coping with Embarrassment

  1. I find it interesting that you mentioned releasing the guilt. As a parent, it can be embarrassing when a child (an adult child, mind you) chooses behavior that is contrary to the way they were raised. Unfortunately, what is uncovered in that parental embarrassment is selfish pride, which is then heaped upon the concern for the child himself. So the questions to ask myself is WHY am I embarrassed, and is it worth it? Generally, no.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right. As parents it is easy to carry the guilt of disappointment when a child does something which embarrass the family. You are also right, pride might also be involved. The truth of the matter is, we all get disappointed from time-to-time we must self-assess and seek ways to move forward. This includes owning what might have transpired rather than denial. I realize a lot of my post sounds like it is easy to move forward, but I know this is not the reality for some. My hope is we learn not to be too hard on ourselves and limit our view from seeing a way out of what we’re facing. I like that you ask yourself WHY are you embarrassed, I think that diffuse the situation and allow you to deal with reality. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. good points Yvonne that we sometimes take it too seriously and its really all in our head. we are too concerned of what people think. thank you for this nice read as i have my coffee this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

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