67 thoughts on “Ever Say Something Stupid? Get To Know Your Shame

  • June 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Great article! Recently I’ve been making ammends with people and I’ve been thinking about the shameful things I’ve said and done when I was younger. Like the article said, I started blushing and my whole body got warm when those feelings of shame resurfaced and I did laugh at myself. I even shared some of my stories with my sister and she laughed with me. I’ll give one example. I once had a phone interview for a nanny position. The man asked me what my hobbies and interests are and I answered the question like I was on a dating site. I said things like “I like to go to the movies and take drives to the beach” I said some other stupid things, but can’t remember exactly, I just remember he cut the interview right away and said he’ll keep me on his list. As soon as we hung up, I felt so ashamed and stupid and of course I never heard from him again. I am glad I am not alone! 🙂

    • June 9, 2014 at 12:21 am

      You are so funny. I love that you shared some examples. I can’t see how a potential employer would take those quotes negatively, unless he thought you were hitting on him. Sometimes you just don’t know how people are going to react. Thanks for sharing.

      • November 17, 2017 at 7:53 pm

        Just did it tonight … I was watching family feud …. chatting with a girl I like ….. I said this thinking it would get a “lmao”

        A recent survey of 100 women showed that during orgasm only 3% experienced the phenomenon commonly known as squirting…. the other 97% said they had never met me

        She said she couldn’t believe I said that
        And then just said “disturbing lol”

        Even though I didn’t think it was THAT horrible ..
        I’m buying her chocolates until she gives me a pass .

  • July 31, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Recently I had a talk with a boss at my job,and he asked when I was due. And because I’m currently pregnant with twins, I replied in Nov. and of course he asked how I was feeling. And I said fine, that should have been the end of the conversation but no…I go on to say I don’t know how to feel sometimes and these babies are mixing me up…blah blah blah…and then I say you know how it feels. (Blank stare) i try to recover by saying you remember how it was when your wife was pregnant..lol (silence) bad recovery.. And I say oh you don’t want to remember that…DOH!!!! I have to remember not everyone understands my sarcasm. So he ends the conversation with yeah it doesn’t get easier..I so had a Jessica Simpson moment. And a Homer Simpson moment wrapped into one.

    • August 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      Sooo funny. I love this example.

  • March 27, 2015 at 3:21 am

    Hi Cherilynn! Thanks for this article. I had some pretty bad anxiety about something I said today and this really helped lighten the weight. I felt like I said something out of a Judd Apatow movie… It was so bad and the more I talked the worse it got. My husband and I were talking to our friends who just informed us they were expecting a baby. I was beyond stoked because they were trying for a while and are so deserving of great things. When she told us her due date, I said, “ok, well maybe we’ll

  • March 27, 2015 at 3:34 am

    Hi Cherilynn! Thanks for this article. I had some pretty bad anxiety about something I said today and this helped lighten the weight. I felt like I said something out of a Judd Apatow movie… It was so bad and the more I talked the worse it got. My husband and I were talking to our friends who just informed us they were expecting a baby.
    #1) my reply to her announcing the OCTOBER due date was “great! So maybe we’ll have a baby with us over New Years!” There was silence as I realized what I could have implied. I tried to fix it by saying, “well, there’s definitely going to be a baby but maybe we won’t be out of state this New Years!” Got a medium response.
    #2) then I tried sharing advice my parent friends have shared with me, which was “enjoy your last few months together because after this you’re going to have a permanent third wheel!” I was being playful but sounded like an absolute idiot. Total foot in mouth moment. What was I saying? If I imagine I saw that in a movie, I’d laugh… But actually saying it myself to people I love really hurts. I have a chronic pain condition and I notice that when I feel the pain worsen I say these thoughtless things.
    I feel much shame about it and totally want to hide. =\. I plan to call her tomorrow to explain what was going on and apologize. Thanks for creating space to talk about issues like this!!

    • March 29, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      I am famous for the foot-in-mouth technique of digging yourself deeper. My friends love to hear the stories because there is always a new one. It is good humility practice and good “think before I speak” practice.

      Having chronic pain takes up so much energy. I am in awe of people who struggle with this. Honestly, it is amazing to me that people get through it. So admirable!

      I agree that explaining this and saying a quick and simple apology is a good way to go. Don’t beat up on yourself, just say your apology, and let it go. I believe our Higher Power doesn’t expect us to be perfect. Part of our journey is learning from our mistakes. So glad you wrote in! We can all relate!

  • March 29, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Thanks for the post, I really needed this. I am still a teenager and I said something to a guy I like today, and he and his friend gave me blank stares and it got really awkward. Later I saw them in a corner talking and then they looked at me while laughing–a lot, I might add. 🙁 Anyway I was really hurt and I don’t even know why they laughed at what I said.

    • March 29, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Oh my gosh. That feels terrible. I remember feeling so embarrassed about stupid things I said and did as a teen. I still feel that way at times, but back when I was an adolescent, the humiliation was so much more intense. I don’t know why that is! If it were up to me, I would definitely rewire teenagers so that they didn’t have to feel humiliation so intensely at such a challenging time in their lives. But, no one asked me…

      Do you have a girlfriend you can call who will laugh with you about it? Who will reassure you that it probably wasn’t a big deal? (It probably wasn’t.)

      There are still a few things I said and did back then that STILL make me blush to think about. If I told you a few, you would laugh so hard. The good news is that those guys were probably not talking about you, or, if they were, shame on them for being mean. I had a good friend tell me once, “It is none of your business what other people think of you!” LOL!

