Overcoming Embarrassing and Awkward Moments
Embarrassing moments. We’ve all had them! Whether you said or did something inappropriate or socially awkward, I can guarantee you that we’ve all been there. For many of us these moments can be hard to cope with. If you’re an over-thinker like me, dealing with the emotional aftermath can be straight up exhausting!
Over the past few months I’ve discovered a few tips and tricks that have changed my perspective and approach towards how I cope with uncomfortable and embarrassing situations. They’ve really made a difference for me in my experience, and I hope they can be of some value to you too!
Have compassion for yourself
Ok, yes this one might sound cheesy (At least, I used to think so) – but hear me out!
For the longest time I used to pass off the idea of ‘self-love’ as ooey gooey and not my thing. I mean, we often hear people preaching to ‘just love yourself’, but how do we really do that? And isn’t self-love just for tree-hugging hippies? I don’t think so!
As a rule, we are wayyy too critical of ourselves. Often when we do something embarrassing we become our own worst critics and get wrapped up in feelings of shame, guilt or anger. This becomes particularly damaging when we start feeding ourselves negative thoughts: calling ourselves stupid, incompetent or worthless. Over time, these messages can have a REAL impact on our confidence, and keep us from reaching our full potential!
Start by practicing some compassion towards yourself – become your own best friend! Step outside of yourself for a brief moment. Think about it: half of the nasty things we tell ourselves we would never dream of telling a friend! Now, treat yourself with that same kindness and compassion.
Above all, forgive yourself! It is OK to be awkward, to do or say something silly or embarrassing. It is absolutely NOT OK to spend the next hour, day, week, year (10 years!) beating yourself up about it! Know that, no matter what, you will always unconditionally accept and love yourself!
By creating this kind of positive relationship, we give ourselves permission to stuff up and make mistakes. This is important because mistakes are an inevitable part of learning, growing and being human!
One moment in your life does NOT define you
Sometimes an embarrassing moment can feel so traumatic it’s as if it remains burned into your memory for all eternity (I know I can still recall my most cringe-worthy high school moments!). Here, it can be helpful to create some separation between yourself and the situation. Yes, you did something awkward or embarrassing, but one moment does NOT define you! This leads directly into…
Stop entertaining negative thoughts… Let go!
Let’s be honest, overthinking is exhausting, and frankly, a waste of time and energy! I know I’ve spent many a sleepless night tossing and turning, replaying events and how I could have behaved differently. It can be difficult, but sometimes you just have to make the conscious decision to let go.
That means choosing NOT to entertain negative thoughts! These thoughts do not serve you but only hold you back. Move on!
Stop overthinking it!
Are you making a mountain out of a mole hill? Sometimes we can become so self conscious and stuck in our own heads that we build something up to be a much bigger deal than it actually is. Consider this: it’s highly likely that the people around you didn’t even notice because they’re so caught up in themselves!
Have a laugh at yourself
Sometimes it’s worth just taking a step back, owning your mistake and having a good laugh at yourself. Stop taking things so seriously! Learn from it, have a laugh and move on!
The most important takeaway here is that embarrassing and awkward moments are an inevitable part of life, and while we may not always have control over these situations, we do have control over how we think and react. By creating a more positive relationship with yourself and choosing to embrace thought patterns that serve you rather than hold you back, these events can make us stronger and better people!