Dealing with Embarrassment
Dealing With Embarrassment
Life can be tough. Really tough. You have to worry about getting to work on time, paying bills, and cleaning your room. But the nagging responsibilities of everyday life don’t seem like anything when compared to those moments when you make a big mistake in front of a group of people.
That’s right, I’m talking about life’s most charming experience – embarrassment. We’ve all been there. One moment you’re going about your business, trying to look cool in front of you peers, and then – BAM! You make a huge mistake and look like a first class loser. The blood rushes to your face as everyone points and laughs and you feel your stomach churn like scolding hot butter. It sucks. But I promise, whatever humiliating event happened to you, is not as bad as this.
When I was 10 years old, I was a die-hard fan of Halloween. It was my favorite time of the year, and as an imaginative young lad, I loved dressing up as fictitious characters. I was in 5th grade at the time, and I decided that I would dress up as The Headless Horseman for my school costume contest. I woke up an hour early that fateful Thursday morning to get properly dressed up. I wore enormous black boots that went up past my knees, a thick, pitch black sweater, a long, flowing villainous cape, with leather gloves and a plastic sword. My face was painted like a wicked, possessed jack-o-lantern and my hair was twisted into the shape of a pumpkin stem and colored green.
I was ready to strike fear into the hearts of my vulnerable, unassuming classmates. My mom dropped me off at school, and to my amazement, as I entered the building, I noticed that I was the only one that had come prepared to win the costume contest. “Haha!” I thought. “These losers didn’t even dress up! I’ve got this contest in the bag!” And then it dawned on me. I had shown up in my elaborate outfit on the wrong day. It couldn’t be. It just couldn’t be. I looked around in desperation, hoping to find just one more soul dressed up, but to my dismay, I saw none. Panicking, I raced up to one of the teachers in the hallway and timidly asked “Is the costume contest today?” “No, that’s tomorrow!” She replied, as she and the rest of the staff nearby burst into laughter.
Garnering looks from my classmates, I scurried down the hallway and into the restroom to wash all the paint off of my face and undress the best I could. After 15 minutes I had managed to get SOME of the paint off of my face and crammed my gloves, cape, and sword into my backpack. Still, I was left with face-paint marks, green hair, and cowboy boots on. I did my best to hide the evidence, but it was too late. The deed was done, and I was the laughing stock of the school. Though I tried desperately to stay serious through-out the first few hours of the day, I eventually found that the more willing I was to laugh at my mistake with everyone, the easier it was, and the more friendly people were about it.
The moral of the story? When you’re embarrassed, just have the humility to laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and the reception you’ll receive from the people around you will more than likely be rather lighthearted and forgiving. Just remember next the time you make a mistake, it’s probably not as much of a blunder as what I did.