Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?
Oh, this prompt really hits a nerve with me, especially since I tend to internalize what I see and hear. I would consider myself highly sensitive to my surroundings, which is great when things are good, but look out when they’re not. Yikes!
Witnessing someone being embarrassed hits me at the core and usually leaves me with a pillow over my face as if I’m watching someone being slaughtered. This usually occurs during shows like American Idol or X Factor when people are convinced that they are talented. Oh my God I’m starting to sweat just thinking about it!
During these shows the worst part of all is when the producers decide to do a little piece on how the particular person made it to the life changing moment we are about to witness. It usually entails some sort of sad sac story of homelessness, tragedy or overcoming some insane obstacle, yet here they are ready to make it big. I ALWAYS take this bait and immediately start chanting…please be good, please be good.
Just as the person takes the stage I can feel my heart swelling in anticipation and there is nothing in the world I want more in that moment than for this complete stranger to bring down the house and leave us in awe. As soon as the music starts and the first note is released, I know if I’m going to be cheering or hiding behind my throw pillow for the loooonnnggessst 2 minutes in history. There have been many times that I found myself willing the power to go out to save this soul from further humiliation.
Of course I’m not referring to the goofball who just wastes everyone’s time for their 15 minutes of fame, I’m talking about those who would swear on the lives of their children that they are talented. They are usually the ones with that surprised look on their face as the room fills with the sound of crickets. I just felt a pang in my stomach on that thought … jesus.
As you can imagine my squirminess is not limited to talent shows. Oh no, I spent a long 8 years squirming during the Bush administration. For so many reasons, but that’s another story. It doesn’t matter if I agreed with his policies or not during his time in office. He was our President, so if he was giving a speech or holding a press conference I would tune in to see what was going on in our country. Needless to say by the second term I had to bring out the big guns and invest in a body pillow to hide behind.
Even though we had our differences, I couldn’t help but feel bad as he stumbled over words or take a deep breath just was at a loss for words. I would shout through my pillow at the TV “Just say something…anything…NOW!” My face would be blushing for him as the room fell silent. I know it would be really very easy to wallow in moments like this, but I couldn’t. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t laugh when SNL put a spotlight on the moment.
So, when it comes to squirming I would have to say public humiliation does it to me in a big way, most likely because it’s always been one of my biggest fears. Let me explain. I’ve been publicly humiliated by loosing my skirt on the dance floor while wearing my mother’s granny panties and I’ve been shit on by a flock of pigeons on my lunch hour and survived. I just found these things funny, as did everyone else. Laughter is so much better than silence.
What I’m talking about is the kind of humiliation that leaves the room with the roaring sound of crickets. I’ve always feared public speaking, not because of the speech, because of the reaction and even though I’ve faced my own fear, it still affects me when I witness happening to someone else. Got Empathy? Um, I sure do!
None of us will ever truly understand something until we actually experience it ourselves, so do something that makes you squirm and Enjoy the Ride!