Embarrassment is the response of a person who still has an ego investment in how others see him. ~ CWG, Book 1 Click To Tweet
One of the biggest problems in our society is the tendency to assume we know what other people are thinking, and to act on that assumption in the hopes of fitting in.
Because of this (our actions being based only on assumptions and not reality) this lack of communication and understanding is responsible for a lot of conflict, both in our personal lives and in the world in general.
The Fear of Embarrassment
For many people, social anxiety is rooted in the fear that no matter what you do or how you act, somebody somewhere won’t like you. It’s difficult to be open with people if you’re afraid you’ll slip up in some way and embarrass yourself, and in trying to fit in with a crowd, many people, over time, lose the ability to love and accept themselves.
They let external influences dictate their interests (i.e. they like something as long as their friends like it), and many of them give in to peer pressure and do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do just to avoid being different.
They may even act differently toward certain people if they think it’ll impress their so-called friends, and as long as they can fit in without standing out too much, they’re happy. Embarrassing themselves or becoming an outcast is their greatest fear, because on some level, they rely on validation from others to feel whole inside.
As a result, they give up their unique personal interests and conform to what the crowd likes, even if it’s potentially harmful.
You Don’t Need to Impress Anyone
If they could understand that they don’t need to impress anyone, they could figure out who they truly are and greet everyone as that person, rather than a distorted cut-out of that person created only to please others.
Not to mention that in trying to impress someone, they assume they know what this person thinks and expects. They judge a book by its cover, and they could be completely wrong about this person without realizing it.
Among other reasons, this is why it’s liberating to be you, plainly and simply, and let society think whatever it wants. Some people will judge you no matter what you do or how you try to please them, yet to crave their acceptance is to set yourself up for inevitable heartbreak, because hey, you can’t please everyone.
I say NO to the demands of the world. I say YES to the longings of my own heart. ~ Jonathan Lockwood Huie Click To Tweet
Do What You Love
It’s impossible to make everyone happy, because we’re all unique and we all have a different outlook on life, complete with different interests and concerns. Therefore, the best thing you can do is, simply, what you love, even if it doesn’t impress the crowd. Then, you won’t have to worry about embarrassment or standing out.
Some might criticize you for not following along, but others will appreciate your uniqueness and your ability to politely disregard those who try to tear you down.
When you’re being true to yourself, you won’t modify your core behaviors in any way for the sake of others, so you’ll steer clear of the aforementioned peer pressure, which gets innocent people into trouble. You’ll gladly take a stand against something that isn’t right, and the last thing you’d do is participate in it to make someone else happy.
Remove the Mask
To reiterate, the logic is really quite simple: since we don’t know what people are thinking, we can’t make assumptions based on their appearance or even the vibe they give us, therefore it would make no sense to change our behavior or conform to what we think they expect. In the long run, this will only result in better relationships with more authentic people — those who appreciate authenticity over artificiality or attempted conformity.
Most healthy people would rather be around someone who’s real than someone with a hollow personality that does little more than reflect their interests, yet the truth of the matter is that this can be very hard to find in our society. This ‘persona’, though it has very little to do with who we truly are, exists for the sole purpose of fitting in in order that society doesn’t break down. It’s essentially a mask, and it’s a mask we all wear.
On some level, we all want to be understood and accepted by a society that casts people aside over miniscule things, so we wear these masks and we pray nobody ever sees through them.
The True Self Revealed
There are a few people we let peek behind the mask and see our true self, but everyone else knows us only by the impression given by the mask. In a way, we aren’t even aware of who we truly are because we’re too busy trying to maintain an ego that’s cut off from our source selves and connected purely with the material world.
Most people are too concerned with maintaining their worldly personality to reconnect with themselves on a deeper, realer level, and the need to be accepted is driven by the need for the mask to survive.
For those who, for whatever reason, find themselves on the outside of society’s acceptance or attention, the mask begins to wither. This can cause a great deal of pain and grief for those who truly relied upon it. Fortunately, death is always a new beginning. Over time, the true self can come to be revealed, and the genuine confidence and completeness they used to seek in validation from others can come about all on its own, and this time for real.
