Coaching Embarrassment

When was the last time you felt the emotion of embarrassment? Did a friend say something personal about you in front of other friends or people you didn’t know? Did you make a statement that was incorrect but swore that it was true? Did you rip the seat of your pants exposing your underwear?

The emotion of embarrassment is a self-defeating emotion that can limit your self-confidence. It weakens your ability to assume leadership roles that can be highly valuable to yourself, your organization, and society as a whole.

The state of embarrassment is generally considered to be self imposed, like shame or guilt. Embarrassment is defined by Webster as "a self conscious response to an unacceptable act or condition that is witnessed by or revealed to others and judged to be unacceptable."

The element of fault is inherent in the definition of embarrassment, which at least in part lies with the person experiencing the embarrassment because of an act deemed unacceptable by someone’s personal or societal standards.

Understanding what embarrassment is and why you feel it is important for your self image. Confronting embarrassment in a way that includes self-deprivation, self-introspection and blame can many times exacerbate the raw feeling caused by the embarrassing event doing more harm than good.

Focusing on the person or event that caused your embarrassment is counter-productive. Focus on personal feelings of insecurity and the ability to move on after embarrassment occurs. You will be healthier and happier in the long run, not to mention less embarrassed about the event. Instead of recalling the raw feelings in the future, you will be able to laugh and tell a good story on yourself.

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