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Tips for Managing Yourself When You’re Embarrassed

Embarrassment can be an oppressive emotion.

Everyone has experienced embarrassment at some point, and some of us embarrass more easily than others. When you feel foolish in front of others, are you good at controlling that emotion rather than letting it get the best of you? Here are some tips for managing yourself when you’re embarrassed–

Understand the Root Cause of Your Embarrassment

The first thing that you should prioritize is understanding the root cause of your embarrassment. Are you embarrassed because your privacy has been violated? Because you’ve been rejected? Because you don’t know how to do something? Because something awkward or funny happened to you? If you understand the foundation of your emotion, you’ll have a more successful time handling it.

Don’t Focus So Much on You

Most people overestimate how much attention that others are paying to us, a phenomenon known as the “spotlight effect.” In other words, if you commit a faux pas, chances are that you’re the only one who’s going to notice. By remembering that people are much more focused on themselves than they are on you, you can combat feelings of embarrassment.

Let Yourself Relax

Depending upon the root cause of the embarrassment, you may benefit by letting yourself relax and even laugh at yourself. This can be harder to do if you feel like you’ve been rejected, for example, but is very possible for situations where you don’t know something or do something goofy.

Repair the Problem

The easiest way to deal with embarrassment is to fix whatever the embarrassing situation is in the first place. For example, imagine that your boss asks you a question to which you do not know the answer. Rather than panicking and feeling terrible, say honestly, “I’m not sure on that right now, but I’m going to find out,” and then do the work. Or, if you break your mother-in-law’s favorite vase, start cleaning up the pieces immediately, apologize, and then replace it. When you face a problem head-on, you’re in charge, not your emotions.

How do you deal with embarrassment?

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