      Thanks for writing in, Abby. You will get through this. We have ALLLL been there. And please be compassionate and loving towards yourself until you are feeling better. Take a hot bath, do your nails, download some funny You-Tube videos. Self-care can really heal.

      With warmth and joyful thoughts sent your way,
      Cherilynn :))

      • March 29, 2015 at 9:17 pm

        One more thing, I admire you for saying anything to that guy. It is easy to avoid talking to someone you really like out of fear of humiliation. You are courageous, and the more you do it, the more comfortable you will get.

  • April 3, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    I’m thankful for your article! I deal with shame a LOT, and the issue of “scrupulosity,” which means that I’m often second-guessing myself. Here’s my issue: In my line of work, I offer a certain type of care to the people in our organization. It’s a pretty good idea to stick to my specialty and not to veer into the other specialties since I’m not at all trained in them (ok, translation: I work in healthcare and am NOT medically trained, but work in another type of care). Today I was speaking to a patient who was concerned because medical people couldn’t figure out this person’s ailment, and after hearing how scary it was to this person, I wondered aloud if the experts had mentioned a certain condition–and I named that condition (which isn’t a bad condition, pretty common, actually). Now, I have no business doing that since I’m not a medical person, and I felt immediately ashamed of myself–stricken, actually! I apologized immediately, saying that I wasn’t qualified at all to raise such a statement, and the person basically said, “No problem, don’t even think about it.” Thankfully, my statement didn’t violate any privacy laws that are so worrisome in healthcare. But my statement wasn’t cautious, but careless, and I should have kept my mouth shut! I’m really dealing with a lot of shame about this. Any thoughts? Thank you so much.

    • April 4, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Give yourself some compassion and self-love. You said something out of concern. It doesn’t sound like a big mistake but you obviously think it is.

      Maybe you feel it was politically uncouth. Some people, who speak impulsively, tend to make more political errors than others who are politically savvy. That’s okay. Most importantly, you were just trying to problem solve a health issue. Sometimes the simplest solution is the one often missed.
      In your case, you already did what needed to be done. And you learned a valuable lesson.

      I had a friend whose husband went through radiation therapy and was feeling so fatigued and ill. None of the experts could figure out what was wrong. My friend’s friend said, “Check his thyroid.” No one had thought of that. That is exactly what was going on! You never know when outside input will be useful…

      Thanks for taking the time to write in.

    • April 4, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      Thank you, Cherilynn, for your encouraging reply! I found that your idea of letting the shame sort of “air out” (rather than suppressing it) really helps me to consider why I’m feeling the shame, and then to feel less of it. Thank you for your healthy perspective on this. I found your blog at just the right time, and I’m thankful for you.

  • April 14, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Nice post. i feel very embarrassed because I said something very stupid to a work colleague on her birthday and now I feel so much ashamed about myself.Actually it was her birthday treat (dinner) after a long hard day at office and I said at the dinner table that if she has to work that hard on her birthday that means her whole year is going to be like that.i said it like a joke but i knew the moment that I should not have said that because the expressions on her friend’s face were like ‘what have you done? OMG! i didn’t meant to be rude I was just trying to blend in by saying something, as I am not good in social situations (especially with girls) and sometime say or do such awkward things. Although she didn’t say anything but now I feel very bad about myself . I am now having this anxiety about it. I didn’t wanted to hurt her feelings, she is a very nice person but now I don’t know what she thinks about me..

    • April 15, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Sometimes, making an amends can clear yourself of that useless shame. I would recommend going up to her and say something like, “I apologize for saying something yesterday that came out not as I intentioned. Sometimes, I feel awkward in social situations and then I end up doing or saying something I regret. I am embarrassed and just wanted to tell you that.”

      Hopefully, she will graciously tell you it wasn’t a big deal and all will be well. We all do stuff like that! Be compassionate toward yourself. You are just human. No one expects you to be perfect.

      Thanks for reaching out.
      Take care,

      • April 17, 2015 at 11:45 am

        Thanks for the reply Cherilynn.

  • April 18, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you so much for this article! I needed this. I was recently trying to find out if a fellow Uni student (who asked me out) was still with his girlfriend. And I ended up putting on extreme bravado on online chat and asking him something along the lines of ‘ will your girlfriend mind you studying with a hottie like me? ;)’ WITH the winky face emoticon. God. Reading that again makes me cringe every time. It probably looks like I’m flirting heavily, out of the blue. WHILE knowing he might have a girlfriend! Definitely thinking things through before I speak next time.

  • May 2, 2015 at 12:59 am

    I loved your article! I’ve done and said dumb things in the past and felt ashamed for them but eventually I would just let it go and laugh at them as you pointed out. But what’s been torturing me lately is that we have this chat group between some family members and I posted a video that was really funny to me, it was one of those things you do without even thinking, I just thought it was hilarious and wanted to share it with them.. But the video was completely inappropriate, a lot of bad words and kind of offensive you could say but overall funny.. Anyway some of my cousins laughed, but a little bit later my aunt blocked me from the group at the moment I felt horrible because she took it too personal and I did apologize to her (trough text because we don’t live in the same city) but she never answered me, it’s not even that that I feel bad about I feel ashamed for posting that video to all my uncles and aunts (some of them are older so conservative) I don’t want them to look at me like the bad disrespectful child you know. I already told this to all of them, that I never meant to offend them and I just did it without thinking, but still I can’t get over this regret feeling, wanting to undo that. Hopefully I’ll get past this soon cause it’s a horrible feeling.. Specially because it’s family otherwise I wouldn’t care so much what they think. So thank you for this article it is really helpful being able to comprehend that were just humans and bound to do dumb stuff sometimes, it’s nice to see we’re not the only ones with the big mouths haha and also being able to tell someone.. It’s so nice of you to answer all the comments. Thanks! 🙂

    • May 2, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      I hope you don’t continue feeling “horrible” much longer but it makes sense to me that you might feel very bad because having a family member involved in our goofs brings up a truckload of issues. That can really complicate the “getting over” something like this. In addition, once something is on video, we can’t always predict how we will feel about it later.

