Embarrassed? Oh…no!!

My last post about “crying unabashedly”, and people being embarrassed by that,
got me thinking about the other stuff we say embarrasses us, and why.

There is certainly no shortage of possible candidates for that list. It’s endless actually:

– You’re chatting with someone at a party. A friend comes over and asks to be introduced.
Oops—what IS her name?

– Your stomach won’t stop growling during a business meeting.

– Your credit card is refused, and you’re hosting the lunch.

– You are quizzed by your teacher on the one book (really, the only one)
which you haven’t had a chance to read before class.

– Your parents repeat that same stupid story (yet again), to a room full of people,
about that “cute” episode from your childhood.

– You faint (while holding hands with everyone in the room) during the prayer circle
of a fundraiser, crashing onto the dinner table behind you, and ending up under it.
(Yeah, you’re right…me).

– You watch with horror while an orange rolls off the centerpiece that you’ve been playing with (because you’re bored out of your mind) at a director’s luncheon, which orange then plops into the chairman’s water glass,spraying him, his glasses, and the report he’s been reading. (Actually, this past one might be my all time champ).

– You’ve just arrived in your jeans and T at what you thought was a casual barbecue
to find all the guests “dressed to the nines”.

– So, now add your own items…..

Do you see a pattern here? Of course you do!! This happens to EVERYBODY;
you, me, EVERYBODY! It’s our inner judge who’s making us feel inadequate
even though this is such human stuff.

For myself, I’ve decided to revise my notion of the use of the word “embarrassed.” It’s human to make mistakes. The key point here,as in so many other instances, comes back to our intention: if we were knowingly to cause suffering or harm to someone else, then that, rightly, should  be cause for  us to be “embarrassed”…but not because we forget someone’s name, or spray the chairman of the board with water.

Practice Tip Push PinPractice Tip: The dictionary defines embarrassment as being “painfully self-conscious, ill at ease, ashamed or humiliated.” The next time you make this kind of very human error, (something which up to now might have caused you to feel “embarrassed”), stop and think about it: isn’t the dictionary definition of embarrassed a bit over the top for you to be feeling about this?

Of course it is, so let’s cut ourselves some slack and take some of these cases away from “da judge”.

Please be kind to yourself,


About Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a life coach, author and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After spending 35 years in business - coaching found him - and he's never looked back. Michael uses his coaching training and experience, in the service of his clients, as their constant and loving guide towards joyous, fulfilling lives which are genuinely their own. He lives with his dear wife in Sausalito, CA.

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