Overcoming embarrassment: 5 useful strategies

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Robert Maurer
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Overcoming embarrassment: 5 useful strategies

Last update: July 08, 2018

Sometimes we think that embarrassment equals shyness. For example, there is talk of overcoming the embarrassment of speaking in public or expressing an opinion during a daily, relaxed conversation. However, embarrassment is more than just shyness. It mainly concerns a feeling of low dignity, with the belief that they are worth little.

Overcoming the embarrassment rooted in a picture of this type is not easy. Normally its origin lies in a fort experience (or succession of experiences) of devaluation in childhood. It can also be the result of a traumatic experience of child abuse or severe maltreatment. The sensation takes root in deep areas, so it's not easy to weed out.



Embarrassment is the lie you tell when you talk about yourself.

-Anais Nin-

In these cases, shame is a mechanism that allows the child to protect himself. The adult, presumably a guardian, rejects some expressions of the child or her incipient personality. In these age groups, adult affection is everything. Here because the little one learns to be like theadult wants him to be. Develop an imposed self and any behavior that comes out of this pattern seems embarrassing to him.

Embarrassment is often associated with depression and, strange as it may seem, one is also afraid of oneself. Distrust of who you are or what you might do. It also contains contained anger, which the subject often turns against himself. All this causes the person to move cautiously away from others depriving themselves of their affection. However, overcoming embarrassment is possible thanks to some strategies.

1. Deepen your knowledge to overcome embarrassment

To overcome the embarrassment you need to understand what arises from it. Observe yourself. If necessary, take a notebook with you to write down everything you mark. The aim is to pinpoint exactly the situations in which you feel embarrassed.



Which aspect of you is most related to this feeling? Beware of self-criticism. What words or messages come to your mind when you feel embarrassed? All this information will be of great help in getting you started to overcome the problem.

2. Review the past

Try to think about the most important people from your childhood. How were they in general? How did they behave with you? Why did they act one way and not another? What did they reject about you and why do you think they did?

Many times when we look into the distance at the beloved and feared figures of childhood, we are able to adopt a new perspective. For example, we may find that perhaps they were not angry with us, but with themselves. It is good to deny the rejection of our being, that is to understand that there was nothing wrong with us, nothing to reject. The problem existed only in the people who rejected us.

3. Develop a compassionate attitude towards yourself

We must learn to be our allies. A good friend only makes constructive criticisms, does not continually point out defects and points to us. He does not look at us with suspicion and does not emphasize our mistakes. We have to be good friends with ourselves.

To overcome embarrassment, we must learn to deal with goodness, look at us with love. You have to try, even if you don't think it's effective at first. The results may surprise you.


4. Work on self-acceptance

Accepting yourself is essential in order to progress. And accepting oneself means not wanting to be someone else, understanding that we are neither more nor less than anyone. There are parts of us that we cannot change or that we can change over time and with patience, not overnight. In any case, any change must start from acceptance, from recognizing that we are in a certain place and that we would like to reach another. This is why honesty with ourselves is so important for us to evolve.



Know better our embarrassment, analyzing the past and developing a sympathetic attitude towards us must serve to foster self-acceptance. It is not easy at all. The mind has spent years behaving differently and even the brain can be more or less programmed for it. However, it is possible to do so little by little and thus overcome the embarrassment.


5. Expose yourself gradually

The process of overcoming embarrassment goes from the inside out and vice versa. As you progress in your effort, you must also set goals. Exposing yourself to what causes you embarrassment, starting with what scares you least and gradually increasing the difficulty.

These five guidelines are effective when applied consistently and with perseverance. However, they very often require psychotherapeutic help. The path will be the same, but you can count on the help and support of a professional. This option is worth considering.

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