If There Are More Of You Who Do This I Know For Sure This World Is My Kind Of Place

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My most recent embarrassing moment: My husband laughing with a stranger over my tendency to pose my kids in front of ugly objects when I’m taking their pictures.

I got so much positive feedback from yesterday’s post that it simply reminds me that for every ONE jerkface online there are probably FIFTY kind souls, who just don’t ever comment. Maybe that should be my own motivation to comment more online? To try to drown out the vitriol!

But I have something JUST AS FASCINATING to discuss today. I mean, I can’t stop thinking about this.

I’ve discussed my tendency to hide my face in the Embarrassment Pillow when watching TV because I can’t handle seeing other people embarrassed. Many of you said, “Me too!” which is awesome, of course. But there’s another weird thing I do thinking about my own embarrassment that I never thought about writing about because it’s SO WEIRD and there’s no way anyone would understand. And then…Temerity Jane wrote about JUST THAT WEIRD THING.

So, that was crazy. What? Someone else does that? Then…I read her comments…AND LOTS OF PEOPLE DO IT. Holy CRAP. My world has been ROCKED.

It’s really hard to explain this thing, feel free to go read TJ’s explanation if mine doesn’t work. But, here is exactly how it happened to me a few days ago.

First…the original embarrassing moment: I kind of misunderstood someone talking about a wedding of their child’s and I thought they were planning on inviting me so I ended our visit by mentioning hopefully seeing them at the wedding. EEK. It was obvious by their reaction that I was NOT going to be invited and I was mortified. Funny thing, I would have never thought I would have been invited anyway! I just misunderstood something they had said earlier and OH MY GOD. I still cringe thinking about it. Even though it was 5 years ago.

So…sometimes that moment replays in my head. It’s not that I’m remembering it, it actually starts to just happen again in my mind. Usually when I’m just walking around minding my own business: BAM! My brain flashes back and makes me relive the mortification of that day.

It happened a few days ago when I was walking down a hall in an office building. The second it started I thought, No! I don’t want to be embarrassed again! So I try to stop my brain from forcing me to re-live it by saying something out loud like, “Oh my god,” or “No, I didn’t.” Basically, I talk to myself – OUT LOUD – to stop myself from re-living an embarrassing moment. It happens quite often since I have quite an arsenal of embarrassing memories.

Now, I’ve probably explained this REALLY WEIRD thing I do thinking many of you will be all, “Me too!” Just like at TJ’s. And now, you know what’s going to happen? NONE OF YOU WILL UNDERSTAND. It will be like a cricket chirping in the comments and I’ll be embarrassed and THIS ENTRY will be the next thing forcing me to talk to myself in public.

But hopefully not! TJ had commenters who are as crazy as she is. I’m banking some of you all are crazy like me, too. And if not? That’s okay.

Maybe your sanity will rub off on me.

37 thoughts on “If There Are More Of You Who Do This I Know For Sure This World Is My Kind Of Place”

  1. LOL. I SO do this. And I cringe whenever I feel it coming on. The things that helps me is thinking about the fact that it probably isn’t even something that other person remembers. (because why would it be etched into THEIR brain? It wasn’t really embarrassing for them.) Therefore, the moment is as good as erased…. as long as I can NOT think about it. Usually helps some. Other times, I get stuck in the reliving the moment, embarrassed all over again cycle. HATE THAT.

  2. I say “La la la!” or “Do do do!” and look sharply to one side to distract my brain while I riffle in a panicked manner through anything else in my brain that I can think about instead (leaves! photos! salt! rubber cement! my mother! the cat!).

    I definitely think that part of improving comments sections is adding in more well-intentioned non-anonymous comments. Like how really awesome people should have more babies, to improve the gene pool for all of us.

  3. I do this too, except the talking to myself part. But only because it never occurred to me that talking to myself might help!! I’ll do it all the time moving forward. (And look at that, I’m even writing a real comment instead of stalking you on twitter.) :-)

  4. When I was in middle school, my dad took me roller skating (more than once…but this is a particular incident I am remembering). He even put on skates and would skate with me…he wouldn’t just sit around the rink. At our roller rink, they had a ladies’ skate, one song where no guys were allowed to be on the skating floor. Well, my dad didn’t know it was a ladies’ skate and came out on the floor to skate with me, and the DJ announced, “Sir, please clear the rink. This is a ladies’ skate.” Well, I felt so bad for my dad, even though he showed no indication that he was embarrassed by this at all.