      A few points to remember:
      Feelings aren’t facts. Just because you feel bad doesn’t mean you are.
      Sometimes, people will be disappointed in our senses of humor and our choices. Hopefully, this aunt will get over this.

      I suggest you try to feel good about the fact that you were gracious enough to apologize for any offense. In addition, it sounds like you guys try to keep each other in the loop with a chat group. That is awesome. However, as with any ongoing family communication, it can’t always work out to be positive. That is just the reality of real relationships.

      That “horrible” feeling probably has something to do with unwritten family “rules”, expectations and your role. To add to those dynamics, generational differences are an added challenge. Try to see if you can work on kindly emotionally detaching from their viewpoints about this matter. It was nice of you to want to include them in a funny video. Sounds like it just went awry.

      I am so glad the article was useful. Thank you for sharing.

  • May 3, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Cheryl, I think this is a great way for us humans to get things off our chests! I said soemthing too today that was stupid but I won’t get into it now. I hope you keep this up its a good thing to be able to vent without having to call a friend most people don’t want to hear it. Thanks so much!

    • May 4, 2015 at 10:52 am

      I think your friends are probably up for being supportive and enjoy being there for you . It is a good thing to give others that opportunity. However, I am glad you found reading this useful. You should check out my blog at http://www.stopgivingitaway.com. Usually, giving, caring people tend to think others don’t want to hear about them. They think they should be the listeners only.

      So glad you found it useful and helpful. And we appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  • May 11, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Thank you for writing this. It’s just what I needed to read after committing a faux pas in front of some coworkers! We’re human and make mistakes. It’s so much harder to forgive ourselves sometimes.

  • August 10, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Ugh. I just made a passing judgy comment in my new workplace about a notorious celebrity who gained a lot of weight in his later years from alcoholism and who knows what… and I made the passing judgy comment in front of my sweet co-worker who’s very unhealthily overweight, AND in front of two other co-workers, to witness.

    I tried to back-track by saying “I hope my comment didn’t offend anyone; I just find that celebrity really gross. He goes after really young women and it’s pervy. I used to like his music, but now I just think he’s lecherous.” Then my sweet co-worker who I’m pretty sure I offended said “Well… I like his stuff.” Ugh ugh ugh.

    Did I mention they hired me to do Human Resources? Why would someone in HR be so tacky? Sometimes I worry I’m not going to last long in my new job. 🙁

    • August 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      What I also dislike is that I couldn’t just OWN it and say “that was rude”… instead I had to lie and pretend it was about his choice in younger women, which is no one’s business, either.

      I’ve made so many mistake sin this new job, I have no right to comment on other people’s lifestyles. 🙁 🙁 🙁

  • September 1, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    thanks to everyone listing exames of their personal blunders… It’s helped to read them but I still feel like an ass! So if it helps someone else I’m happy to share my jackass moment from this morning and my shameful response ? whole parusing Facebook this morning a (hoax)post popped up about Halloween and Friday the 13th… Something about them being on the same day(which is ridiculous obviously)had I thought about it before speaking I would have realized it was a hoax, however I read it quickly and out loud to my fiancés teenage daughter who immediately laughed her head off at me saying I don’t stay “stupid sh#*” very often and that is just “gold”, she kept going on and on and on about it until I finally flipped my lid and yelled at her. Telling her to watch it because she says stupid things all the time and we don’t rub it in her face, I even went so far as to mention her very poor grammar, spelling and frequent speech blunders she makes. ? Oops! No excuse for that but just goes to show how powerful humiliation is!

  • October 20, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I find comfort in knowing i am human and will make mistakes. The other day i was at a friends house and attempting to give advice to a young couple. As i attempted to get this point out i opened my mouth and inserted a whole shoe store. I offended her and others and the shame and guilt i have felt over the past few days has been almost to overwhelming. I havent slept or ate. I feel really bad. I was trying to make a point and inadvertently said the Bitch need to get a job. I was attempting to put humor into it and it came out all wrong. I feel terrible about the way it came out. I immediately said i was sorry but the damage was done. It just came out. Just wondering how i get over the guilt and shame?

    • October 30, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      That sounds very upsetting. Yes. I know it can be painful when we suffer from “foot-in-mouth” problem. Glad you got it out there. Now you know that the “Bitch” word should be carefully contemplated…LOL.

    • March 17, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Brian, I’ve got you beat. I just saw my very sweet close friend/neighbor for the first time since her double mastectomy. I haven’t felt well lately and couldn’t go to her house for fear of giving her my cold. I felt awkward and tried to be funny when I thought she was looking at my chest and said “are you having breast envy?” ?!!!!!?
      She knows I have a weird sense of humor and it might have even been funny at some point, but it was also in front of her two daughters (from out of town, never met them) and two neighbors. I was horrified!! I’ve apologized, but I’ll feel stupid stupid stupid for a long time. 🙁

  • December 19, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    I told my coworkers that the reason our other coworkers kept calling my line is because they said I’m fast. I swear to God I didn’t intend to brag, I was explaining that I felt they should call other lines too, to distribute the work. I think they pissed my coworker off. I’ve already heard that she’s pretty passive aggressive already, so apparently that unintentionally gave her fuel for her passive aggressive flame. Not sure there is a way to undue it but she immediately got pissed off.

