5 Reasons Embarrassing Yourself Can Be Excellent

Frances Ha / Amazon.com
Frances Ha / Amazon.com
Okay, don’t get me wrong. Some instances in your life will be nothing more than utterly mortifying. Like that time I peed on the gym floor in first grade. I mean, yikes. However! There are token embarrassing moments you will experience that not only raise your confidence and coolness factor, but also teach you something valuable. Yes, in the great words of no one in particular, some good can come from feeling like a total asshole. For example:

1. You develop an Oscar-worthy poker face.

When I was a freshman in high school, I broke my pelvis. In front of the entire high school. I was performing a mediocre dance with a group of girls in the school talent show, and the final move of the number required me to land in a full split. I completely misjudged my leap into said split, and ended up smacking into the stage crotch-first, horribly cracking my poor, innocent pelvis. However, despite the shock and excruciating pain (I thought I was paralyzed), I appeared as if I had landed the split perfectly. I smiled wider than Julia Roberts, and it was only until I couldn’t get up to bow with the other girls that anyone realized anything was wrong. Then of course someone screamed into the audience for a doctor, the curtain closed, and I dissolved into humiliating hysterics, but! To this day, hardly anyone ever knows if I’m in pain. Meryl Streep, get at me.

2. You just might meet your match.

Yes, I was a camp counselor. That’s already sort of embarrassing, but during orientation, us counselors had to play a bunch of ice-breaker games to, y’know, test our “skills.” I hate games. However, during a particularly rousing game of steal the bacon, it was my turn to get the frickin’ bacon (aka the neon Frisbee). I ran with all my might into the center of the soccer field, desperate to impress this one counselor I was seriously starting to crush on. Well, as fate would have it, I literally ate grass. I did not steal the bacon, and my crush (along with everyone else) had a solid laugh at my expense. However, to my complete surprise, my crush called me later that night, asking me out on a first date. We are now engaged to be married. See? Some people think idiocy is hot!

3. You will make your parents proud.

Think of the goals you didn’t score. The dances you went to alone. The jobs you didn’t get. The public speeches you flubbed. The dinner you slaved over that gave everyone food poisoning. Think of all those times you attempted to do something, and you absolutely failed and felt horribly embarrassed, but in the end, you still got back on that proverbial horse and told the haters to SCRAM! I bet you anything, in every one of those difficult moments, your parents were proud of you. And if they weren’t, someone else definitely was.

4. You find out who your true friends are.

One night, my friend Annie and I were walking home from a party together. Like the goon that I am, I completely lost my footing, and felt myself sloppily falling towards NYC’s famed concrete. Yet instead of taking this humiliating fall alone, I instinctively dragged poor Annie down with me. Rightfully, she was caught by surprise and while I went elbow-first onto the sidewalk, Annie…well, she went face-first. And broke her tooth. Her front tooth. I felt HORRIBLE. Not to mention mortified. Despite that it wasn’t on purpose, it was still completely horrendous. A less saintly friend would have been furious with me, but Annie instantly forgave me and we laugh about it to this day. I pleaded with her to let me pay her dental bills, but if that’s the most awkward conversation we ever have, then damn I’m a lucky lady with incredible friends.

5. You stand out from the crowd.

You may think your faux-pas is causing you to stand out for the wrong reasons, but sometimes that perceived blunder is exactly what sets you apart. Once at an acting audition, I started my monologue on the floor. In the fetal position. Not cute. After finishing, the director told me that I had made a “very bizarre choice,” but because I committed, he gave me a callback. I didn’t book the job, but I had absolutely succeeded in being noticed. Even though looking back on that particular audition makes me feel all kinds of uncomfortable, I am still glad it happened. Sure, putting yourself out there or taking a huge risk can result in a major face-palm moment, but I think not even trying to be different, to experience new things, or to open yourself up to possible humiliation — well, that just seems so much worse than actually being embarrassed for a few seconds. TC mark

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