Seeking advice on how to get over major embarrassment

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  • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 12 months ago by LisforLeslie.
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    April 23, 2023 at 8:56 am #1119779

    From a LW:

    “I play the bassoon in my high school band. Today was our UIL performance, which was really a big deal, but I embarrassed myself so hard!

    For background, I am a pretty quiet person, so this incident at UIL is probably the first real impression the people in my band will have of me.

    For starters, when I was prepping my bassoon, I realized I forgot my reed soaking cup, which I didn’t even have earlier that day, and my teacher called me out about it on both occasions, so now everyone probably thinks I’m lazy and irresponsible. But there’s more. My teacher got me a cup of water to soak my reed in, but as I was walking to the warmup room, I started spilling all over myself because my hands were shaking so bad, and I had a binder and bassoon in my hands which caused a contest judge to reach over and help me (and I couldn’t thank him because my reed was in my mouth!) and I lost my place in line, so when I was entering the practice room, a bandmate, let’s call him Jeremy, helped me by moving music stands that were in my way. I thanked him after the concert, but I still feel really bad.

    But it gets worse. As I was heading back to my bus, my bassoon case broke the outside border of a car’s license plate, and when my band mates were talking about it, I got so flustered that I just kept on walking without acknowledging it.

    All my bandmates now think I’m clumsy, lazy, irresponsible, and destructive, and even though we won UIL, I want to disappear. How do I get over this?

    Thank you for your time.”

    April 23, 2023 at 9:23 am #1119781

    Just follow this line of thinking to its conclusion. Assuming it is true that all your bandmates now think you’re clumsy, lazy, irresponsible, and destructive, ok, so? What’s the worst thing that can happen? Some people have a negative impression of you? That’s show business, baby.

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    April 23, 2023 at 12:37 pm #1119782

    I don’t mean to trivialize your feelings — I can remember some moments from middle and high school that felt super embarrassing at the time, but ultimately weren’t — but none of this sounds like a big deal! In what I assume is a competition environment, I can assure you everyone is thinking first and foremost about themselves, their own performance, their own small slip-ups. This sounds like the kind of thing where everyone will have moved on by Monday if they even paid attention to things like you being called out about the reed soaking cup or spilling a little water.

    April 23, 2023 at 1:37 pm #1119783

    I doubt they think that, but as a total klutz for my entire life, who bungles things constantly, all I can say is you gotta learn to laugh at yourself. Laugh it all off. They probably don’t care about your mistakes- they’re making their own all the time too and being awkward also. Just own it.

    Being a klutz, being kind of sarcastic and funny about me has made me funnier. My kids call being a klutz in anyway “momming it.” I wear that badge proudly, maybe because I gave up trying to be less me long ago. I appear graceful to many, until you spend any significant time with me. I have thrown dinner in my kids laps by accident, instead of gently place the plate on the table in front of them. This is just who I am. I could feel bad about it, but why? (No children were harmed.)

    Anyway, as Kate said, “that’s showbiz, baby.” Own your awkwardness and make it funny if you want, but I swear, no one notices as much as you do.

    April 23, 2023 at 2:04 pm #1119784

    Truly, what you described is objectively not a big deal. You need to be kinder to yourself, give yourself permission to not be perfect. Everyone is clumsy sometimes, breaks things, gets nervous, forgets something. It’s human. It’s fine.

    No one cares but you.

    April 23, 2023 at 6:22 pm #1119785

    OMG, I’m playing around with ChatGPT, and I asked it to respond to this letter like a middle-aged woman from Massachusetts. Look what it wrote in literally 2 seconds:

    “Oh my goodness, my heart goes out to you! Playing the bassoon in high school is such a big deal, and I can only imagine how important today’s UIL performance was to you. But please, please don’t beat yourself up about what happened!

    I understand that you’re probably feeling embarrassed and like everyone is judging you, but I promise you that they’re not. People forget things all the time, and nobody is perfect. Your bandmates are probably more concerned with their own performances and how they did than anything that happened to you. And as for the incident with the license plate, accidents happen! I’m sure the owner of the car understands that it was just a mistake.

    It sounds like you’re being really hard on yourself, and I think it’s important to remember that you’re only human. Everyone has their own quirks and things that they’re not good at, but that doesn’t define who you are as a person. You’re more than just one bad performance.

    If you’re still feeling down about what happened, I suggest talking to someone about it. Maybe a friend or family member who can offer some support and a fresh perspective. And if you’re really struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to a counselor or therapist. They can help you work through your feelings and come up with strategies for moving forward.

    Just remember, this too shall pass. You’ll have plenty of other performances in your life, and each one is an opportunity to learn and grow. Keep your chin up, and don’t let this one performance define you. You got this!”

    April 24, 2023 at 5:51 am #1119786

    Holy cannoli. I’m never trusting anything on the internet again.

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Seeking advice on how to get over major embarrassment

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