We all embarrass ourselves sometimes.
That said, knowing you’re not alone doesn’t always make it easier to overcome embarrassment, especially when you’re trying to leave a good impression on someone.
Fortunately for you, you’re about to learn nine simple and effective ways to forget an embarrassing moment — and even make some good come out of it.
Yes, it’s possible.
Read on to see how.
How to Get Over Embarrassment: 9 Ways To Get Over An Embarrassing Moment
No matter how mortifying your experience was, getting over embarrassment is not only possible but easier than you might expect.
Check out the nine time-tested tips listed here, and make a note of the ones that stand out for you.
1. Own It Like the Boss You Are.
Now, you’ve done it. And oh, the sting of humiliation! But here’s where your opportunity comes to make some good come out of the mess you created.
This is not the time to blame your embarrassment on someone else to save your own face. It’s also not the time to run away or create a distraction at someone else’s expense, though we get why you’d be tempted.
Now is the time to humbly acknowledge that you flubbed it, own your mistake, and, if necessary, apologize for any offense you caused or damage you’ve done. Make reparations, as needed, without being asked.
Own your embarrassing mistakes and resolve to do better by applying what you’ve learned. And don’t beat yourself up for being human.
2. Keep Calm and Ride It Out.
When you do an epic face-plant (metaphorically speaking, we hope) in front of other people, there’s no way to pretend it didn’t happen, especially if your audience found it highly entertaining — or vicariously painful.
So, as long as your stunt didn’t hurt or offend anyone, all you can do, besides owning it, is to ride it out. Acknowledge it if someone calls you out without shame.
If you refuse to hide from your mistake or beat yourself up over it, no one else has the power to diminish your self-respect or bully you into diminishing yourself.
Everyone messes up from time to time. If anyone is enough of a jerk to try to make you feel bad about it, don’t let them. It’s their wasted energy; it doesn’t have to be yours, too.
3. Apologize, but Don’t Overdo It.
If you hurt someone or offended them by embarrassing yourself, it makes sense to offer a genuine apology. But there’s no need to apologize again and again… and again. One sincere apology is enough. Once accepted (or rebuffed), it’s time to move on.
You don’t do anyone any favors by continually apologizing. For one, your apologies sound less genuine when you keep repeating them (it’s that hint of exasperation creeping in).
For another, even genuine apologies get old and lose their meaning when they’re done to death. Say it once, and show with your actions that you mean it. Then let go of guilt.
Those who are disposed to forgive you and move on will do so. Those who aren’t can only torment you if you let them.
4. Stop Worrying About What Other People Think.
When you worry, you use your imagination to create something you don’t want. So, in a sense, you’re punishing yourself for the embarrassment by inviting more of the same.
Suppose you’re worried about people thinking ill of you and refusing to forgive you and move past this embarrassing incident. In that case, you train yourself to expect rejection (and further embarrassment), and you’re likely to push people away without giving them a chance.
Besides, you’re not a mind-reader. You don’t know what’s going on in other people’s heads — and that’s a good thing. You’ve got your own thoughts to deal with. That’s plenty.
Worrying will only make it harder for you to accept the embarrassment and move on. And you have every right to save your energy for better things.
5. Talk to Someone.
Sometimes, it helps to talk to someone about embarrassing experiences. Plus, they make excellent stories. Let them know if you’d rather they didn’t tell anyone else. Then be honest about what happened and why you’re still bothered about it.
After they’re done laughing at you, a good friend can help you put your embarrassment in perspective. They might remind you of other times you embarrassed yourself, and you can then remember that you survived it all and even learned something useful (it can happen).
You’ll survive this, too. Whether you learn something from it is up to you.
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6. Embrace Your Glorious Imperfection.
Like the rest of humanity, you are a work in progress — an imperfect being who can learn from your mistakes. Some of those mistakes come with a heavy price. Some leave you humiliated and possibly even the butt of other people’s jokes.
You’ve survived all the mistakes you’ve made so far. And what you’ve learned and applied has helped you do better and avoid worse mistakes.
Just as you accept the people you love, knowing they’re not perfect, you can love yourself, too. In fact, you can even be grateful for your imperfections since they lead to learning experiences that shape you as you grow. Like pain, embarrassment has its uses.
7. Reframe the Experience
How you remember this experience — and whether any good comes of it — has everything to do with how you choose to think about it. And that’s something only you can control.
Think about what led up to that moment and try to focus on details that don’t have emotions attached to them — or anything you appreciate about the circumstances you were in before you embarrassed yourself.
Then think about what you learned from the experience. And picture yourself applying that lesson to a new situation; picture yourself doing better and possibly even helping another avoid the same embarrassment.
Change the way you see your embarrassing moment, so you can appreciate any humor in it and remember it without feeling the need to punish yourself all over again.
8. Remember that Nobody Cares.
No one is thinking about you and re-living your embarrassing moment in their heads. They’ve got their own embarrassing stuff to think about.
If anyone does say something mean out loud, remind yourself it’s not really about you. Whatever’s going on in their head, that’s where those words are coming from.
Plus, chances are, their thoughts will quickly move on to something else. And how they react to that something else is about them, too.
You’re not obligated to care about what other people think of you. Because how they see you is about them — just as how you see them has more to do with you.
9. Be Your Authentic Self.
The more you put your vulnerable self out there, the more likely you are to embarrass yourself now and then, whether you blurt something out among friends or publish something raw on your blog.
With a bigger audience comes a greater likelihood that someone will say something unkind. But that’s about them — not you.
It has no bearing whatsoever on your true self because that’s not what they’re reacting to.
What they’re lashing out against is their perception of you, and that’s all about them. We react to what we allow ourselves to see. It’s a human thing.
Whatever you do, don’t let this experience convince you to hide. Your authentic self is irreplaceable. Don’t sacrifice it to please anyone.
Now that you’ve looked through all nine ways to get over your embarrassment, which ones stood out? And what will you do differently this week?