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Do not let embarassment control your emotions

on May 20, 2013
English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another CPR for the soul moment.

We all make mistakes.  When we make mistakes we become embarrassed. There are two choices: over react and try to cover or to admit and make amends. Sometimes it is human nature to overreact and belittle the person who caught the mistake. No one likes being blindsided because they were not prepared or informed. But then again, no one should ever go into a situation knowing accountability is the topic and not be ready. No doubt there will be an embarrassing moment to deal with when the facts are on the table. What is worse is to respond by intimidating or shaming the person who was right. Guilt coupled with embarrassment is a deadly combination when a person in power is involved.  Even during the confrontation the guilty party should not become defensive by rattling off excuses and trying to avoid the obvious. Behavior in that way only grows the internal frustration of the guilty. One should never skirt the obvious, just own up to it and move forward as quickly as possible.

So what happens after all the wrong emotions come spewing out? There is still time to make amends though the work will be much harder to correct. Do not continue the cycle of rage from the embarrassment and guilt that grew because you were unprepared. Own up to the situation and not keep fueling a fire. The bigger the fire grows the more likely you are to get burned especially if it was started on your behalf to create a smoke screen. Do whatever it takes to correct the problem. Most importantly, take a moment to step outside of yourself to recap the situation from another point of view. If you were to discover the problem, what would you have done? If children are involved it is without a shadow of doubt emotions will run high. Understand in a position of power, one should understand the emotions coming to the table. It is your duty to listen, consider the options, and then form a plan of action to correct the mistakes or over sites. If it is a situation in regard to others you are supervising, then hold them accountable. You can still stand on their behalf but never should one raise an employee up in a meeting if it is clear they have violated a law or legal procedure. Do not lower your accountability or professionalism based on friendship. A true friend holds all accountable, especially friends and family out of love and respect. Even better, pass the meeting or confrontation on to another supervisor to safe guard your emotions will not be involved. Sometimes we must admit we are too close to the subject or people involved, save yourself from an embarassing situation. It is not a sign of weakness rather a sign of a professional who will pass it on to someone who can be objective.

For the person who was trying to do the right thing by catching the mistake bringing it to the attention of those who could fix it, know you were doing what was right. Often people will over react in hopes you would back down. Also, when embarrassed people will turn on anyone, even their family and friends. Exposing a wrong will cause even the most pleasant sort to shape shift into a person you have never seen before. The emotions will uncover a very insecure and aggressive nature in some. Do not hold it against them but still hold them accountable. It is upsetting when this occurs, just know it will pass but do not allow the person to continue a reign of terror to control you from doing what is right especially in regard to a child or person with needs. Be respectful and never lower yourself to the inappropriate emotions that you might feel.

To parents, teach your child early how to deal with embarrassments and being confronted when wrong. Own up to the mistakes with a positive course of action to make amends. Not everything can be fixed but if it can, chose that route. Never resort to bullying and emotional outbursts as a means of response. On the flip side, teach them to always be ready, check into all avenues before confrontation occurs. It is good to stand by friends and family but if they are wrong, try to get to the root of the issue before it escalates. Keep emotions under wraps until there is a justified reason to express them. Never bully as a response to being wrong. Intense emotions and bullying can cause a negative blow to the soul. It is better to prepare while young to deal with frustrations and owning up to mistakes than it is to correct the onslaught of extreme emotions as an adult.



One response to “Do not let embarassment control your emotions

  1. midisparks says:

    this notion of holding folks accountable, even as we are sensitive to the reality of high-running feelings, is very important and helpful for me to consider. thanks for raising this concept in my mind. also – that wheel of emotions image is very cool!

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