“My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.” ~ Anthony Hopkins
The First Step
When you can interact with someone based purely on their words and actions and get past the need to determine your self-worth by how they react to you, you’ll take the first step on the path to liberation. You’ll step into true individuality and authenticity, and you’ll open the door to a life of ease that brings with it incredible opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.
You’ll also be able to help people in a way that most others can’t, because you won’t be afraid to take a stand for justice and righteousness no matter how many enemies you gain.
Rest assured that in standing up against injustice, you’re bound to make an enemy somewhere. Yet this doesn’t bother the confident world-changers who can take rejection without letting it bring them down, because they’ve thrown their mask to the ground and sacrificed the ego in favor of striving for justice and spiritual growth.
People Will Notice
Whether or not you fight the good fight, your newfound authenticity will be apparent in your interactions with others.
They’ll respond better to someone who’s confident and willing to speak their mind even if their opinion isn’t popular, and you can inspire great conversations with like-minded people and people who think differently if you’re willing to meet them at their level.
The people in your life will notice that you no longer live to please others; instead, you live to serve others with an open heart. They’ll note the change in your outlook and the way you conduct yourself, and they’ll appreciate your willingness to suspend the overactive mind and extend yourself for their sake.
They’ll see how much more willing you are to take a stand at the expense of the ego and offer help to those in need, and they’ll appreciate your straightforwardness and your lack of self-centeredness.
You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. ~ The Buddha
In order to achieve any of this, you have to love yourself.
Self-love frees you from the need for approval, because it fills the void you would otherwise fill with the favorable opinions of others. The way they treat you won’t affect your attitude or your outlook on life, and your love for yourself and the world will be strong no matter what because the love won’t come from them, but from within you.
Your love will expand to the point that you can share it with the world, and you’ll share it without hesitation. Isolation and anxiety will be replaced with openness and goodwill toward others, and you’ll want to help everyone regardless of whether they’re different or whether they even like you.
You can bring people together by loving yourself and being open to a world that desperately needs love, but it’ll require you to stop caring what people think and find compassion for everyone’s struggles.
This will be impossible if you aren’t confident, but inevitable if you are, and it all starts with a return to love. Everything will fall into place from there, and you’ll evolve spiritually by leaps and bounds as you contribute to the effort to restore the world to a functional, workable condition.
No More Embarrassment
You’ll no longer be embarrassed by things that are often minuscule in the big picture; you’ll see them as small but passable obstacles on the road to self-improvement and they’ll be less of a headache and more of a learning experience.
These small embarrassments will increase your humility and decrease the extent to which you’re influenced by other people’s opinions. Even though they might appear to hurt at first, in the end, you’ll be glad you experienced them because you’ll have learned a valuable lesson.
Humility can be a result of embarrassment and rejection, and these seemingly awful moments remind us that we’re prone to imperfection like everyone else.
A Unique Spark of God
The moment you wake up will be the moment you learn to love yourself regardless of the criticism you receive from people who’ve forgotten all about self-love. Remember to be open to criticism if its intention is to help you grow, but never let anyone make you feel like less of a person for who you are and what you love.
You’re a unique spark of God that came to this planet to make a difference, and you knew before you came here that you’d have opposition. You knew you wouldn’t win the hearts of everyone, but that isn’t your job.
Your job is to help people wake up, love themselves and change the world to reflect their newfound awakening and the compassion, understanding and oneness that come with it.
Through the eyes of the heart, we’re all one. We’re connected on a soul level regardless of the anxiety we feel toward each other in social situations, and when you love yourself, you love everyone else too much to care what they think. They have your love regardless, and in no way do you expect them to reciprocate it.
You can only share this transcendent love by giving up the need to fit in, because then, you won’t be tied down by anyone’s opinion or chained to anyone’s lifestyle. You’ll be free, and the ones who really care about you will stick with you through it all.