    • January 7, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Ever heard that Taylor Swift line in one of her songs, “People throw rocks at things that shine.” I love the line. Most people don’t do that but once in a while, you will stumble upon jealous, insecure people who don’t want to look at themselves. These people are more likely to hurl rocks, talk behind your back, try to sabotage others at work, etc. So sorry.
      Keep your head up and keep being the best you can be at your job. It is something to be proud of. Think of what you could have said that might make you feel better and be ready next time.
      Thanks for writing in, Rachel.

  • March 28, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    I felt sooo stupid about something I said to a girl I just met. We have a mutual friend who is a guy and he was talking about how he wouldn’t know what to do if he had a baby in his hands because he’d never held one. He said “I’d probably just hold it by its head or tie a leash to it” and everyone was laughing and the girl I just met said to him “sometimes I think we are the same person” and I blurted out what, child abusers? With a smirk on my face thinking that was very funny but everyone was kind of like confused and offended by my comment.. so yea you never know how people are going to take stuff and it’s best to just keep your mouth shut sometimes I’m learning. I would say 90% of the time I have quick witty things to say and 10% is a hit or miss, but its still really embarrassing. My problem is trying to be funny and witty all the time.

  • April 20, 2016 at 1:55 am

    Hello! I screwed up pretty bad today and this article helped me feel a little bit better. I’m going to be honest I don’t remember exactly what I did as I was only texting my girlfriend and I somehow managed to make her think I was in love with her because of her looks and sex. I told her I knew I screwed up from the second I said it before she was able to reply but everything I said from here on was only replied by a simple “ok.” When I tried making sure she was ok by checking up on her later and she said she was fine and continued to reply “ok” to everything I say. I really know I screwed up this time but this might be the worst. Although there was a horrible one where I was 10 and I snuck up on my 90 year old great uncle and almost gave him a heart attack… But I think this might be even worse.

  • May 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I made an insensitive comment at a terrible attempt at dry humour. Context – I had been recently watching a lot of stuff about Westboro Baptist Church and The Path and reading some ridiculous stuff on the uber religious/cult like folk. Even now I’m getting anxiety writing this. I was with colleagues, who I’ve known for a year and am pretty comfortable with. I can’t even remember what led to the convo. But at some point I made some kind of crack about mocking uber religious, *thinking* of westboro baptist. but never said it out loud. and compounded it by saying something about people thinking someone who looks like santa claus directs their entire life, it’s hard to take them seriously. In my head, I was dry and sarcastic and not intending to be offensive. After I was like “oh god, what did I say”. I’m mortified. I would NEVER mock people for religious beliefs. Never. I’d debate if they were open for it. I really only disagree if people’s rights are being trampled on. I’m agnostic myself, but super into learning about others religions. But NEVER NEVER NEVER, would mock someone. I just… opened my mouth and stupid fell out. I’m completely mortified and don’t know what to do. There’s been no mention of it since, but none-the-less, I made myself sound like an asshat.

    • June 9, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      Ugh. I hate it when I say things that upset others. However, we are human and it is important to learn from this. I suspect you have.
      Thanks for writing in!

      • July 12, 2016 at 11:40 pm

        Hi Cherilynn.

        Thanks for your reply. Since then I have learned, quite a bit. I also feel I may have offended you, based on what I have since seen from your other comments. And for that I’m truly sorry. There are some topics I do feel strongly about, but chief amongst them is acceptance in light of people’s rights. And to present statements that assume all who practice religion are silly or ignorant is wrong and ignorant of me, and not reflective of my feelings.

        When I wrote my original post, I was in a high-alert anxiety state, and spiralling down (I had started checking this website multiple times a day for 2 weeks for responses – anxiety and guilt were at an all time high). Not that what I stated wasn’t entirely accurate, however, I could have worded it better. Further, I’ve since realized that 1) what I said was mocking and intolerant, regardless of my intentions, 2) I am NOT that kind of person, nor do I want to present myself as such, and 3) When you start breaking out into truly non-typical behaviours, you really need to star re-evaluating yourself and figure out what the heck is going on. For me it was ignoring a series of stressful events over the course of a year that were causing me such anxiety and depression that I was just not myself, but didn’t recognize it, and instead continued on as though I was fine. I was alternatively numb, sullen, angry, desperate to find a way to be happy, putting myself in every situation to appear happy – to get back the feeling of who I had been – but then when it didn’t work, being angry, fearful and anxious. I made thoughtless statements like previously mentioned, and generally seemed to be sabotaging myself, then immediately feel such crushing guilt and anxiety that I could barely go out, only to stay inside wondering why and how in the world I was becoming this person. I eventually realized the issues, made amends, and also found out that I have anxiety in general. I’m working on improvements and getting back to being me. But I also wanted to a) thank you for posting this blog; and b) replying to us, it’s extremely helpful to be acknowledged.

      • July 17, 2016 at 8:09 pm

        Thanks for writing in. You seem like you are doing some hard work on yourself. Good for you and thank you for sharing. It helps all of us.

  • May 25, 2016 at 6:38 am

    I started a new job this week. In an orientation meeting with 8 other new recruits, we were asked to draw our lives as an ice breaking exercise. I started drawing out my family. I drew my dad, whom I am very close to, with a big belly because we tease him on how much he likes eating and I drew my stepmom with belly too but somewhat smaller. I drew everyone else as stick figures. I now realise I called my dad and stepmom fat in front of a whole lot of strangers that really didn’t need to know, in an attempt at humour (which was obviously very inappropriate) and I feel so ashamed. Worst of all, I think my stepmom would actually be hurt by this drawing! (My dad not so much). I can’t shake the shame off and it’s almost paralysing!

