6 Ways To Move Past An Embarrassing Moment
You can probably ask every single one of your friends what their most embarrassing moment is and they’ll most likely think of it in under five seconds. While that awkward feeling is something no one ever wants to experience, there are ways to help move past an embarrassing moment. As you’re reading this article, you’re probably thinking about your most embarrassing memory and cringing in your seat, recalling every single detail. While you’re reliving that moment in your head, you might not realize that every person has one thing in common when it comes to those not-so-fun situations: Their embarrassing moments are in the past.
Every person you know has probably dealt with a super awkward moment, but they also probably overcame it in some way — or just forgot about it. So what’s the big deal when it comes to being embarrassed when you already know the moment is not going to last forever? Even though we may be aware of this, it’s still not easy to go through, because when it does happen, it feels like time has slowed down, people are starring at you, and breathing normally is difficult. Yes, being embarrassed might feel like the end of the world in the moment, but there are ways to overcome this stressful emotion. Below are just a few tips that will hopefully help you view each situation as a mere moment in time, rather than a world-shattering embarrassment.
1. Confront The Moment
The most important thing you want to do when dealing with an embarrassing situation is to directly address it the exact moment when it happens. While running away in another direction as fast as you can may sound like a better idea, this may actually making the situation way worse. According to Psychology Today, using humor is a great way to alleviate any type of social stress you might be feeling from an awkward moment. Laugh it off, make a joke, or do a funny gesture; as long as you’re showing that you’re nonchalant about the whole thing, the people around you may feel less awkward, too.
2. Apologize, But Not Too Much
I feel like there are two types of people in the world when it comes to being embarrassed: A person who overly apologizes and a person who DGAF. If you’re anything like me, you’re the type of person who apologizes until their last dying breath. But excessively saying sorry can become exasperating very quickly.
While it might seem sweet at first, you’re actually not allowing yourself to move past the embarrassing situation. According to PsychCentral, apologizing for the awkward moment may only make you feel worse because you’re focusing on what happened in the past and not on the present. Try to realize that you don’t owe anyone an apology for your embarrassing moment. Pick yourself up, wipe off the stress, and move forward.
3. Focus On The Context Of The Memory
Have you ever had an embarrassing situation happen to you and you couldn’t stop obsessing over it? “Why did I do that? I want to runaway.” may be a few thoughts you have as you replay the awkward event over and over again — but you shouldn’t focus on the negative. According to The Huffington Post, when you only concentrate on what went wrong, you’re actually heightening those unwanted emotions. Rather than focusing on the bad, pay attention to the context of the memory. This may allow you to relive the event without suppressing it and steer your attention to other aspects of the situation.
“If the tendency is to go back to the emotional aspects of the memories, the idea is to switch your attention to the non-emotional details and reduce the intensity with less effort,” said Ekaterina Denkova, Ph.D. in the same Huffington Post article. The next time you’re replaying an embarrassing moment, focus on things like what color shirt you were wearing or what the weather was like. These little details may seem like nothing, but thinking about them may help you not relive the negative.
4. Talk It Out With Someone
Sometimes you can’t get out of your head and just need to talk to someone. According to How Stuff Works, keeping an embarrassing moment to yourself can actually increase insecure emotions, or worse, may even lead to feelings of shame. Ask a close friend if you can talk to them. By discussing the details of your awkward situation, you may feel better because you’re confiding in someone you trust while you’re airing out your dirty laundry. Plus, you never know, your friend might give you a new perspective to the situation and help you see a positive twist to a negative moment.
5. Allow Yourself To Be Imperfect
Instead of beating yourself up over and over again, take a moment to laugh it off and learn to accept your imperfections. According to The Huffington Post, being embarrassed essentially comes from not living up to your own standards. If you’re too hard on yourself, you may never learn how to have fun and let go. Give yourself some room to breathe. Everyone gets embarrassed; what really matters is how you choose to deal with those awkward moments.
6. Stop Worrying About What Others Think Of You
If you’re feeling awkward about a situation, it’s probably because you don’t want others to think badly about you. But who cares what other people think? According to Fast Company, workplace psychology coach Melody J. Wilding said, “As human beings with egos and an innate self-awareness of our own feelings, actions, and thoughts, we tend to notice and greatly exaggerate our flaws while assuming everyone around us has a microscope focused on faults, mistakes, and slip-ups.” In reality, most people don’t notice half the things we worry about. Instead of stressing over what other people think, embrace the embarrassing moment by laughing it off and forgetting about it.
It’s completely natural to be embarrassed sometimes. It happens to everyone because, let’s face it, no one is perfect. But it seems that once an embarrassing moment does happen, sometimes it feels like your whole world is crashing down and time comes to a complete stop. Instead of cursing the heavens above, you can easily overcome this moment by focusing on the context of the memory, confronting the situation, and honestly, just not caring what people think. Before you know it, you probably won’t even be thinking about it anymore.
By Raven Ishak for Bustle.