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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

Freelance Writer helping businesses and people to thrive.

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Last Updated on February 19, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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