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3 min read

Everyone gets embarrassed at some point in time because everyone makes mistakes. Embarrassment may be the result of unwanted attention, a mistake, or being placed in a situation that makes you uncomfortable. You may feel like you want to hide away until the embarrassment passes, but there are better ways to deal with embarrassment. You can try to understand your feelings of embarrassment better, learn to laugh at yourself, and be compassionate to yourself when you become embarrassed.

Keep the right tense. All embarrassment takes place in the past. Theoretically, if you were able to stay in the moment perfectly, you wouldn’t feel an ounce of embarrassment – because all those messages inside your brain belong to a different time and place. Now I realize being present to the moment is virtually impossible when you are experiencing that twisted knot inside your stomach that says things like, “You can’t be trusted with anything, you idiot!” and are feeling the physiological symptoms of embarrassment (somewhat like the flu), but if you can remember for even a minute here or there to pull your attention to the present, you will be relieved of needless angst.

Evaluate the situation. How you handle an embarrassing situation depends on what has happened to embarrass you. For example, if you did something wrong, like made an inappropriate comment to a friend, you may feel embarrassed because you should not have said what you did. But if you feel embarrassed because you did something by accident, like tripping and falling in front of a large group of people, that is a different situation. Each situation requires a slightly different approach to overcome the feelings of embarrassment.

Stay Calm, Cool and Collected. The most important things you must do is stay cool, calm and collected. Take several deep breaths, count backwards from ten and settle yourself down by coming back to the present moment. Within these critical few moments become mindful of where you are, what you’re doing, and of your immediate surroundings. Don’t regret the past or worry about the future. Just settle in the present moment. When you become aware of the moment you will no longer be thinking about other people or about what you’re feeling embarrassed about. Instead you will be focused on yourself and on the peaceful sound of your breath.

In the end we always learn best through stories. When you share stories of your own life experiences with others, you learn from the act of sharing and listening to other people’s perspectives and opinions. And when others share stories with you, you also learn as you try and put yourself in their shoes and live through their experience in your own way. Then you take the lessons and try to apply them into your own life. That’s how we learn. And that’s how you must learn to overcome your fear of embarrassment.