Have you felt embarrassed after sending a vulnerable message or showing your disappointment? It happened to me, and here is what I learned from it.
At this time, I was disappointed, crying, and shared my hurt over a voice message to a friend. It was not about him, and I wasn’t attacking anyone, but nevertheless, I started to feel embarrassed some moments after sending the message. I felt like I had made a big deal of something that perhaps wasn’t that big of a deal. I felt regret for sending this message. Stop!
And then I realized. By thinking these thoughts, I was pushing away my vulnerable disappointed state. I realized I was hard on myself and hurting my inner child. My inner child had been disappointed because of something important to me, and she had the total right to feel this way and speak up. I apologized to myself and started to validate my feelings instead. I had total right to feel this way, total right to cry and share my hurt. I stopped pushing the vulnerable part of myself away and instead comforted her.
What is behind feeling embarrassed?
When we feel embarrassed or ashamed of our feelings and sharing them, then too often, we do this because we were shamed or even punished for having these feelings in the past. When an aspect of a child is not accepted or allowed by her family/friends/school/society, then the child often chooses to push this part away. When we grow up, we continue subconsciously pushing the part away even without realizing that the situation might have changed. We don’t allow ourselves to cry in front of others when we were shamed for crying in childhood. We don’t try out stepping on a stage when we were shamed for performing as children. We don’t love our bodies when we were told that we are too chubby or ugly. And so on. The criticism we receive as children is the criticism we start giving to ourselves.
How can we heal?
We can start by noticing the things that we think are wrong about us, the feelings we think we shouldn’t feel, the desires we think we shouldn’t have… And question them. Should I really be embarrassed about feeling this way? Should I really hold myself back from going after my dream? Should I really tell these negative things towards my body? Becoming aware is the first crucial step. And then, we can consciously choose and act differently. We can start choosing a softer, more loving approach towards ourselves.
Our inner critics are not against us
And how does my story continue? I also noticed the part of myself that was shaming the vulnerable part of me and validated her feelings. This criticizing part was just trying to protect me. By criticizing ourselves, we try to avoid criticism from others or another unwanted consequence from outside. So our inner critics actually are inherently not against us, but doing it because they think they help us (just without seeing the bigger picture). I held space for the inner critic who was just afraid that now this friend might think less of me, and I might lose the connection. Considering my past experiences, having this fear was valid and understandable.
Ending an internal battle
And my friend got back to me. He didn’t shame me for showing my feelings and crying. Instead, he validated my disappointment and sadness and supported me. It was also okay to him that I showed my vulnerable part 🙂
However, even before he replied, I realized that no matter his answer, I had already made a self-loving decision. By stopping shaming and pushing away my vulnerable part at this moment, I got to a more peaceful state. I was able to notice and offer myself support that my vulnerable part needed. I had stopped an internal battle and felt so much better.