05 June 2013

Overcoming Embarrassing Moments

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Last week I had a very embarrassing moment. It was a situation that I am usually pretty good at handing but felt I totally and completely botched. I was mortified that it happened but even more mortified that I stepped right into it without thinking enough. I'm sharing this only because I think we've all found ourselves in this situation occasionally and that you'll be able to connect with my journey. Maybe I'll feel less lame knowing you've been in my shoes.

Now I have to say I can get especially mortified about things. I always have taken certain embarrassments way harder than I should. But for the most part I am really good at laughing things off. Like the day I tripped in front of the glass walled gym at my office. Not only did I stumble, but I continued to stumble for the entire length of the glass wall, getting my balance and avoiding falling on my face at the last possible moment. There were people in the gym and all over in the building who saw me. One of the trainers at the gym, to add insult to injury came running out and yelled after me, "Are you okay?!" So then everyone who didn't see it was well aware of my embarrassment. I quickly said, "Oh yeah, I'm fine." and proceeded to walk as fast as I could to the elevators where the doors would close on my humiliation. I was able to laugh that off and even though I was embarrassed, it didn't haunt me.

This embarrassment last week haunted me and it still haunting me even though I'm working my way through it trying to be rational. But I could not control my obsession with it the rest of the the day, then the next day I still had to talk myself down off the ledge of humiliation. I found myself beating myself up about it, reviewing the situation over and over in my mind.

I think sometimes this is one of those things that separates men and women. I think women obsess about these things more than men do. Maybe men are able to let it go with other distractions sooner? It's silly but I haven't spoken to anyone about this experience I had because it's just too humiliating to me. I don't like what it says about me and my personal awareness -- and that is something I've always prided myself in.

So I will have to keep working this out by myself and making this a lesson in getting over it. I have to quit worrying about what the person I was with thinks of me or how they might judge me. So what if they do, I really didn't know that person all that well anyway. I'll either never see this person again OR I will have the chance to rectify the bad first impression I made in future encounters. Either way it's no reason to cause myself so much stress and grief for a week afterwards. Dealing with humiliation and embarrassment seems to be a lesson we continue to have to learn throughout out lives. I suppose it keeps you real, grounded and centered. Whatever the lessons, I'm trying to learn them and move on as fast as possible.

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