Eight tips for dealing with embarrassment
Medically reviewed by Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Feeling embarrassed is something that no one really likes. It can be awkward to be put in a situation where you’re embarrassed and it’s generally something that most people want to avoid. Even the most self-confident individuals out there will feel embarrassed from time to time. This means that embarrassment is a fairly normal thing and you shouldn’t think that feeling embarrassed in certain situations makes you unusual. However, there are some people who have a tougher time getting over embarrassing moments than others. If you’re worried about embarrassing situations and you have trouble coping with feelings of embarrassment, then you might need some tips to make things better.
Take a look at the following tips for dealing with embarrassment. This should help you to deal with embarrassing situations in a natural way. You can get through embarrassment without having it impact your life in a substantially negative way. You just need to know how to approach the situation and how to stop going back to past moments in your head. Hopefully, these eight tips will allow you to deal with embarrassment effectively and you’ll feel much less worried about things moving forward.
Understand that embarrassments are in the past
When learning to cope with embarrassment, the first big thing that will help you is to realize that embarrassing moments are in the past. These things have already occurred and there is nothing that you can do to change them. It might have been tough to get through those moments, but you’re here now and everything is okay. Something that happened in the past can’t hurt you and it doesn’t have to define who you are. It’s going to be best for you to let go of the past so that you can move on and enjoy the future. This will be easier said than done for some people, but you can stop living in the past and focusing on embarrassing moments if you put the effort in.
Know that you don’t need to apologize for feeling embarrassed
These embarrassing things that happened to you might make you feel like you’re ashamed. Some people feel a deep sense of shame when they’re embarrassed and this can make things worse. You might even feel the need to apologize because you’re feeling embarrassed, but this isn’t actually necessary. There’s no reason to apologize for feeling embarrassed and this is usually a natural response to certain things. For example, most people are going to be a bit embarrassed if someone walks in on them taking a shower or if they trip in front of a group of people. These things just happen and you didn’t do anything wrong by having an embarrassing reaction to these events.
Talk to someone about how you’re feeling
Coping with embarrassment is really about figuring out how to get back to normal. You want to feel normal and at ease, so it makes sense to talk to people that make you feel safe. If you’re struggling with feelings of embarrassment, then you should try to talk to people that you trust and respect very much. Let them know how you’re feeling and tell them what happened if you’re comfortable doing that. You’ll likely find that these people will put things into perspective and you’ll feel much better. It’ll be easier for you to see that people aren’t judging you for having gone through this embarrassing moment and that the embarrassment is just living in your head. Having a strong support system in place should make coping with embarrassment much simpler than it would otherwise be.
Learn to laugh at the situation
Once you’re feeling more comfortable with the situation, it might become possible to laugh at the situations that have embarrassed you in the past. Of course, this might depend on the level of embarrassment that you experienced. Embarrassment might feel tougher to get over. This could include something that is really traumatic or invasive. However, normal embarrassing moments might become things that you can just shrug off and laugh at eventually. When you think about things from the right perspective, you might be able to laugh at yourself for making a silly mistake or falling down.
Understand that being afraid is fine
Being afraid is something that could be keeping you from moving forward after experiencing an embarrassing situation. If something embarrassing happens the first time you have an intimate moment with someone that you have a crush on, then that is going to stick with you for a while. It’s normal to feel more embarrassed by things like that and some people might be afraid of experiencing the same embarrassment again. Feeling the way that you do is somewhat natural and your fear is coming from an honest place. This doesn’t mean that you need to let your fear rule you, though.
If you don’t face your fears, then you’re going to be stuck in a rut for a long time. You don’t want to be in a situation where you don’t feel like you can do certain things because you’re afraid. Everyone has fears and it doesn’t make you strange to be afraid of embarrassing situations. If you are having a tough time dealing with embarrassment, then you can always get help to make dealing with the fear easier. It actually takes strength to acknowledge that something is wrong and to take steps to get better. Believe in yourself know that everyone has things that keep them up at night.
Understand that nothing is ever perfect
Some people experience embarrassment because they fail to live up to some standard that they had set for themselves. It can be embarrassing to fail, but you don’t have to let your failures be the end of you. Learning from your failures has the potential to push you toward greater heights of success. Many people have said that you learn more from failures than you can from success stories. Knowing this, it’s possible to use the embarrassments of the past to push yourself to greater success. There are multiple ways to look at the things that you did that caused you embarrassment in the past.
It’s also true that you can stop trying to be a perfectionist because perfection is unobtainable. You have to accept that you’re a human being who makes mistakes and does awkward things sometimes. It might feel like you’re the only one being embarrassed sometimes, but this is simply not true. So many people are going through similar situations right now and they have the same doubts that you do. Nothing is ever going to be completely perfect and you’re going to have embarrassing moments in life. You can move past those moments if you choose to acknowledge yourself flaws and all. Don’t hide from mistakes and don’t let the fear of embarrassment hold you back from improving either.
Get out there and try again
The fear of embarrassment should not hold you back from getting out there to try again. If you want to move past embarrassment for good, then the best way to do that is to not let it stop you from living your life. This could mean doing the same thing that embarrassed you in the past. You might be concerned about reliving embarrassing moments from the past, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Things don’t have to go the same way and even if something does go wrong, it’s going to be possible to keep your head held high. Don’t worry so much about things and be ready to go out there and give it your all.
If you took the time to learn from your embarrassing moments, then you shouldn’t have any trouble avoiding what made you feel so embarrassed last time. Something else might go wrong and that’s perfectly acceptable. As mentioned earlier, perfection isn’t something that you should be so concerned with. Concern yourself with putting in the effort and believing in yourself. If you can do that, then you’ll be in a much better position.
Seeking therapy is going to be a great way for most people to deal with embarrassment. If there have been embarrassing moments in your life that stick with you, then you might need some assistance. Some people have a tougher time letting go of those embarrassing moments and they might need a bit of help to get things back to normal. Therapists understand how tough humiliation can be and they know that it can have an impact on your psyche. Thankfully, it’s possible to move past embarrassing situations when you work with a therapist.
A therapist is going to be able to help you to process your emotions in healthy ways. Instead of feeling humiliated because of the embarrassment that you’ve gone through, it’ll be possible to move past that. You can come to accept what has happened and learn why you shouldn’t feel bad in any way. Your therapist will be happy to teach you coping mechanisms that will help you when you’re feeling a strong sense of embarrassment, too. You’ll be much more capable of dealing with embarrassment when you have professional help like this.
Some people choose to seek out online therapy options such as BetterHelp due to how convenient and affordable they are. This is a great way to get therapy without even having to leave the house. You can get great therapy online or you can choose to get help at a traditional office location with a local therapist. Whatever you choose, just know that you’ll never be alone when you have a therapist to turn to.**