Chronic Embarrassment

A few weeks ago, munching on chips and salsa, my husband and I sat, quietly waiting for Thursday Night Trivia to start at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. I had just published this post about how I use a partial pseudonym and keep two entirely separate online presences, the latter of which almost no one in my personal real life knows about.

“Should I come out?” I asked him. “I mean, I want to. And there’s no legitimate reason I shouldn’t. But I just feel so … embarrassed.”

“Sweetie, you have nothing to feel embarrassed about! You run a popular blog that doesn’t contain anything remotely sensitive or controversial. This is all in your head. Your friends in real life will love it too!”

I knew his words were true, but I still felt so paralyzed. The feeling that kept coming back to me was what I would call preemptive embarrassment. I am by no means embarrassed by my blog, but I felt this overwhelming surge of embarrassment preemptively even considering my friends and family seeing it. In my head I saw this cinematic dream sequence wherein friends and family members are all hovering in a black void, wagging their fingers at me and laughing at me for being a weirdo who writes a blog under a semi-pseudonym.

The next day I went on a brisk walk around in the neighborhood to take in that jarring mixture of bright sunshine and biting cold. Rounding the corner, I saw two of our neighbors out walking their one-year-old goldendoodle.

Embarrassment crept up within me. These are the nicest neighbors, why am I feeling embarrassed about running into them on a walk?!

I can’t even begin to explain it. I mean, it’s not as though I was looking disheveled. And it’s not as though we were running into each other in an ~*adult*~ shop or anything like that. This was just a simple, utterly mundane case of neighbors happening to take walks at the same time. And yet all I could think about was the (totally irrational) embarrassment washing over me.

I like these neighbors. They are in fact my favorite neighbors. We all just happened to be out on a walk. Why the embarrassment???

Contemplating on all this a bit more, I’ve begun to realize that perhaps I have some case of chronic embarrassment. And I’m honestly not sure what to do about it other than facing it head on.

On January 1st I wrote a post on my personal Facebook page (under my real name), coming out to my friends and family about this blog. Shockingly, the world did not, in fact, end. In fact, a few people made some really supportive comments, and a few started following. Of course, I still don’t know if there are Facebook friends out there who read my post, clicked on the link to Mosaicca that I included, refrained from commenting on the post, but were instead laughing their butts off at me for being a weirdo. In my head I’m still irrationally scared of that kind of ridicule. But I figure facing the irrational embarrassment head-on is at least better than ignoring it.

Does anyone else have this? If so, what do you find helps?

Until next time,

xoxo Charlotte

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30 comments

  1. I partially write under a pseudonym and my friends don’t know I have a blog like in your situation. My family knows about my blog but I haven’t really shown it to them, except for a few posts about food/drinks. I do have that struggle and know how you feel, it feels silly but it’s tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OK, I totally feel you on being embarrassed when seeing people you know out in public. Like, why am I embarrassed? I’m fully clothed, I’m not talking to myself, I’m literally just walking about being normal. YET, I instantly feel self-conscious.
    You should not feel embarrassed about your blog, though! It’s not like your main content is writing about your experiences with the furry culture (not that I’m hating on that) or your addiction to eating the foam out of your couch cushions (now, that ish is weird). Your content is interesting, classy, funny, informative, and entertaining. Anyone who doesn’t like it or makes you feel dumb would be downright foolish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha IKR!! Like, why am I embarrassed seeing my favorite neighbor walking her dog?? If I were naked or intoxicated or otherwise a hot mess, it would be one thing, but going on a Sunday jog?! Anxiety is so illogical.

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words, lady! And haha maybe I just haven’t come out with my foam-eating-Furry obsession 😉

      (KIDDING. Furries creep the hell out of me. Which seems odd since I love cosplay and it’s kinda cosplay but just like no.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have nothing to be embarrassed about this blog. Your content is great! I get how you would feel like that though. I don’t share my personal posts on social media because of some fear. Its normal I guess so definitely not something to be worried about.

    Congratulations on coming out about the blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The blog embarrassment I can’t relate to as I immediately marketed myself as Paul.E.Bailey (though I rarely declare what the E stands for -family and close friends know of course). I did that because when I do finally approach literary agents I want to show them I have nothing to hide.
    The public embarrassment I totally empathise with. We are so not alone in avoiding people in public even if we really like them. If I’m out and about I’m usually doing something or going somewhere so don’t have the time to stop and talk, but even if I do I tend to get overcome with nerves/embarrassment and still avoid them. It’s really weird. I seem only to be truly comfortable around a person if the meeting is prearranged.
    The people you know will definitely support your blog because it’s a bloody good read so I wouldn’t worry 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul, as ever, your insight is enlightening! I had never even considered your point of showing agents that you’ve got nothing to hide. I’m still not sure how to approach the whole pseudonym thing once it actually comes time to query. Thing is, my real name also belongs to a (somewhat) celebrity — not any A-lister but still someone famous enough that the name is essentially taken — so I would have had to have used a pseudonym anyway.

