Does that hold you back?
If so, what can you do about it and improve your chances in life instead of needing to hide from the laughter or sneers you think are aimed at you?
Maybe they are – not everyone is as nice as you!
But perhaps not always, or not as you imagine they are. Laughing at you is not the same as laughing with you! This is something I’ve learned. Now, I can laugh at me before or with others. I am not easily embarrassed…
Why? How did I change this?
Well, perhaps this was a matter of ‘finding myself’ in this instance – noticing I found my antics and errors amusing because they were no longer life or death situations I once believed them to be! The earth didn’t open up and swallow me (although at times I’d wished it had – and I know clients have felt that way too!)
But then I decided it wasn’t worth the pain – and it is painful inside – and I could just laugh it off because I decided it wasn’t that important in the scheme of my life and options! If others laugh at me, they are showing themselves up; if they sneer at my mistakes, then they have something to prove to the world – I don’t anymore! They no doubt hide low self-esteem through arrogance or cruel comments, laughing at you to mask their own perceived ‘shortcomings’.
I think the first time this happened for me I was in my late teens leaving college – running for the bus I could see just arriving ahead of me and I set off to run …but caught my fashionable pointed-toe boot in my fashionable bell bottom trouser leg and promptly fell face first into the snow! Two young guys passing by tried to stifle giggles, but didn’t try hard enough! And I? I lay there a second, the cold hitting me, the situation farcical – and I got up, smiling, catching eyes as I moved on, dusting off the snow from my coat and pants!
It hasn’t really bothered me since! It was a funny moment – and I do have a tendency myself to laugh at comic events like falls, sadly – it just hits my funny bone! So maybe that’s for other people too and they can’t help the response! I used to turn red-faced in class when the teacher pointed me out to answer, or when anyone spoke to me – god forbid a boy!
Now not many people would believe it!
Self esteem relates to how much value you think you have to the world, people around you; confidence to how well you feel or believe you can manage new situations with current knowledge and capacity to learn and grow from them!
- Accept yourself. You aren’t perfect but you’re worthwhile and important in life!
- Persist and overcome the embarrassment (read …fear, shame, guilt) when you understand why you feel like that!
- Learn to be confident and honest about your abilities, characteristics, personality, quirks and mistakes you are (bound to be) making!
- Find humour – learn to laugh at the situation you find yourself in! Not you, not the person but the circumstances, the event or situation that may well be funny! Share the joke don’t be the butt of it!
- Be free to be OK with being foolish once in a while, wrong sometimes and silly when you don’t think things through properly at times!
Relax. Enjoy. Join in. Be you as you let others be themselves, and make mistakes or do daft things!
That’s just life ….
Don’t let it hold you back or miss out on opportunities you could have taken if you’d only pushed on past the embarrassing moment, the cringe-worthy behaviour or speech you made.
The old adage: “People will forget what you did, and forget the words you used, but they will never forget how you made them feel”.
And isn’t it great that you can make people feel happy, even for a moment, maybe forget their grief and problems, share a comedy moment …and then move on to the next, better moments; take the learning and appreciate the growth that that moment gave you!
If you let it …