The wide array of emotions under the Anger Iceberg, knowing that I am affected by every single one either now or in the not so distant past, made it very difficult to choose the first one. Embarrassment seemed to linger with me, so I will begin there. It’s always easier to start with something small.
I am so, so easily embarrassed. I get embarrassed watching TV for the characters, which was written in a script! Talk about ridiculous. Still yet, it’s the truth. There will be scenes that I have to physically go into another room because I cannot watch it. Why? Why? I ask myself. But I have no idea.
Here’s what I do know. I know that embarrassment is a subconscious emotion. I believe that it is directly related to the social standards in which we hold ourselves to. I believe that embarrassment is a fear response. I believe that the level and frequency of embarrassment that you experience resembles your own self worth, self esteem and how you view yourself in general.
I don’t believe that feeling embarrassed has very much to do with how others view us or but rather what we think other people’s opinions about us are. Somewhere, somehow we have decided that we know what people are thinking of us better than they do. The people actually casting their judgment or lack thereof.
Just so we’re clear here, we don’t get to do that. I don’t get to assume that you, the one reading this, is thinking right now…geez, what a freaking moron. Doesn’t she know that Susan said that last week? Where’s the unfollow button? … she’s wasting my time. Nope. I don’t get to assume that. Sure, you can put that in the comment section and then we can make that a factual statement. Until that happens though, it’s just a thought that is going to prey on my subconscious emotion, embarrassment.
Everything embarrasses me. That is so awkward just typing that because I am a march to my own drum, say what’s on my mind, be unique, don’t choke back what you’re really thinking, say the first thing that comes to mind (almost always offends SOMEONE), and I don’t care what you think human being! Yet, I am still haunted by this lovely emotion.
As a woman, wife, mother, employee, boss, human being, I care what others think. Just like you, I’m sure. I don’t want to look like a fool, say the wrong thing, not know the right answer, make a mistake, be judged or laughed at or about just like most. I think we can all agree on that. No one likes that. It feels bad. It hurts. But you get it, right? We do that TO EACH OTHER. We. You, me, her, him. We do that.
Embarrassment is an emotion that you cannot fake. It’s raw. It surprises you like thinking you needed to fart and you literally just shit your pants. Yeah, I went there. Never crapped your pants before? It’ll be funny….later, not right when it happens. That’s my tip for ya.
It’s so easy to focus on other people’s mistakes than our own. It’s basically performing an evaluation of a perfect stranger. Before you know it you’ve evaluated, judged, deemed yourself better somehow and ….guess what? Now you’re a bit of a jerk.
Caring what people think feeds the tapeworm of embarrassment. It never gets full. Feeling guilty? Ashamed of something? A tad prideful? Exposed a moment you hoped to forget? Were you awkward? (I’m awkward, always). If you’re breathing, you feel these. It’s normal. You’re normal. No..not normal. You’re just YOU. There is no such thing as normal.
There is no such thing as normal. Thank goodness, right? No one wants to be a Stepford Wife. At least, no one I can relate to.
I want to be different. I have thin eyebrows and sometimes I use dry shampoo too much and now there’s a permanent white spot on my black coat. But I LOVE me. I have a hole in my forehead that will forever be there because I was too scared to get a black head out when I was 13. Okay, good learning material for my kid one day.
Talking about what embarrasses you takes away the power it holds over your head. Here’s the two options. Avoid it. Address it. What’s it going to be?
I’m addressing. I want the zip code for it. Not the 5 digit one, the one with the hyphen. And, I want a signature upon receipt.
Call yourself out on it.
Show yourself some self compassion.
Show yourself kindness.
Recognize that you are human.
Let go of perfectionism and stop allowing unworthiness to work it’s way in.
I grew up in a crap environment with even worse role models. That’s as PG and as frank as I can be without going through therapy lane. Honestly? It’s an absolute miracle I’m not a drug dealer living on the street. But here I am, quickly approaching 40, married my highschool sweetheart, have an awesome kid and worked by tail off for a company and now I’m at the top of my career. I’m killin’ it.
But, when my kids fish died, I baked a pan of brownies and we ate the entire pan. The whole pan. Mid-way through, we were both experiencing a very unhealthy sugar high where you cry and laugh at the same time and I picked that exact moment to say, “oh by the way, your fish died today. It’s okay though, I flushed it and now it’s with the other fish in the ocean.” Yes, I got blank stares and maybe one tear and a lot of laughs. My husband cringed and wanted to crawl in a hole. My finest moment? Probably not. Did I knock that out of the park? Eh, debatable. But when she asked me for a fish last month, we had an honest conversation about it.
So yeah, I think I nailed it. I’m still waiting for that mom of the year award, though.
Embarrassment is about other people’s perspective. So what happens if we don’t care so much about about that anymore? Let’s do more of that.