    • June 9, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      That doesn’t seem so bad at all. Drawing stick figures with a belly COULD have been kinda’ funny. Some say all laughter is at someone else’s expense.

      So, you failed to get a laugh. Do NOT let yourself get too tied up into the shame. Learn from it.And move on. If you feel terrible shame whenever you think about it, try a visualization where you visually change the outcome, and your feelings about the outcome. Then, distract yourself. No self-flagellation necessary.
      Thanks for writing in.

  • July 29, 2016 at 12:35 am

    Oh my goodness, Cherilynn, just saw your post and I can totally relate! This afternoon my teenage daughter (16) was out working today. She had hung out with a few of her friends from a medical summer camp yesterday. I didn’t know them very well, but she desperately wanted to see them, so I let them go down to the park together for the day. Jump to today, she sends me a picture and video! The picture is of a barely-visible pizza crust wrapped in a paper plate labeled “the joint”, and the video is from her point of view shooting her two friends smoking! I turned up the audio and it seems that they just lit the pizza crust on fire. When she got home today, my husband told her that he doesn’t care if she does drugs, but he also kind of does care. He just wants her to tell him. I understand that. I still have to talk to her…what should I say?? She seems really embarrassed about it and is avoiding me at all costs. Both my husband and I grew up in relatively conservative families, so we do not have much experience with this. I’m not mad at her, I just want to make sure she is hanging out with good influences and is being clear about her morals, as I know although she is at that “hormonal” phase, she is still a smart girl. Please help!

  • August 6, 2016 at 3:32 am

    It’s been about a year since I last commented on this thread. I truly value and appreciate everyone’s vulnerability in talking about these things (I call them my foot in mouth moments) and Cherilynn for her awesome coaching.

    In the last year, I’ve really taken to heart the “I will make mistakes” part of the post. Others have said things that have been… Not so perfect to me, and I have given them the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I find that I’m actually thick skinned with others and maintain the perspective that everyone is trying their best.. I’m not easily offended and started to wonder why I’m so concerned about offending others to the point where it causes myself pain. For me, it’s an experience of self love. I think my giving others “space”/slack comes from giving myself the same — and practicing being loving to myself.

    I spent NYE a few years ago with the founder of one of the largest shoe companies in the world. Very cool and down to earth guy. Someone I really respect. One night during our trip when we were playing board games, he passed gas quite loudly in front of everyone. Instead of feeling embarrassed or turning red, he kind of just laughed it off and apologized. As silly as that sounds, his level of self love was inspiring! He could do no wrong in his eyes. Like a baby!

    Anyway, by practicing giving myself slack — loving myself even when I make a “mistake,” taking deep breaths to get through awkward moments, connecting with people (like in here) who can laugh it off with me, and then if it’s still bothering me talking directly to the person about it — I’ve found a way to be at peace with it. I have the best of intentions and sometimes it might not translate right… And that’s ok.

    Thank you all so much for sharing the way you do. I really appreciate not feeling alone in this and send you the most accepting and self-loving wishes! And big hugs when you need it <3

    • August 15, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      We here at the SGIA team are so happy you shared this. It makes it all so worth it!
      Thanks for letting us know, Dawn. And, good for you!
      Cherilynn (and SGIA team)

  • August 15, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    At a high school reunion, I had a little too much to drink and became very social. In a small group we were reminiscing about stuff we did in high school and a teenage dance club that we had gone too once. I accidently blurted that I got felt up that night. I was just remembering in my head and it just came out. Why would I say/reveal that to anyone…Ugh…I’m so embarrassed I shared that out loud and now I cant sleep or eat. That is not who I am now…Married with children…I feel like they are going to think I was slutty back then and tasteless..Ugh I’m having trouble moving on.

    • August 15, 2016 at 4:01 pm

      It is really, really, really not a big deal to get “felt up” one night at a teenage dance club. Adolescence is a time of sexual curiosity and a time when hormones are pushing you one direction while society, ethics, religion, etc are pushing you NOT to do certain things. If the experimenting was not against your will, it was a momentary blip in a lifetime of moments and decisions. Please don’t beat up on yourself. That is something that probably went unnoticed at your reunion. Or, if anyone did notice your sharing, they probably thought back to their own “teenage moments” for a second.

      We all have actions and inactions that we sometimes regret. Again, be compassionate and caring towards yourself. You sound like you had a few very human moments. Deep breath. Not a big deal:).

      Glad you shared, though, because it is important to get feedback on your perception if one is being too harsh with one’s self.

      Take care,

  • October 24, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Kind of random: I mentioned to some co-workers that I had met a kid recently that went to MIT. One of these co-workers had also gone to MIT. My remark was that this kid I met didn’t seem like he went to MIT, because he was really cool and dressed hip…to which my MIT co-worker replied, ‘wow, you’ve just started digging a hole, and it’s getting bigger, I think.’ And I said ‘no, you definitely fit into that category”, as I tried to dig my way out.

    I’m not entirely sure if he was directly offended, or just offended by proxy, but the implication of my words was that MIT is for nerds (which would mean that my co-worker is included). Anyway, I immediately turned beet-red, and said ‘ok, I’ll stop digging’. Having a hard time living that one down, and remembering that I’m actually a pretty quiet person, and should probably stay that way. 🙁

  • November 4, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Today during a nursing interview for an ER position, I was asked if I have been in a code situation and what I learned. I told them yes and that each patient died. I then proceeded to say “hm maybe I’m bad luck in a code.” Who says that??! Bad attempt to be funny about a very serious subject. I know I was nervous BUT i am trying to take away the lesson to quit trying so hard to be funny. It’s not always necessary and can sometimes go too far.

