Survive Embarrassing Moments • ep. 096

A tween or teen girl looks embarrassed as she stares straight into the camera with her hands over her mouth.

My Most Embarrassing Moments

If I asked you girls if you ever had an embarrassing moment, I bet you would say yes. We likely all have experienced embarrassment during our life. I have too–many times! Like in high school I was hanging out with my girl and guy friends, and I felt the urge to do a cartwheel, and as my feet went over my head I heard my jeans riiiip right up my thigh–in front of all of my friends! Or another time I was careless with a curling iron and I burned the tip of my nose, and then my crush called me Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer until it healed. Or when my teacher caught my friend and I passing notes, he read it out loud to my class. Also I got to sing with a local band at a concert, but I was so nervous my voice choked up and I sounded awful in front of the whole crowd. There were multiple times at school when my period leaked and showed through my clothes, and I had to try to hide it the rest of the day. I could go on. My point is–I get it.

Our Response to Embarrassment

Embarrassing moments can be hard. When you realize what happened, sometimes you just freeze and don’t know what to do. You want to rewind, go back in time and undo what happened. You don’t want to be around people, you assume they all know about your embarrassing moment and are talking about you. And if they do talk about you or laugh at you, you wish you could turn invisible and disappear forever. Embarrassing moments can make you feel humiliated, awkward, mortified, ashamed, and extremely uncomfortable. But there are some ways to help you survive embarrassing moments. The next time one happens to you, try these tips to get through it.

Everyone Gets Embarrassed

First, remember that everyone gets embarrassed from time to time. I know in the moment you might feel like the only one who has ever messed up like that, especially if it happened with other people watching you, like they’re an audience and you’re on stage for all to see your misstep. But the truth is, no one is perfect, nobody does everything right all of the time. We’re all human and we make all mistakes–and sometimes that happens in front of others. Most people though are understanding because they know what it’s like to be in your shoes–they’ve had their own experiences and they’re still here, living proof that people can survive embarrassing moments. So remember: everyone gets embarrassed.

People Aren’t Thinking About You

Next tip: people aren’t thinking about you as much as you think they are. And I don’t mean that nobody cares about you as a person. I’m saying, when you do something embarrassing, you might think that everybody saw you, and now they’re thinking mean things about you, and they’re talking about you, and they’re making fun of you. But in reality, most people aren’t doing those things. Maybe they didn’t actually notice what you did. And even if they did notice, and you actually saw them react or laugh at you, most people are going to be thinking about something else a moment later and carry on with their lives. Think about it: when you see someone do something embarrassing do you obsess over it all day? Neither do they. People aren’t thinking about you as much as you think they are.

Own Your Embarrassing Moment

Another thing you can do, especially if your embarrassing moment happened in front of others, is own it. Recognize that it happened, and laugh it off if you can. When you do this, people will likely laugh WITH you instead of AT you. Show yourself and others that it’s okay to make mistakes–you’re not perfect, you’re human. And you don’t have to go as far as making fun of yourself. Be playful about it, like “Did you see that? Hahaha!” or “Welp things sure went differently than I planned!” I’ve felt more comfortable and connected with friends when I can be real and uninhibited and my flawed self with them. Own your embarrassing moments.

Don’t Value Unkind Opinions

Now, there are some people out there who, if they witness your embarrassing moment, will laugh AT you, point out what you did, and make fun of you for it. They might even try to make you feel even worse than you do already. And you need to recognize something: their reaction says way more about them than it does about you. Their behavior is unkind, critical, and insensitive. You don’t need to value the opinion of someone who treats you like that. Don’t give them the satisfaction of letting them see they got you down. Assert yourself, stand up for yourself, tell them to stop if they keep bullying or harassing you, and notify an adult if necessary.

Move On From It

When you have an embarrassing moment, whether people laugh WITH you or AT you, don’t forget to move on. You don’t have to dwell on it, keep beating yourself up over it, get caught in a negative self-talk downward spiral about it. Accept that it happened and keep on living your life. If the incident was especially embarrassing, it might take some time before you can laugh about it with others. If it really impacts your quality of life, talking to a therapist could help you gain coping strategies to work through it. Hopefully sooner than later your embarrassing moment can become a tale of your epic fail, and you retelling it is living proof that you survived.

You’re Gonna Be Okay

Girls, you’re going to experience embarrassing moments throughout your life: calling your teacher Mom, tripping in the hallway at school in front of your crush, being off-key during a solo, messing up a play during a game, sending something to the wrong person, oversleeping and being late to work (did that). My point is, it’s gonna happen, and you’re gonna be okay.

I Survived My Embarrassing Moments Poster Printable

I created an “I Survived My Embarrassing Moments” poster for you to print out, personalize, and post on your wall where you’ll see it, remember it, practice it, and believe it — that’s the important part. You can list your embarrassing moments and check them off because you survived!



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