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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Embarrassment: Unpleasant, but welcome

 There is nothing unusual about feeling embarrassed. We all feel that way from time to time. As a parent, I have always gone out of my way to protect my children from embarrassment because it damages self-confidence and drives a wedge between people, damaging relationships. Parents cannot always avoid embarrassing our children, but we should never embarrass our children on purpose, and we should do whatever we can to reduce the embarrassment that cannot be avoided.

On the other hand, embarrassment can be a good thing if it helps to increase self-awareness.

Today I felt embarrassed, and I realized, I have not felt that way in a long time. Obviously I have had plenty of opportunities to feel embarrassed: far more opportunities recently than I ever encountered before my accident. I'm sure I'll continue ruminating over why I felt embarrassed today, but one reason is obvious to me: it takes a certain level of self-awareness to feel embarrassed. I think it also takes failing to live up to one's own self-expectations. We expect certain standards of ourselves, and when we fall short of those expectations, we feel embarrassed.

Today I am celebrating my embarrassment as a sign of hope for the future. I am curious about what others think of this experience. Please feel free to comment.




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