Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Embarrassing Moments

I love this cartoon because it reminds me of my worst nightmare.  Now, you might say, why would you love it then?  Well, it's because it makes me laugh about it!

I don't know about you but it's been many, (and I mean MANY), years since I've gone to school.  Even now, after all this time, I still have those school nightmares.  You know, the ones where you discover you have a final in a course you didn't even know you were taking?  Or, when you discover you've been sittiing in the wrong classroom for months, or you're naked, or you just realize you're supposed to be at school and you aren't?  This cartoon reminds me of all of those dreams, along with the real life experiences I've had of discovering that I'd completely misunderstood something.

What I think is most telling about this is that although the student with the play-dough is obviously mortified, none of the other students seems to notice.  That's the way many of our most embarrassing moments have probably played out, but we were so upset that we didn't notice how little other people cared.

I got over being embarrassed years ago when I had a problem with my balance.  When I was in Junior College one of my ears completely plugged up.  Since it came upon me slowly, I didn't really notice the lack of hearing, but after a while it began to affect my balance.  I'd never been particularly clumsy but all of a sudden I was falling over and as young people do, just assumed that I had embarked on a new stage of my life, clumsy Susan.

Now, this happened to be going on during the Olympics and for some reason I started giving myself points for my falls.  It became kind of a running routine, if I fell, I'd say "that was an 8.7" and everyone, including myself, would laugh.  Once I had a fairly spectacular fall where somehow I managed to do a full turn before ending up on my back. For that one, I got style points!

Now, if I was falling like that now I'd be in the hospital, but I was 18 years old and just jumped up and dusted myself off.  I realized that the people around me were usually concerned if I was OK, and then we'd all have a good laugh together about how "graceful" I was.  It was then that I discovered that being able to laugh at myself was my best weapon against embarrassment.

Once my ear problem was resolved I stopped falling over all the time, but I transferred that way of dealing with it into other aspects of my life.  I won't say that I haven't been embarrassed since, but it's become a lot easier to deal with it when it happens.

I've also come to the realization that, just like the other students in the cartoon, many times the people around us don't think twice about our "embarrassing" moments.  People have their own lives and troubles, and tend to forget about what happens to others to focus on their own "embarrassing" moments.

So, if you're afraid of being embarrassed about something, just laugh it off, and remember, everyone, I don't care who they are, have had embarrassing moments too.

So, try not to dwell on it and it will soon be forgotten,



1 comment:

Deb said...

Great words of advice!! I too learned at a relatively young age that humor can save an embarrassing moment. And as a social worker, I have tried to pass that along to others. As you mentioned, most people are so into their own stuff--they seldom see or remember what we perceive as our embarrassing moments. Bravo!!