  • December 29, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Having a little cry and feeling a little stupid as my feelings were hurt today. So here’s the story – about a month ago I made a comment about a co-worker in front of other co-workers – as soon as I said it, I realised it was taken the wrong way and I came off looking bad. Today I had to check one of the co-workers emails and had to look back for something quite old. There I stumbled on a whole email trail with regard to the aforementioned gaffe and some pretty nasty comments were made about yours truly. I have been trying to put it out of my head by saying of course there are consequences to our actions. It is even over something superficial and not something I would normally care about. Your column has helped just a smidge and maybe I will pull up my big girl undies and move on.

  • March 3, 2017 at 3:44 am

    So I had an aweful moment the other day. I was in a meeting at work, and at the end someone asked if I was going away that weekend (had been intending too) I said ‘no we have pushed it back as we got a bit carried away, started looking at France, progressed to looking at Dubai’ (we never really considered Dubai, but we get carried away looking sometimes for fun!) my manager said ‘how can you afford that!?’ (Unfair question in my opinion. I got motor mouth and blabbered on about my husband earning loads last month and I have so much money left over! Thing is I had had conversations earlier that day with other people in the meeting about how they had NO money and were accessing ‘bank of mum and dad at 40’ or ‘scared to put the car trough an MOT’. I looked like such a boastful idiot, and I’m not even rich, my husband is out of work for 3 weeks now, so he was working really hard to squeeze as much as he could out of work. We booked a cheap weekend away in the end, but it didn’t come across like that!

  • May 22, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    I stumbled on this article while looking for some guidance. A topic came up on Facebook and I feel like I should have just kept my mouth shut. When its stupid funny embarrassing that’s one thing but I’m afraid I may have really hurt/offended someone who had a terrible experience. I texted and apologized and she said, “It’s ok I understand there may just be things we can’t talk about.” Oh Lord what have I done. I apologized so much and tried to explain and she was so gracious but boy I feel so horrible. Just this rotting in my stomach that won’t stop. Then I came upon some of the comments here. It made me forget for a minute that I was here because of something that will take work to repair. Elle’s comment, “I opened my mouth and Stupid fell out.” Oh boy can I use that one. So hysterical. And then the stick figure thing I lost it! And Nik in the ER. I was crying. I know the bad feeling I have is going to linger…I was hoping for a magic pill but no luck…or at least I now know I can maybe laugh my way through some of it. Thank you all for sharing your stories. Mine, unfortunately, was not funny in any way so I’ll spare all of you. I don’t want to be the downer in the room 🙁

  • June 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Today I did something bad, but I don’t think I offended the other person, but only made myself look like an idiot.
    I am in a chat group with some friends from work, but I have only known them for about a year, and we don’t hang out very often. Anyway, we were discussing something and everyone had an opinion, and most people were lighthearted, made jokes or were honest about not being experts in this area, but this is my specialty. However, there is this guy who pointed out that one guy’s opinion was wrong and explained why he thought so. I don’t really know this guy… But I figured he had no idea what he was talking about and was just trying to look smart, and that I was the only one who actually had some knowledge in that area (since it’s relatively rare). Then, I went on to write him a long message about how he should just stop trying to analyze what this guy said because I know what he’s talking about and it’s very difficult to understand. I wanted to show everyone just how cool and smart I am. And then this guy proved me wrong in one short sentence. It turned out he knew what he was talking about, maybe even better than me. And I went to school and have a diploma in this thing that I was arguing about… I feel so ashamed I can’t breathe. I undermined my own education, knowledge and eligibility on this subject. I just had to go on and talk about how smart I am and how much better I am than him. Afterwards, I just simply admitted that he was right now that I thought about it and that maybe there’s room for improvement of my knowledge. I also proceeded to delete the message. After that no one paid atention to me anymore, just kept on discussing the subject. Now I’m afraid that they’ll all change their opinion about me and think that I’m an arrogant know-it-all who actually doesn’t know her own specialty well enough, and that they’ll doubt anything I say in the future on this subject. 🙁

  • July 23, 2017 at 3:40 am

    Today I think I crossed a line. Or maybe I’m just overthinking it. Either way, I ended up calling a friend of mine stupid in an VERY obnoxious way just because we were arguing about a rule to a board game and I just so happened to be right. I know, I know — no big deal, right? Well I can’t shake this feeling of shame and guilt. I called him stupid in front of a crowd and he called me out for saying that. In the heat of the moment I started yelling and making an ass out of myself and blurted out that word. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. I was just excited that I was right when everyone was telling me I was wrong. He said “well, you may be right but I wouldn’t call people stupid” and the entire situation got extremely awkward very fast. No one would speak after that, or if they did it was quiet and hesitant. God, I AM THE STUPID ONE!!! I ended up apologizing profusely to my friend who said it was okay but it’s killing me inside that I ruined a perfectly fun night with my big mouth. I know if doesn’t sound like anything serious but trust me when I say you had to be there to understand.

