The penultimate card! Today’s card is the 19th in my series of 20 on the Moodscope Mood-Measuring indicators. The 19th is the “Ashamed” Card which Moodscope defines as, “feeling shame for doing something wrong or foolish.”
What a great word for “embarrassment”! Oh, I’ve embarrassed myself on many an occasion. But do you know what? Most of the events weren’t worth getting embarrassed about. I was always the one who cared most about the stupid thing I said or did. Others may have laughed “at” me, but they soon forgot. Well, usually!HARP Tip: It is alwyas worth asking yourself the question, “According to whom?” If you’re feeling embarrassed and therefore believe the situation to be embarrassing, ask yourself, “This is embarrassing according to whom?” Sometimes that’s enough to take the sting out of the moment.
As a frame can make or distract from a picture, so also the context can exaggerate or dissipate a sense of shame. This is where you can make a difference. If you are ashamed or embarrassed, excuse yourself (not by way of apology but by way of absenting yourself – Elvis must leave the building!)
This may seem almost cowardly but we all know deep down that trying to do something about the situation from a state of feeling ashamed rarely produces anything good. We’ve dug a hole and we can end up digging it deeper.
Better to leave as graciously as you can (even if only for 5 minutes to the loo), breathe differently, change your posture, refocus and reframe the event. Then you can return to influence the way the rest of the time plays out from a position of detached strength. A sense of shame often provokes the defence of blame. Better to dissociate yourself for a while and get a fresh perspective.
Of course, I don’t need to remind you that everyone has made a fool of themselves at some time or other. Because of this, the simple and beautiful words, “I’m sorry,” will resonate so powerfully with their heart that they will be moved. They may choose not to outwardly show this but humility and love is irresistible in the long run.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Amen and So Be It!HARP Tip: “Associated vs Dissociated. This is language used in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and in HARP (Hypnotic Associative Re-Patterning). It refers to how ‘in’ the event you feel or perceive yourself to be. Most of us watch the sad News on the TV in a dissociated state. It is as if the glass on the front of the screen provides a safety barrier for our emotions – a shield between event and emotion. If the News then mentions someone we know, we are suddenly pulled through the screen into the event – we feel it personally. This is the ‘Associated’ state. It is as if you are there, looking through your eyes hearing through your ears feeling through your skin… Being able to be associated or dissociated at will is a core-skill of being ‘Emotionally Intelligent’. An emergency worker is better off being dissociated whilst giving practical aid. In fact many acts of heroism are carried out in a dissociated state. When the hero is interviewed afterwards, they often say it, “just happened… I acted without thinking.” Feeling embarrassed is very ‘associated’! Dissociating yourself is a good strategy to take the sting out of this unresourceful and disempowering emotional state or feeling. ‘Breaking State’ – breaking the spell the emotion has cast over you, by absenting yourself from the situation is a great first step. When you return to face the heat (even if it was just the heat in your cheeks), imagine going back as a commentator from the BBC. Distance yourself from yourself! Imagine you were commenting objectively and dispassionately about someone else. If you want to step up the magic, imagine yourself protected by a clear, toughended glass shield that stops other people’s negative ‘vibes’ reaching you. I use a technique I learned and adapted from Jack Black (the Scottish Motivational Speaker, not the Hollywood star!) The technique is called, “Thunderbirds!” and is named in honour of the TV Show. It has a wonderful, military march theme tune and promotes a sense of adventure and good energy. I play the theme tune to myself in my head, and imagine a protective clear glass shield coming down all around me. It is permeable to air, so I can breathe freely! However, it is impermeable to negativity – nothing negative can get through my shield! I find this helps me deal with difficult situations without my own or other people’s emotions contaminating the communication. Crazy? I don’t think so. After all, “Reality leaves so much to the imagination!”