It took me a long time to learn to laugh at myself. When I was a kid I’d drop something or trip and felt myself just die of embarrassment. Sure, everyone does right? Who wants to be embarrassed? My cases of embarrassment always felt extreme. One day in junior high, we were in the library and I got up to do something and my foot caught in the strap of my purse. (yes, girls at this junior high had purses.) I walked about 2 steps, dragging that purse before I stopped. Everyone laughed. It was funny. I made myself laugh. I didn’t die! That was the first time I remember not having a total melt down because I embarrassed myself. Since then I’ve tried to take myself less seriously. Sure, 20 years later I still trip and get embarrassed, and anyone who says they never do is lying. But being able to laugh at myself makes it easier.
What happens to us? Little kids don’t seem to get embarrassed. It seems to me that you have to be aware of other people’s opinion of you in order to be embarrassed. My limited experience is that kids under 5 are just focused on themselves and their world, and not really how they look or act to other people. Do you think that’s accurate? I wonder when kids get that ‘awareness’ and start worrying about other peoples reactions. It’s a tough lesson to learn.