Coping up with embarrassment at school or college is a challenge. I am sure everyone at least once have faced an embarrassing moment or shame in their life. These moments for many of us have either occurred in our school or colleges. Both embarrassment and shame is associated to our self esteem. Not to forget guilt is another factor associated to our self esteem. Where as an embarrassment is relatively temporary less harmful to our self esteem. Shame on the other hand can have a debilitating impact on self esteem.
It presents a challenge especially when we are in school or college. We have a reputation or an identity which gets threatened if we find ourselves in embarrassment or shame. It creates insecurity which might lead to, us getting labelled with inferior tags in school or college. More concerning issue is that we can’t escape college or school so we have to face insults, may be on a daily basis (at least this is what we feel)
What is embarrassment ?
Anything that can cause you to look inferior, which ridicules you or makes you look like a fool can be called as embarrassing moment. Some of these moments might be light-hearted and some of them serious. In most cases their effect is ephemeral i.e the people will tend to forget it sooner or later (if its happened in public)
However, this is not the case with shame. The problem of shame can last longer or in some cases a lifetime. Not to forget both attack our identity
What is shame ?
Shame, needless to say it is a negative emotion. One that changes your view about yourself. By that I mean one begins to feel a sense of disgust about themselves. Subsequently, we start to think of ourselves as worthless, start to hate ourselves, try to isolate and avoid situations which triggers the incident which caused shame.
Shame is a powerful experience/ emotion. In many cases it was found that it was linked to eating disorders, social isolation, mood disorder, depression, stuttering and obesity. These are serious and grievous issues that bring affect both personality and self esteem.
The article suggests general coping strategies for both embarrassment and shame.
Coping with embarrassment :
You can laugh it out
No matter what happens we can always get out of embarrassment. Embarrassment are associated with acts everyone relates to. For example, almost everyone has tripped or slipped.
Many of us have tripped at public places. Tripping at public place is perfect case of embarrassment being caused. Here if you have done something which has caused embarrassment and if people start laughing around you. You start to laugh with them. Follow on reaction will be minimized. You yourself would feel better and mood alleviated.
So, in school if you trip and your peers start laughing you laugh with them. In a day or two everyone will forget since there is no fun in your reciprocation.
Let it play out
Know that everyone has been in one or more embarrassing situations during their lifetimes. These instances happen to everyone. Sometimes they happen in private and sometimes in public. In public they can make us feel inferior but it’s alright. To err is human (and its not even a mistake). If the public is reacting in a way that embarrasses you further. Truth be told there is nothing you can do. Only thing you can do is let it play out by not reacting to what people around you are throwing at you.
Sooner or later that incident that caused you embarrassment will be forgotten. Since your reactions are not very encouraging for your mates to joke about repeatedly. It will subside.
Remember, in both the cases. Never give a reaction which indicates that you are ashamed or are unsettled. This only aggravates or makes it worse. Next time in an embarrassing situation use these two statements:
- For instances like played loud music in library, or phone rang in meeting. Just say sorry.
- For instances such as tripping, slipping, hello to strangers etc. Just say Ahh! My luck.
Another important rule to observe is one should get out embarrassing situation as fast as they can. The more you wait the more sorry your state gets. Better to get out of the situation the earliest.
So, these we some important pointers that certainly helps coping and getting out embarrassing situations. The next part of the article will discuss how to cope up with shame.
Coping with embarrassment