I was recently thinking about the concept of embarrassment after a friend had asked about the most embarrassing thing to happen to me while on a trip to another country. The idea is that if you go to another culture and you don’t know the rules and whatnots, you will probably do something awkward and be embarrassed.
I am 100% sure I did something awkward that embarrassed *somebody* but it wasn’t me. I actually don’t get that embarrassed about things. My friend said maybe it was because I’m so self-assured, and well, I guess I am. But it isn’t that I am sure of MYSELF so much as I am sure that EVERYONE ELSE is like me. and here’s what I mean.
I remember the first time I farted in front of a date. Not that this has happened alot, but the one time it did, he started laughing and got red. I of course said excuse me and blamed the whatever food we ate and that was that. You could be all melodramatic and want to die, but what’s the point? Doesn’t everyone have gas? And everyone at some point burps. Most of us have had wardrobe malfunctions. Many have something stuck in their teeth or hanging out their noses, or have crazy hair. Someone somewhere has had to poop in the public bathroom or stink up a friend’s bathroom. Or throw up on a friend’s shoes. (Let’s try to not do that though.) I’m certain that embarrassment from bodily functions is absolutely unnecessary. The question is why are we SO mortified by something that EVERYONE does? What exactly is the big deal?
Or maybe your embarrassments come from feeling awkward, not knowing what to say in a given situation, or saying the absolute wrong thing and you replay the scene over and over like your own special kind of torture. Or maybe you’re embarrassed by your parents because they aren’t that cool or your friends when they meet your parents because they are too cool (i.e., complete idiots). And this just makes me wonder why we are so deeply entrenched in the idea that we can’t accept and love people exactly as they are right now without reservation or hesitation. We have so little control over what other people do – some of us have more control than others, of course… so why do we feel this need to duck and hide because of what someone we love does or says? I am not responsible for that. And if you think differently of ME because of something someone I love did, well, that sounds like YOUR problem. And chances are, someone somewhere is embarrassed by you. And guess what?! That’s their problem! My closest and most fun friends are those who don’t really care if they look silly or ridiculous, they just do what they feel like doing and they make people laugh. Embarrassment should be reserved for political candidates and the royal family.
And the truly sad thing about embarrassment is that the people who SHOULD BE embarrassed, rarely are. It’s the people who mean well or have a moment of lapsed judgment that let dumb things eat at them. Keep the shame and guilt feelings to fighting the evil in society and helping the homeless and needy children. Don’t use up those feelings on spilling beer on your boyfriend’s mom. Unless you meant to. Then you have some other issues to deal with.
oh, you might could be embarrassed by accidentally killing someone…