February Feelings – Embarrassed
I’m tired. My back hurts. My partner (and main support person) is traveling for work. I’m a tad weary of writing about feelings, but I’m determined to stick it out! Using coffee and upbeat music to fuel this post. Here we go-
Today’s random GROK card draw is…
Rather than using a dictionary, I’m turning to Brené Brown’s research-based definition of embarrassed, which she shares in Daring Greatly–
We often use the terms embarrassment, guilt, humiliation, and shame interchangeably.
Embarrassment is the least serious of the four emotions. It’s normally fleeting and it can eventually be funny. The hallmark of embarrassment is that when we do something embarrassing, we don’t feel alone. We know other folks have done the same thing and, like a blush, it will pass rather than define us.
As Dr. Brown mentions, shame may show up like a blush, or with laughter. It’s uncomfortable, but not harmful. It’s a feeling that passes more quickly than the others she mentioned, and it doesn’t fester and grow into a large, defining problem.
Here’s a recent experience where I felt embarrassed- my family and I went out to eat. When the server brought our food, she said, “enjoy your meal!” I replied “you too!” I immediately felt silly, but was able to laugh about it, even when my family teased me. I’m sure it happens all the time, this miss-the-mark reciprocation. Despite being able to recall the experience now, it’s not one that’s been keeping me up at night, or causing me to feel judgmental of myself the way feeling shame or humiliation would.
Emotional vocabulary matters because it forms our internal dialogue. The language we use about feelings shapes our behavior. I find it empowering to be able to name my feelings- to myself, and to others. When I know how I feel, I can figure out what I need. I can express myself clearly. I can move through, rather than be immersed in, emotion.
Thank you for sticking with me as I slog through my February Feelings project! 🙂 Today I leave you with further reading- a great post by therapist Catherine Bruns-