Friday, May 22, 2020

how to get over embarrassment, a personal story





I have a bad habit of replaying an embarrassing situation that I have been in, over and over in my mind. The scene plays out on repeat in my head. This week, I did something that made me feel stupid.  I laid awake at night ruminating over my mistake and wondering what other people must think of me. It's something I have done my entire life. I just don''t give myself a break. After staraing at the clock most often night, I decided that I needed to stop the cycle. By thinking about it, I was just cementing the situation on my mind. Then I came across an article about exactly this thing.

In the article, the author suggested the reader think of the last embarrassing thing they remember a friend doing. Think about it now. You probably can't think of something, right? I couldn't. She reasoned that most people couldn't recall an embarrassing situation about someone else close to them. You are (more than likely) the only person who remembers.

This made me feel better. We have such a tendency to be cruel to ourselves and yet when a friend needs encouragement, we unconditionally provide love and support. We say "It doesn't matter. It's done. No one will remember this."

As I look back on my life, there were times when I did things that were humiliating at the time but now I can laugh at my naiveté or my clumsiness (I have no coordination. At all.) So, if you need to feel better about something you've done that makes you shake your head and think "Why did I do that?" this should make you feel better.

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Several years ago, I decided I needed a new hobby so after watching "East Pray Love" I registered for Italian for Beginners at a local  college. One the first day, our very chic Professoressa (from Sardinia) asked us to write out a place card with our name that we would place in front of us on our desks. She said, "And include your title!"

I don't know what came over me but instead of Signora, Signorina or Signore, my mind went to titles as in Contessa, Principessa, Marchesa and Baronessa. I thought "Sure, OK! Let's have fun with this!" so I wrote my title and name down and placed the card on my desk.

It was then that I noticed that my classmates had written their equivalent Italian title + their name i.e. Signore Paolo, Signorina Caterina. Then there was me. My place card read Principessa Taylor. It was too late to change my card. I watched as Professoressa scanned each person along with their card and addressed them by their title and name.  Then she got to me and she started to laugh. I was wildly embarrassed by my  faux pas but Professoressa chuckled as she said "OK, Principessa Taylor. Buongiono!" And that is what she addressed me as for the entire semester - Principessa. After several weeks it just seemed as normal as being called Signora but at the time I felt ridiculous for making such an idiotic mistake on my first day. 

Other than this mistake and the inability to not speak Italian without using my hands, the semester was so fantastico that I went on to take Italian II and this Principessa was very sad to say ciao to one very understanding Professoressa

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