In this article, discover what you tell yourself that makes you feel embarrassed and what you can tell yourself that leads to self-acceptance.
“I’m stupid for crying, and everyone here will think I’m stupid.”
Given that one of the teachings in the workshop is learning to be in touch with your emotions, it was highly unlikely that anyone in the workshop was judging her for crying. What was causing Amanda’s embarrassment was her own self-judgment.
When we judge ourselves as wrong or bad for something we are feeling, doing or have done in front of others, we will feel embarrassed. Another person can do the exact same thing and feel no embarrassment at all. For example, the next person to come up to work with me in this workshop was a young man who also started to cry. Yet it was obvious that he felt no embarrassment at all for his tears. In fact, he seemed relieved to be able to cry.
What are the kinds of behaviors you have judged yourself for that have caused you to feel embarrassed?
Do you judge yourself for making a mistake? What do you tell yourself when you make a mistake that makes you feel embarrassed?
“Now everyone will think I’m stupid.”
‘Now people won’t like me.”
“How could I have done such a stupid thing?”
Of course, any of these statements will cause you to feel embarrassed. But what if you said to yourself something like:
“Oh well, I’m human. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes.”
“It’s okay that I made a mistake. That’s how I’ll learn.”
These kinds of statements come from compassion rather than judgment. You will not feel embarrassed when you allow yourself to be human in front of others – to cry, to make mistakes, to not know something, to be wrong about something, to mess up, to act badly sometimes, to occasionally forget something, to mispronounce a word, to get lost while driving, to be insensitive, to fall apart, to get angry, to sweat and smell bad or have problems with other bodily functions, to forget the words to the song you are singing, to forget the lines to the play you are in, to get a bad grade, to fall down, to miss the dance step – and so on.
Wouldn’t it be great if you allowed yourself to be human? Wouldn’t you feel freer and more relaxed in your life if you allowed yourself to mess up without judging yourself? Allowing yourself to be human means allowing yourself to just be who you are – a wonderful human being who will make mistakes, who will mess up, who will be vulnerable.
Can you value yourself if you are different from other people? A friend of mine is embarrassed because he likes Barry Manlow and he thinks that “real men” don’t like that kind of music. If he learned to accept who he is rather than judge who he is, he will stop feeling embarrassed and begin to value himself.
In our culture, many people have learned to be embarrassed about various aspects of their body, telling themselves that this is too little, or that is too big. How sad that we have been taught that we are not okay if something is not bigger or something else is not smaller.
We all have the option of choosing to accept ourselves just as we are, and when you make this choice, you will no longer experience embarrassment. Self-acceptance and compassion for yourself are the natural outcomes of practicing Inner Bonding.
[Margaret Paul Relationship Toolbox]
CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDING Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul's books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages. Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967. Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world -- mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public. Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships. In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.