  • October 28, 2017 at 1:09 am

    Hi Cherilyn, this post is very helpful. Thanks for sharing your own embarrassing moments to get the ball rolling. I’m sorry you had to go through these experiences but I’m so glad to hear all the wonderful lessons you’ve learned from each one. Your advice to practice humility is definitely a trait I could use more of myself. I recently got a new job after 6 months of seemingly endless unemployment and financial struggles and you would think I had learned some humility from those situations. Instead I strutted into my new job like I’m the cat’s meow because I was asked to interview for the job without having applied (although I had volunteered there previously, so that maybe why they allowed me to skip the resume submitting process). Anyway everyone greets me warmly, but my head is in my butt so I don’t really respond with the appropriate gratitude. But my foot -in-the-mouth moment comes on my second day when I stupidly say to my new kind and wonderful boss that I don’t need to come into work early so I can leave early because I am single and childless, therefore I am more easy going than my coworkers who do have kids (and I say it like it’s a bad thing). F
    Why did I do that? Firstly I am also a woman who some day may want children and if I’m ever lucky enough to have kids, I don’t want to work in an office that values single, childless employees over employees with children and/or other dependents. I’m ashamed that as a woman I said that to another woman and double ashamed because that woman is my boss and she has children. Yikes! And I’m mad at myself because I’m thrilled about this job and I’ve never been thrilled about a job before and now I feel like I’ve made an awful first impression and I don’t know how to undo it and now I may lose the first job I’ve ever loved in my 10 year career. I’m not saying she will fire me, but she doesn’t have to renew my contract if she doesn’t like me and my contract is only here months. Although they’ve hinted they want someone long term, I haven’t exactly given them incentive to keepe by being so unlikeable only 2 days into the job. I was so depressed about it, I couldn’t eat. I just came home and went for a walk to cry and clear my head and then I took a shower and fell asleep. I’m still in bed, but feeling a bit better. I still wish I hadn’t said anything and been a bit more gracious about her offering to let me be flexwith my hours. Just a simple yes or no would have sufficed, but no I had to give her a long-winded explanation. I am planning to apologize next time I see her and I hope she will give me a second chance to make a better first impression.

    • November 7, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      You sound like a bit of a Giveaway Girl. Check out my book. Read it. I am sure it is fine. Stop Giving It Away is the book.

  • January 1, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I’m a teenager and I just made this incredibly stupid statement. I wanted to get to know this girl at my school better and she and I were competing against each other in this business competition and I messaged her asking if she wanted to study together. Then I realized she probably wouldn’t, so when she replied saying “um sure?”, I answered “oh, its okay, I’m not super competitive but I understand” which I realized too late made it sound like I was calling her competitive. And I made it worse by doing this long shpeel about how we had this extracurriculars in common so I thought it woud be nice if we collaborate but its okay, because we don’t know each other that well and she was just like ‘umm okay?’. And it was just so-so embarassing. I know it’s not a huge deal but it was still embarassing as a teenager.

    • January 29, 2018 at 9:56 am

      It doesn’t sound like you said anything that bad. However, at your age the shame feelings are everywhere and feel 100 times worse. The good news is that when you are older, it won’t feel nearly so bad. The other good news is you are human, and you make mistakes.

      Feeling embarrassed is not fun. For. Sure. However, we all do or say things that are horribly embarrassing. I have a friend I call who helps me laugh at myself when I am really feeling the red creep into my cheeks. It helps a lot. It also helps to write in, so I am glad you did.
      Take care,

  • January 24, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    One of my best friends stopped talking to me out of the blue around a month ago. No idea why, she just ignored me for a while and now just kinda treats me like someone she is just acquaintances with ( She will say hi if we run into each other in a bathroom or something but never talk to me otherwise). It makes me really sad and I noticed she wasn’t in school for a few days this week. I texted her asking if she was sick and got no response. I got really angry and then said “I don’t know why I even try talking to you anymore, you never answer”. Later she replied that she had to travel for a funeral and that it was a really tough time and I made her feel even worse. I felt really stupid and sorry, mostly because the timing was terrible. She made me feel like crap for the last month, and of course I included confront her about when she was upset about something. This made me seem like such a jerk and I regret it so much.

    • January 26, 2018 at 8:02 am

      SJ, thank you for writing. First, forgive yourself. Second, when people are going through a rough time, they don’t always think to tell people what is going on. It is not uncommon to try and read into the behavior of others, but if something like this were to happen again, you might try asking the person, hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been distant, is everything okay?

      Instead of convincing yourself there’s something to be angry about and going to confront the person, try saying that you are concerned and you wanted them to know. If it comes from the heart sincerely – come what may – you will know that you went into this problem with peaceful and thoughtful intentions rather than anger.

      Now, stop dwelling on what happened, but if you have a chance and you see a quiet time when there are not too many distractions don’t be afraid to say to this friend – hey, I just wanted you to know I’m really sorry about what happened. I did not understand what was going on. If you still don’t feel good about your friendship after this, you at least know your tried your best.

      We all say and do the wrong things sometimes. Try not to worry.

  • April 3, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    I went to an apartment viewing tonight and there was a bigger apartment also being shown across the hall. I walked in and realized it was smaller than our apartment but the same price! I saw a couple with a baby who were measuring one of the tiny rooms and I realized they might like our apartment. So, I started telling them about our apartment that would soon go on the market and I noticed the dad was kind of wary, so I thought I’d say more to assuage him in case he was unsure of the apartment. As it turned out, he was just being savvy and I was not. The realtor came up suddenly and asked me in a loud voice to please stop soliciting at his showing. I realized then that what I was doing was very disrespectful since I was soliciting even if at first I didn’t realize or think that that was in fact what I was doing. I apologized to the realtor and said he was totoally right and that I shouldn’t have been talking about another apartment at a showing, but I still felt bad for him and embarrassed that I put my foot in my mouth. I’m sure that couple was weirded out by my callous behavior as well. Anyway, long story short, I felt like a real disrespectful, unsavvy, idiot and the shame is in my belly. That’s where I always feel nervous. I thought I could help but it was the wrong time to do it. I just wish I’d caught on earlier. At least I was able to apologize even if he didn’t accept it.