    When I think back on it, I still cringe because I feel bad that the DJ called him out in that way. If I mentioned it to him, there is NO WAY he would remember it, but I still feel embarrassed ON HIS BEHALF. I am 35 years old. This was over 20 years ago (probably like 24 years ago). It might be time to get over it.

    1. I can not EVEN BEGIN to tell you all of the 3rd-party embarrassing moments I relive! I do it all the time for OTHER people. I TOTALLY GET IT.

  5. I say nonononono over and over when I start reliving things like this! Out loud. Even though I have been overheard multiple times. So glad I’m not alone!

  6. I do that! Luckily now that I’m (mostly) a SAHM I (mostly) do it in front of people who LOVE me. But it’s still embarrassing. (Then I can remember THAT embarrassment and start the cycle all over again…)

  7. I do that too! Mostly I just say “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh” in my head so I can stop the replay. :) I also hide my face during embarrassing scenes in a movie or tv show, so you are definitely not alone!

  8. I do this, too! It seems like I spend half my time re-living times like that or moments of regret. And I talk to myself out loud.

  9. I do the “nonononono” and “I hate myself” talk to stop the flashback from completely forming. It doesn’t usually work. As a previous commenter said, the other party likely has no memory of the embarrassing moment, but that knowledge doesn’t make it any less painful.
    If only I could stop doing embarrassing things… hmm, might be why I avoid most social situations.

  10. Yeah…I tell myself “CUT IT OUT” with the same tone of voice I’d use on my child. Which makes it even more embarrassing if someone overhears me-cue the vicious cycle of shame :)

  11. I saw TJ’s post yesterday and left a comment… I could not believe there were so many other people out there who go through this! It was eye-opening.

  12. I still get embarassed over stuff I did when I was a kid. I think to myself, “I can’t believe I said that!” I have no idea why, other than I’m just really shy and embarassing moments seem to make it worse. When I see other people get embarassed I imagine how they feel and I know I would feel awful, so of course I feel bad for them. We’re just awesome like that I guess.

  13. I can’t bear other people’s embarrassments too because it makes me feel my own insecurity if I have to face that embarrassment. & sometimes I do relive embarrassing moments in my mind, coz I think it’ so embarrassing. ~ xx

  14. (raises hand) Ditto Rachel. I am still embarassed over things I did when I was a child, too.

  15. I got that creeping feeling up my back while reading your wedding story – that is the exact kind of thing I relive over and over; and I do think I say “stop it” out loud to myself. Here is a twitter quote from Dave Holmes (past MTV guy, current pop culture guy) that I recently shared with my family: @DaveHolmes: If every part of my brain were as sharp as the region that handles embarrassment recall, I would rule the world.

  16. Me too! Me Too!! ME TOO!!!

    When I was twelve (I’m 39 now), I was in a bank and you know those velvet ropes they used to have to separate the lines? Those ones that were attached to the giant brass posts so they could move the line at will? Yeah, I thought it would be a great idea to jump over one because there was no-one else in line and I knocked the entire row of velvet ropes down. In a quiet bank, the noise of those brass posts falling one by one was DEAFENING ! Oy, I still hide in my own embarrassment pillow over that one and the million other humiliating things I’ve done in my life.

  17. I just gotta say – me too!! The weird thing is that during a hypno-therapy session for unrelated issue I spent about ten minutes going over my absolute most embarrassing memory with the guidance of the therapist and guess what? for years now that memory has zero effect on me – I feel absolutely nothing when I think of it. So I guess there can be a cure? (I just have a whole bunch more memories to address when I win the lottery)

  18. I do this quite often–especially when I see the person I was first embarrassed in front of. I try not to think about it but of course the memories flood back and I wonder if they are thinking about it too. I have a horrible problem with blushing. I’m very fair and blush easily. I’m sure people wonder what is up with me most of the time because just talking to people I tend to blush like crazy. I was a very quite shy child and still carry that with me to this day. I hate to make phone calls or even walk into somewhere by myself. I immediately look for someone I know and go directly to them. It’s crazy.

  19. OMG yes! And I do the talk out loud thing too which sometimes results in someone hearing me talking out loud to myself and having another embarrassing moment so I try to disguise it as singing a song or humming or clearing my throat!

  20. I do this all the time. I am still embarassed of things that happened when I was in elementary school. One just popped into my head the other day from when I was probably 10 years old. I am still just as mortified as I was that day.

  21. Oh, I have been there. I too have an aresenal of embarassing moments and have these flashbacks. I have a physical reaction to them when they enter my brain – my whole body cringes. I try to physically distract myself from the memory by looking quickly around for something to think about or grab the closest object to examine it or sometimes even jump or skip. Anything to avoid reliving the memory.

