Off the Wall, January 7,

OK, you’re saying to yourself, that’s not the way to spell that word. You’re right. But, as you know, I always have something up my sleeve when I spell out my thoughts for this column.

Actually, when you say the word as correctly spelled, it comes out the same way, doesn’t it? Oh, but I know, my way is not proper. I hope you’ll begin to understand the gest of things.

Here is its definition. ‘Embarrassment’ is an emotion whereby one feels uneasy, ashamed, humiliated and self-conscious.

Let me cite examples and see if you recognize misgivings whereby you faulted in the past and they’ve come back to hit you in the face (I usually say that area because that is the location where notably persons see you turn red). That is the one place someone just may say, “Look at Susie. She’s getting all red. She must feel embarrassed.”

Did you ever tell a joke to somebody only to find out he didn’t laugh. Bummer! You’ll probably heard the speaker state, “Wasn’t that funny?” or “Do I have to explain everything to you? It sure takes the fun of things when I have to explain the whole joke to you.”

I wish I could tell you how many people agonizingly stated the latter to me. Actually, the failure of my comprehensiveness to understand these antidotes usually falls back into the laps of those who try to get across these little stories. After an explanation is given, the follow-up phrase that I’ve heard is, “Isn’t that cute?” I think not responding is better than lying, to tell the truth.

There are so many ways people find themselves in embarrassing situations. How about the motorists who park in handicap spaces, over division lines in parking lots taking up two spaces, or in front of a church where a yellow line is painted only to be caught and/or penalized?

How about those who post a part of their person on Facebook to be seen by others throughout cyberspace? Exposure of flesh seems to be common between both genders.

Daniel Holstermyer, Caliber, Kentucky, was a gun activist. When he found out he could bear arms externally as signed into law by his state representatives, he applied for a permit. Shortly thereafter, he was observed walking up and down the streets of his small community displaying his hand piece. Even though the city had a great police department, he knew it was his right and carried out his plan. Passersby looked at the gun and then in his face feeling sorry for the person’s insecurity measures. He was actually embarrassing himself.

How about the youth who experience peer pressure from classmates? Actions that result in reactions are really embarrassing to teens that will do drugs or commit acts of promiscuity beyond their wishes so that their classmates will not ostracize them.

Look back over the previous paragraphs. All along I have been talking about others and how this so-called emotion has been the driving force behind their fitting into society. That’s why I told of their insinuating circumstances. But let’s, for example, eliminate the first letter of the word, ‘embarrassed’ and start with the consonant ‘M,’ incorporating the letter ‘E,’ assuming its presence, but not actually writing it. We then end up with the coining of the so-called ‘word,’ ‘M-barassed,’ which essentially sounds the same, but not spelled correctly (M + E = “ME”).

List the many ways you have actually embarrassed yourself as a result of things you’ve done to encourage back firings. Here are some of my examples:
Complaining too much rather than listening to others’ complaints;
Saying yes, when I should have stated no and then finding out I don’t have time to do the job as well as I could;

  1. Failing to ask others for rides fearing I will be imposing;
  2. Telling people I’m really organized, but can’t find things upon request;
  3. Telling people I can do things when physically I don’t have it in me any more to fulfill obligations;
  4. Using puns in conversations to individuals who told me they didn’t care for that type of humor;
  5. Being too much of a perfectionist;
  6. Talking too much; and then realizing people were ignoring me; and
  7. Using too many ‘I’s in my conversation, realizing later I should have asked more about others.

“Think before acting” is a wonderful phrase worth noting. May all of us learn from our errors

- Paul J. Volkmann
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