  • April 30, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Today I received a text from a man I went on an epic 8-hour first date with. We both like photography and went shooting in a new location for me. We had a wonderful time. He was the perfect gentlemen and I really would love to see him again.

    He sent me three of the shots he had taken this morning. Cute duck pictures. I commented how cute one of the ducks was. He replied “Female adolescent Coot … that’s why she is cute”. I don’t know why or how I could possibly misinterpret this, but I totally did (I was also doing my hair at the same time). My answer was “LMBO … you are so bad!” … somehow I managed to interpret this as him liking young cute women?!!! (He is 55 and I am 53 … definitely no longer teenagers).

    Anyway, after a long silence from him I apologized texting him I was embarrassed and even a bit horrified at my text. He replied that my comment left him a tad confused as to what I may have interpreted the message as, but it was better to leave that alone. I just want to die from embarrassment … to me texting is probably the easiest way to miscommunicate!

    BTW, he is a retired cop with very high ethical standards from what I could tell … ugh the shame!

  • June 5, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Hi, I’m only a teenager but this article really helped, I had a situation today where I said I “hated” a girl on my sports team. I was mad in the moment because she had been cheating, and is always fouling badly to win the ball. One of her good friends heard it and I assured her I only said this because I was mad about the game and cheating, but I still saw her dad go up to our coach who really doesn’t like this stuff.

    • October 1, 2018 at 2:59 pm

      Did you learn anything? If you did, that’s great. It is understandable to get upset when people get away with scamming; it is super annoying. Try to think about the idea of Karma. The idea that what goes around, comes around. Being a cheat and a nasty person will ultimately lead to a less fulfilling life than someone who works from an ethical disciplined place. Positive psychology research proves this. Next time, don’t throw yourself under the bus because of her. She has her own path or learning and you have yours. I am glad you seem to have figured that out. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • September 17, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    when i was 14 me and my friends were talking about our school photos and i was talking about how one of my friends has awesome hair. but i got to excited and was thinking of a meme and the same time and i said the word DOPe and i feel ashamed. now everytime i see luke hemmings face i think of that moment because that’s the meme i was thinking of. dammit i hate myself for that

    • October 1, 2018 at 2:54 pm

      Don’t hate yourself. We all do embarrassing things. I can think of two things I did in high school that I still can’t share to almost anyone. My face still gets red! Shame and making mistakes is just one of those things. Forgive yourself for being human AND being a kid. Kids are allowed extra, extra bandwidth. You could apologize and that could help you feel better and help build your character. Try it. Let us know how it goes.

  • October 5, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    I know this article was written a while ago but I just had to comment. Immediately after making a terrible comment I went to google. I said that I didn’t like someone very much at work and the response was “why? That person is going through a hard time” and I said something snarky back like “I don’t care I still don’t like them” That’s when I found out that persons son recently passed away. I immediately felt terrible and now I look like a jerk. I can’t stop thinking about it and I’m convinced I’m going to hell.

  • October 22, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Hi Cherilynn,

    Just want to say thank you for writing this article. I’m a teen who just bumped into a friend in the halls today and then I said something pretty stupid. She didn’t really know how to respond and I felt so bad and awkward. I rarely see her, and next time I do I’m afraid that all she’ll remember is that weird thing I said. I’ve been so mad at myself and unable to function properly since. And the fact that there’s nothing I can do about it anymore makes it even worse. I’ve gotten to the point where I couldn’t focus on anything else anymore, and so I searched up ‘how to forgive yourself’. I found this article and here I am. Anyways, it had helped me feel better. I am human. Everyone does stuff like this. So just here to say thank you for giving me a place to share how I feel. Have a great day! Now back to my math homework.

  • December 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    we had a guessing game at work and someone was way off the guess, so I said “who guessed that?” very loudly. of course I didnt intend to ask that! It was just an instinct that flew from my mouth.

    I then proceeded to try to make a joke to make it better by saying I would guess something like that, and saying a lot of things similar to the persons guess which just made me seem mean-spirited.

    everyone moved on pretty quickly, and i cant imagine anyone beyond the four at my immediate table heard me, but i just felt so rude. I really did mean it… we were just having a game day and I just got carried away with all the friendly competitive energy.

    I’m going to be thinking about this for months, probably. it doesnt help that I’m quiet and people dont know my personality that well anyway, so they probably just think i’m mean now.

  • February 18, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    oh my god this helped me so much more than i could ever imagine. i’m learning to accept my mistakes and learn from them. nevertheless i’m still gonna share my story for those that could sympathize with me. i’m a 17 y/o and i was at a family friends house. there was this super cute guy and we were talking amongst a group and he was saying how he studies really hard and implied that he still doesn’t get the grades he wants. and i said wow i’m quite the opposite i don’t study until 5 minutes before the test and i realize after that i should’ve studied and now he prob thinks that i’m dumb and i get bad grades. but what i wanted to say was that i realize i should’ve studied during the test but i still get good grades so it’s this cycle where i learn that i don’t need to study for good grades. but i just kinda got lost in his eyes and lost my train of thought. then i was talking to his sister and she asked how many siblings i have and she’s like wow that many? and i was like yeah but my brother was a mistake. what i meant to say was that he was unexpected. i think she probably thinks that i am so cruel. anyways i’m just trying to tell myself that i could never even get with that guy so it doesn’t matter. i barely see the girl and when i see her again i plan to amend the term that i used for my brother, but without bringing up that situation (:


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