A teenager wants to use 5 tips for getting over feelings of embarrassment.

5 Tips for Getting Over Feelings of Embarrassment

An awkward moment or embarrassing situation doesn’t have to define you — here are tips for getting over feelings of embarrassment.


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Embarrassment is an emotion characterized by feelings of self-consciousness, shame, or discomfort. It typically arises when a person thinks they have made a mistake or violated social norms in a way that may negatively impact how others perceive them. When someone feels embarrassed, they may start blushing, fidgeting, or sweating.

Embarrassing situations are a common and normal human experience that can serve a social function by encouraging adherence to social norms and discouraging behavior that might be socially unacceptable. While typically mild and short-lived, frequent or extreme embarrassment can sometimes affect an individual’s self-esteem, social interactions, and mental health. Below we’ll delve into tips for what to do when you feel embarrassed, common causes of embarrassment, and mental health support if embarrassment is interfering with your daily life.   

5 tips to get over feelings of embarrassment

When an embarrassing situation or awkward moment arises, all hope isn’t lost! Here are some tips for how to get over feelings of embarrassment:

1. Practice self-compassion 

One of the most important steps in overcoming an embarrassing moment is to be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion. Understand that everyone experiences embarrassing moments, and it does not define your worth as a person. Instead of being overly critical or harsh on yourself, practice positive affirmations; offer yourself the same kindness and understanding that you would extend to a friend in a similar situation. Recognize that making mistakes is a natural part of being human, and use self-compassionate language to reassure yourself that it’s okay to falter sometimes. By treating yourself with empathy and gentleness, you can soften the blow of embarrassment and cultivate greater resilience in the face of future challenges. 

2. Stay calm and take a deep breath

When faced with a moment of embarrassment, it’s essential to stay calm and composed. Taking a deep breath can help regulate your emotions and prevent them from spiraling out of control. By pausing and focusing on your breath, you create a moment of mindfulness that allows you to step back from the situation and gain perspective. Remind yourself that embarrassment is a temporary feeling and that you have the ability to manage it. By staying calm, you can better navigate the situation with grace and composure, reducing the impact of embarrassment on yourself and those around you.

3. Laugh it off

Sometimes, the best way to overcome embarrassment is to laugh it off. Humor has a remarkable ability to diffuse tension and lighten the mood, turning an awkward situation into something positive. By demonstrating that you can laugh at your own mistakes, you not only put yourself at ease but also encourage others to do the same. Laughter can help shift the focus away from the embarrassing moment and foster a sense of camaraderie among those involved. Embracing humor as a coping mechanism can turn what initially feels like a setback into a memorable and lighthearted experience.

4. Confront the situation 

Instead of avoiding or denying feelings of embarrassment, confront the embarrassing situation head-on by acknowledging them. Suppressing these emotions only prolongs their impact and can make it more challenging to move past the experience. Instead, face your feelings with honesty. Acknowledge that you feel embarrassed and accept that it’s a natural response to the situation. By embracing your emotions rather than pushing them away, you demonstrate resilience and strength in the face of adversity. Through acceptance, you can begin to release the hold that embarrassment has over you and take steps toward healing and growth.

5. Learn from it 

Every moment of embarrassment presents an opportunity for learning and growth. Take the time to reflect on the experience and consider what lessons you can glean from it. Ask yourself what went wrong, what you could have done differently, and how you can prevent similar situations in the future. By approaching embarrassment with a growth mindset, you transform it from a setback into a valuable learning opportunity. Embrace the experience as a chance to develop greater self-awareness, resilience, and social skills. By learning from your mistakes and applying those lessons moving forward, you empower yourself to navigate future challenges with confidence and grace.

What causes embarrassment?

As mentioned, embarrassment can be caused by a variety of situations, often involving perceived violations of social norms or expectations. Making a mistake in a social situation, such as saying something inappropriate or experiencing a miscommunication, can lead to feelings of discomfort. Public failures, like tripping, falling, or making an error in front of others, are embarrassing situations that people regularly encounter. 

Also, personal insecurities about one’s appearance or performance, such as a wardrobe malfunction or public speaking anxiety, can contribute to feelings of embarrassment. Violations of privacy, like having personal information exposed or experiencing accidental physical exposure, are common causes. Lastly, recalling a past embarrassing memory or traumatic events can trigger ongoing anxiety and self-consciousness. Understanding these causes is crucial for developing effective strategies to manage and overcome embarrassment, promoting greater confidence and resilience in social interactions.

How Charlie Health can help 

If you or a loved one are finding that feelings of embarrassment are affecting your mental health, Charlie Health is here to help. Charlie Health’s virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) provides more than once weekly mental health treatment for dealing with serious mental health conditions, including getting over embarrassment. Our expert clinicians incorporate evidence-based therapies into individual counseling, family therapy, and group sessions. With treatment, managing embarrassment is possible. Fill out the form below or give us a call to start healing today. 

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