  22. I try to distract myself somehow and singing usually works. However, in a moment of stress, I often can think of only 2 songs: Lovers in a Dangerous Time (the Bare Naked Ladies version) or the theme song from the TV show Greatest American Hero (“beeeelieeeve it or not, I’m walking on air, I never thought I could feel so freeeeeee”). So if you see me walking down the street softly singing one of these to myself, now you know why.

  23. I do this all the time – even terribly embarrassing things that happened to me as a CHILD will pop into my head and my face will burn with embarrassment all over again. I thought it was only me!

  24. I do this all the time too! I always think of it as self torture! I am constantly remembering things like you mentioned, and I swear I do it to torture myself… I am so weird! I will recall “OMG what was I thinking” moments all the time… and it drives me crazy… so, I’m glad that I’m not alone!

  25. Haha I always have to talk myself out of reliving past mortifying moments, often with an out-loud “Argh!” or “Stoppit!” ;)

  26. I absolutely do this. Sometimes I’ll be in bed at night trying to go to sleep reliving something and say something out loud to try to stop it. My husband will halfway wake up and ask me if I said something and I’ll mumble that I was just talking in my sleep. Crazy!

  27. It happens and I get embarrassed just like it was the first time. I wish I spoke out loud when it happens instead I make a sound like ch..ch..ch.. ch. If people are around me and I make the sound that is embarrassing in itself.

  28. I do this all the time. And my kids look at me funny and then trying to cover it up in front of them is impossible. The one thing I am wondering is how do I not pass this on to my kids. How do I teach them to just let it go and not relive it?

    I do the 3rd party embarrassment too and I will say things out loud like “Oh no”. My husband will look at me and ask if I was talking to him or what is wrong and then I am embarrassed all over again.

  29. Oh lord. I do this, and I SERIOUSLY thought it was just me. Like, WHY can’t I let this shut go!! High school, even a couple middle school ones!! And sometimes SOMETIMES, it’s things that were even that bad at the time, but a solid memory comes back randomly and plays out and years later all of a sudden there is NEW embarassment!

  30. Oh yup, I do this. Only, I don’t really talk to myself. I made weird noises. Like I’ll beep or something. It’s great having my hubby around though because his (receiving) love language is verbal, which means he likes to hear “I love you” a lot randomly. So sometimes, when I start going down that path I’ll just look over and tell him I love him. Refocuses me and reminds me of happy things AND has the bonus effect of making him feel good too. Win-win. : )

  31. OMG. ME. TOO. Seriously, sometimes something will trigger something embarrassing going back to, like, MIDDLE SCHOOL, and I swear to God I’m embarrassed all over again like it happened last week. And I live in dread of topics coming up with people who were with me for embarrassing events that MAY TRIGGER them to mention it…because to them it’s just a “haha, remember that time…,” whereas I’ll be mortified all over again and have to find a way to weakly brush over it and change the subject. So yeah. Right there with ya, sister.

  32. I’m just like you…I don’t like watching people be embarrassed on TV. I might disagree with the person if they are a politician, or I may not be a fan if they are a performing artist….but even then, I don’t want to see them be embarrassed. It makes me uncomfortable just to watch it.

    There are times when I hear of a very famous person being embarrassed in public, and I know the video is on YouTube and sometimes I go and watch it…but I almost always turn it off before I can get through it.

    Sometimes the way that famous people handle the embarrassing situation is so classy, that they can actually turn me from a non-fan into a fan. For example, I’ve never been a big fan of Taylor Swift. I’ve liked some of her songs, but I’ve felt that she was so overexposed that I was beginning to really get tired of her. So, I must admit that I had a little bit of schadenfreude when she sang sang off key in her duet of Rhiannon with Stevie Nicks at the Grammys. But then I saw her on 60 minutes last Sunday and she handled the whole affair with such grace that she one me over. She said she is not a robot, and makes mistakes just like we all do. She also said that she didn’t have thick skin. Some of the critics were so harsh because of her performance that it inspired her to write the song “Mean.” How cool is that? Not only does she not run and hide from the embarrassing moment, she embraces it and even writes a song about it! She’s won me over, and “Mean” has become one of my favorite songs.

    As a side note…after watching several seasons of American Idol, and after watching Taylor Swift at the Grammys….I’ve come to the conclusion that the only person who should sing Stevie Nicks songs is…..Stevie Nicks :)

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a little bit of everything.