Embarrassment is an emotional state associated with mild to severe levels of discomfort, usually experienced when someone has a socially unacceptable or frowned-upon act or condition that was witnessed by others. We have all experienced embarrassment in one form or another. Sometimes we uncomfortably laugh about it other times we run and hide and hope no one remembers our blunder next time they see us. Sound familiar?
Who has tripped and fell in front of a crowd of people? Who among us has walked around with a button or zipper undone for hours or had something stuck in their teeth? It’s a pretty common thing so why do we feel embarrassed? Researchers from the American Psychological Association have found that people who express more outward signs of embarrassment tend to be kinder and more generous. Let's run with that. If you are embarrassed, you are a nice person.
But what mother has heard her children tell her that she is embarrassing? Are our children kind, generous and nice as they tell us that or are they mortified that mom sang and danced in front of their friends while cleaning the house? Speaking from experience, embarrassment from our children can strengthen them and make them well rounded people. I’m not talking about humiliating them but good clean humor and fun. Example, I sing in the car. Well, not just sing, I sometimes put on a show. My youngest daughter used to get embarrassed and duck down as we came to stop lights. With the roll of her eyes and the ever popular “mooooom”, I’d tell her to just have fun and that we most likely won’t see these people next to us again. Now days, my daughter makes videos of her and I singing in the car. She is making a montage of our singing adventures. The memories we are making are a lot more enjoyable than feeling embarrassed and she gets that. There is still the roll of the eyes but I have taught my children to embrace their weirdness and quirks. We can still be a kind and generous people with the occasional embarrassing moments when it matters but I hope we all can learn to sing in the car at the top of our lungs at stoplights because joy and satisfaction come from being comfortable in doing what makes us happy.
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