like many out there, i'm a person who fears embarrassment more than almost anything else. thus, the embracing embarrassment article in august's martha stewart living really resonated with me.
i might not have learned a lot of brand new information from the article, but i did get some helpful reminders:
- scientists say that most of the time, embarrassment actually improves others' opinions of us. it triggers compassion, acceptance, and approval on the part of onlookers, who are only too happy to be reminded that nobody's perfect.
- making light of an embarrassment - laughing along with everyone else - is probably the best response, the experts say, because doing so lets you acknowledge the situation but still move on quickly. humor also helps everyone accept the ordinariness of embarrassing episodes.
- if you're really averse to embarrassment, you're probably making it out to be more fearsome and damaging than it really is.
- people usually feel there's been greater damage done to their social standing than there has been.
- once you realize how ordinary and even useful embarrassment is, you can more easily shake it off with a laugh or a shrug.
- text by mary duenwald, martha stewart living, august 2010, p. 180
i hope some of you can use these thoughts to your benefit in your own life.
*image from modernemotive via pinterest