Do Embarrassing Moments Make Us Feel Stronger?

Embarrassing moments do not define us as a people but understanding how you deal with embarrassing moments is important to moving on.


Life experiences create the people we all become. Have you ever considered how life’s less desirable moments of embarrassment create the people we are by giving us more confidence?

Embarrassing moments don’t necessarily mean leaving someone in hurt and demoralization often inadvertently. We naturally raise from adversity and end up thriving even more in spite of the day or moment we once wished to erase. 

Trevor Kidd ’20 described a moment he once wished to erase from back from preschool, “he fell out of a tree in front of his sister’s whole soccer team.” Little, scared, hurt, Trevor didn’t know what to do. He could find his parents anywhere. So he ran to Carter Atherton’s mom, and she helped him. Now Trevor says he is not afraid to ask for help from others and not to mention he is quite confident now on the soccer field. That set back, and feeling of fear didn’t hold him back. He is still a three-time soccer state champion. 

Caroline Dixon ’20 also faced an embarrassing moment as we all do, but unfortunately, hers was well known. Caroline says, “one day I was sitting on a table in Mrs. Noel’s room and all of a sudden it collapsed on my legs and made a huge booming noise that was heard throughout the whole middle school hallway.” This moment didn’t hold Caroline back other than her lingering fear of sitting on tables, which is understandable after hearing the story, I myself am afraid as well to sit on tables. 

I created an Instagram poll to see how people felt about their awkward moments playing a role in their long term confidence. The results were interesting to me. One of the people who responded is someone I have always looked up to as a positive role model to me. She is a Cape Henry Collegiate graduate class of 2019. She has always been someone I look up to. I interviewed her about her answer because I have always viewed her as someone very true to herself and not afraid of making a decision different from others. This person answered with more confident, which oddly was the less common response. I decided to interview her to see her thought process. She told me, “I think it is important to laugh at ourselves after embarrassing moments happen, or we will just be miserable.” That statement really resonated with me. It is so important to be able to move on after those moments. I hope that the people who said less confident didn’t understand that I meant after the situation has passed. I know it is impossible not to feel embarrassment about some situations in the moment, but I hope everyone can move past the things that cause them sadness and stress.

The graduate I interviewed brought her perspective. Knowing how people act and feel after an embarrassing moment is so exciting because it reveals so much. There is no perfect answer. You have to feel. However, you think. I hope people don’t lose confidence over silly situations and life’s less desirable moments because they are always eventually forgotten about and later laughed about.