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A Detailed Breakdown of the 6 Types of Facepalmed Moments We All Have Experienced

A Detailed Breakdown of the 6 Types of Facepalmed Moments We All Have Experienced

Imagine you’ve been chosen for a part in your local amateur theatre production of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.

Weeks of rehearsals leave you ready to take to the stage. On opening night, the curtain rises as you wait eagerly in the wings for your moment to walk into the spotlight.

As you step purposely towards the center of the stage, disaster strikes… You’ve miscalculated the height of the stage riser, and in the space of a second, you’ve fallen flat on your face – right in front of the audience!

Embarrassment is one word for it. Humiliation is another.

We can’t avoid an embarrassing moment, so deal with it.

Embarrassing situations can actually change how we behave in the years ahead.

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As an example, if you were an inferior sports player at school, you’ve probably learned to avoid competitive sports as an adult. This would be especially true if your school ‘friends’ had mocked your sporting ability. (Kids can be cruel!)

Clearly, embarrassment can be a major factor in how we conduct and live our lives.

Given that you’ll always encounter embarrassing situations, it makes complete sense to learn how to cope with these situations. The first step in doing this, is to understand the different types of embarrassment that we all come across in our day-to-day lives.

Yes, there really are 6 different types of embarrassment.

You’ve probably not given embarrassment a lot of thought. In fact, you’ve probably tried to forget all about it!

However, if you’re going to deal with embarrassment, then it’s important to understand the different types of it.

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1. When your privacy is violated.

Having your privacy violated can be a terrible thing. For example, imagine if your personal photos were stolen by hackers and posted publicly for all to see. Your reputation could be tarnished, and you may lose face among your friends and family.

2. When you don’t know something.

I’m sure you wouldn’t be tempted to do this, but… Many people exaggerate their skills, knowledge and experience on their resume. When writing, they may be comfortable with ‘spinning’ their words. However, a tough interview can quickly reveal their lies and deception. Shame, guilt and embarrassment are all easy to spot on the human face.

3. When you’re being criticized.

Do you remember the first time you asked someone out on a date? No doubt, you spent weeks building up the courage to speak to the person of your dreams. When the perfect time arrived, you pushed yourself beyond all limits and asked your crush if they’d like to go out with you. Unfortunately for you… they appeared to smirk, before saying: “No thanks!” A devastatingly embarrassing situation for you. (And one that you may not have ever fully recovered from.)

4. When you do something awkward.

I used to work in a trendy office that overlooked the River Thames in London. We were lucky enough to have our own patio right down to the water’s edge. It was paradise. However… one day my manager was talking on his cell phone while strolling around the patio. Caught up in his phone conversation, he walked too close to the patio edge. I remember looking across at him, right at the moment he fell into the river! His phone was lost, and he was completely soaked. I’m not sure that he ever managed to live that moment down.

5. When your image is not what you want.

Have you noticed how everyone seems to be obsessed with aging? By this, I’m referring to our futile attempts to hold back the hands of time. It seems to start with teenage girls. In most cases, they seem to never want to grow up. Post-teenage years, and you’ve reached the stage where virtually everyone is trying to stay young forever. I won’t name names, but I’ve several male friends who due to being embarrassed about their hair going gray – now regularly dye their hair. Of course, there are much more extreme actions than this. Think of the growing popularity of plastic surgery.

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6. When you don’t feel like fitting in.

I’m sure you’ve heard of culture shock.[1] This happens to the majority of people who move to live abroad. While the first few weeks may be okay. After that, they start to find themselves caught up in frustrating and embarrassing situations caused by the new culture they’ve immersed themselves in. As an example. some cultures require women to cover themselves at the beach. Other countries are much more relaxed, with some even allowing nudity.

If we all feel embarrassed anyway, why not turn it to our advantage?

Have you considered that embarrassment could be a positive thing?

It’s true. With the right reactions on your part, embarrassing situations can definitely be turned to your advantage.

Let’s look now at a few ways that you can do this.

Downplay the Moment

Do you remember President Obama attempting to enter the White House (while being filmed by dozens of rolling cameras) only to find himself locked out of his usual entrance. For sure, a highly embarrassing situation for him. However, he didn’t let the situation phase him. Instead, he coolly walked a few meters to the next doorway – which was unlocked. You can use this trick too. Rather than turning an embarrassing situation into something even worse. Play it cool.

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Change the Channel

You’ve accidentally offended one of your friends by making an inappropriate joke. What can you do to fix this? Well, an apology is certainly a good idea in this case. However, it’s important to move the situation on as quickly as possible. You can do this, by changing the conversation to something completely different. Just make sure that it’s something that your friend is genuinely interested in.

Stop Replaying the Embarrassment

If only I hadn’t done that. If only I hadn’t said that. If only, if only, if only… Stop! By replaying embarrassing situations, you’ll drive yourself crazy. Mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean we need to torture ourselves by endless repeating them in our minds. Instead, always try to focus on the now, or on a positive goal. The other trick to stop your mind replaying embarrassing moments, is to keep your mind busy with productive thoughts.

Laugh at Yourself

A 2011 study[2] found that having the ability to laugh at yourself was a sign of an optimistic personality. It makes sense, as pessimistic people seldom seem to laugh at themselves (they’re too busy being miserable!). When it comes to handling embarrassing situations like tripping in public, then being able to laugh at yourself will serve you well. Not only will others respond positively to your behavior – but you’ll also feel much less embarrassed.

Just Go Ahead and Blush

Embarrassment has physical side effects such as blushing. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you blush when you realize you’ve made a mistake, others will immediately see that you’re a warm-hearted and emotional person. These are positive traits, that will endear people to you. For example, imagine that you’ve accidentally short-changed a cashier at a local store. You were on your way out of the store, when you heard them say… “Excuse me, but you haven’t paid the right amount.” If you look embarrassed, and you blush strongly, then the cashier will know immediately that you’ve made an honest mistake.

So, now you know the different types of embarrassment, and how best to deal with them.

Use this knowledge, and start making your life happier and more successful.

Reference

More by this author

Craig J Todd

UK Writer who loves to use the power of words to inspire and motivate.

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Last Updated on May 7, 2019

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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    They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

    Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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        1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
        2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
        3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
        4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
        5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

        How to Spot a Wolf

          Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

          Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

          A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

          A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

          Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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          Ask Questions, the More the Better

          There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

          When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

          Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

          They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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          Wolves Are Everywhere

          As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

          Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

          Reference

          [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
          [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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