Have you ever felt like you were going to die from embarrassment? You know – the formal dinner party where you let one rip with noise and all, or the romantic moment with someone new when you belched. Or maybe when you were in school and the teacher asked you a question and you had no idea of the answer.
I remember when I was in Toastmasters and the first time they asked me to speak in what they call “Table Topics”, which is impromptu speaking for at least a minute. They can ask you anything and I remember standing there after reading my question. I had something I actually thought of to say and then I ran out…just…nothing. If you know me this may surprise you, but I could have sworn the woman timing me had totally not started the timer. I was embarrassed and walked away feeling like a failure. I didn’t go back to that club. But I tried others and eventually I even won a 1st place award in our division for Table Topics. That felt like a huge accomplishment!
We’ve both probably had much more embarrassing moments than that, but you get the idea. You don’t necessarily have to even learn exactly what caused it, but generally it’s pretty obvious. Even if someone called you out and you blame them for embarrassing you, it’s actually something within us that caused us to get embarrassed and self-conscious.
Do we feel stupid or silly when someone calls us out? Or do we just feel embarrassed without that like we call ourselves out because we think we should feel embarrassed? Have you ever gotten embarrassed for other people at what they’re doing, and they don’t at all? Have you ever wondered what their secret is to having this amazing self-confidence? Or maybe the stupidity not to realize they SHOULD feel embarrassed?
Some people simply don’t care what others think. They seem to love themselves, warts and all. I’m thinking maybe we just need practice at trying things that in the past might have bothered us. So like my Table Topics talk, maybe we could try practicing more.
So try dance like no one’s watching. Sing at the top of your lungs when you have the windows open, or go hug a tree in a park. Try smiling if people say you’re strange or different. Be you! No one else can do it as well. And anyway, everyone else is already taken.