"I'm SO Embarrassed!" How to Handle Something You Regret Doing During a Breakup
Okay, so maybe you wished you didn’t call your ex 42 times at 2:30 a.m. last night.
Maybe you wished you didn’t leave that sloppy voicemail calling them [insert harsh adjective], but also saying how much you loved them in the same breath.
Or maybe you’re just praying they don’t think you’re a total unhinged person after how you reacted.
Or maybe you shouldn’t have caused a scene at the grocery store in front of a bunch of strangers.
You’re totally embarrassed.
Feeling embarrassed over something we do during a breakup is definitely part of the process. But how do we really define it? Personally, I consider it a really unsettling feeling, and one that has me wishing I could just go back in time and get a brain transplant so I never have to go through it again.
A client of mine said it’s her least favourite of the emotions—and I have to agree.
While there’s hope in the future for science to bring us the chance for brain transplants, I think there’s an easier way than that. (Phew!) This is more than just “learn from your mistakes” kind of stuff, but an actual shift in perspective.
In this article, I want to show you how you can see what happened differently, and release the feelings of embarrassment. As a breakup coach, I help all my clients work through their feelings in a way that’s most comfortable for them. I want to shed some light, because I’ve totally been there, and I know the feeling!
Steps to take to release your embarrassment
Know what actually happened, and what the story you’re creating is about. When I say story, I mean the narrative or dialogue you have going on in your mind. If you think your ex is going to think you’re absolutely nuts for what you did, then know that is in fact a narrative you have going on about the situation, and not actually what he or she will think. Generally speaking, if your ex loved you and knows you’re hurting, they will connect the dots when they wake up to 406 text messages. If they don’t have your best interest in mind, then it wouldn’t matter what you did, they’d still think the exact same way about you. Right? How they interpret your actions is always about them, and less about you.
Understand the driving forces behind your action. Honestly, I used to do a lot of silly stuff when I was heated or hurting. The thing with our emotions is that if we don’t understand their purpose, then we end up acting out and letting the emotion take over. It’s hard to settle our anger during a venting session about our ex, and sometimes that results in sending lengthy emails to them about how terrible of a human they are (or whatever else you want to say in the email). You know now those things were done out of feeling a certain way, and that’s okay. We just get to see how our feelings guided our emotions. How X caused Y. How we didn’t know that there was a chance to just observe the emotion, instead of acting out. This is something I work with my clients on a lot. Ask me how.
Understand the human in you. I find that when I get down on myself and feel embarrassed, it’s because I’ve forgotten that I am just being a human. All humans do embarrassing things. ALL of them. This is just one of those moments for you. It’s not defining, or telling of your personality or anything. You just did something a little (or a lot) embarrassing, and now it’s over. In a few days, it’ll be water under the bridge.
Call a friend or family member and tell them about it. Ask your friend to tell you something they did that they felt embarrassed about. I find embarrassment to be kind of lonely, and having a friend tell me a story with the same feeling lets me know I’m not alone.
Know that it will pass. It will pass. The world we live in today is so full of information that eventually that memory will get erased in some way to make room for something new. We literally cannot store every piece of information we receive, so know that this one will eventually get discarded at some point.
I hope this article reminds you that you’re not alone in this feeling, and it’s honestly just a human feeling. You were being a human. You just did what you did, and are feeling a little conflicted inside. Nothing to make mean anything more than it does. You’re not crazy, obsessive, ridiculous, or in need of a straight-jacket. You just need to give yourself a little more compassion during this breakup! And if you are in need of a 1:1 coach to help you through all this, check out my programs here.