      Social anxiety is so queer, isn’t it? I remember that for the longest time I thought it was totally normal to feel that way when seeing an acquaintance unexpectedly in public. I also always thought it was normal to fear talking on the telephone. Apparently, while these things are somewhat common, it’s not normal in the sense of being healthy. I think the thing about it that bothers me the most is the lack of rationality. I’m a very pragmatic person, so I like finding the explanations for things in life. If I love having a prearranged coffee date with a friend, then it makes utterly no sense to fear seeing her in public accidentally. It’s the lack of logic that drives me mad, but such is anxiety, I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I read a few things on how to do a blog if you’re hoping to become a published author. I didn’t want to go in blind. They said to basically run with the name you’d use as an author, so using your real name isn’t a necessity. I toyed with the idea of a pseudonym as there is an author called Paul Bailey, but I figured it was easy enough to add my middle initial. Everybody knows a middle initial makes you sound more authory 😂
        Again, you ring my bell as regards the fear of talking on the phone. I have that crap too and it really frustrates me. I think it’s just a general social confidence thing that’s developed over the years. I can be the most confident guy you ever met when I’m surrounded by the right people. Take those people away and I become awkward as hell

        Liked by 1 person

      • As you say, I do believe it is an established fact that utilizing a middle initial (or even a first initial!) as an author makes one even more authory. It’s science.

        And I am so the same way! I can be the life of the party in person, but put me on a damn telephone and I’ll stutter quietly and wish I could just crawl under the desk.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it’s a little clichéd, but definitely necessary in my case if an author shares my name. Unless of course I ran with one of my many self created pseudonyms down the years. I can’t recall ever hearing of a Paolus Bailizidis before 😂
        I actually recalled our conversation yesterday when I saw a friend and instead of putting my head down and pretending not to see him, I made a massive deal of showing I had seen him. It was quite refreshing

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am legitimately in awe of your ability to fight against the social anxiety and embrace the unplanned exchange! I haven’t had any opportunities to push myself since published this post, but you are encouraging me to try to handle it similarly whenever that happens to me next!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It was good. You very quickly realise how daft your mind-set is. We didn’t discuss anything with any substance, but it just didn’t matter. It was good to see them well and reminisce for a little bit about daft stuff we used to do and say. Definitely take that plunge next time you get chance 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think generally, we care about this a lot more than anyone else does. As a blogger, we want people to appreciate our blogs, we want to be liked and feel accepted. I often post links to training recaps on my facebook page- and whilst like you, a few people have followed and been encouraging, I think most people just aren’t that bothered. They think ‘oh they write a blog’ and thats as far as it goes. So even though we might be a bit embarrassed, I don’t think we have anything to be embarrassed about, because most people don’t think of having a blog as something that is or should be embarrassing, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That absolutely makes sense! I was just replying to someone else’s comment that I think you’re right: a lot of folks out their on our social media feeds simply don’t care one way or another about our blogging. I have to remind myself of this often, to be honest.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think people will seek out blogs to follow based on their likes / dislikes, so yours might just not specifically align to what everyone on your social media may normally like to read. Not to say they think its bad in any way, they just might not be as interested in some things as you/we are. I know a lot of my friends don’t reallly care about running or disney lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Only a few of my friends know I have a blog, even though the link is posted on my FB profile. I don’t think people, in general, really care about blogs (at least in my case). Even my own husband doesn’t read mine. For all he knows I could be dishing out all kinds of dirt on him! (Maybe I should) LOL Unless people are part of a blogging community, I don’t think it really occurs to them to “follow” and “comment.” That being said, I’ve only posted one of my blog posts on my personal Facebook page sort of as an experiment, and only one friend read it! LOL I understand your hesitation, though. It’s one thing to have a blog, it’s another to go public say on Facebook. I just had an incident with a couple of trolls masquerading as “friends” with some really nasty comments on a Facebook post. It reminded me how rude the world can be. So that’s my 2 cents (more like 20 cents). Best of luck whatever you choose. If you’re proud of your blog, what does it matter what other think anyways. Easier said than done, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Lisa! I really love hearing other bloggers’ stories. I think you are spot on correct that, for many of us, a lot of our peripheral acquaintances on social media simply don’t care one way or another if we have a blog.

      I am sorry you’ve had issues recently with trolls. They can be truly awful. I am actually pleasantly surprised that I have yet to encounter any trolls on my blog (touch wood!).

      Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate the vote of confidence, Jeff! Isn’t it funny (in that really-not-funny kind of way) how we can see the good in others but only nit-pick ourselves? It was really anxiety-inducing “coming out.” I actually broke out into a sweat and experienced a rapid heart rate the second I hit “post” on Facebook. I felt so sick to my stomach with anxiety that I went on a run to get it out of my system and couldn’t even bring myself to check Facebook until a few hours later. It’s amazing how much of a physical effect anxiety can have on our bodies. In the end, I am glad I “came out,” as I think it was a good stab at tackling anxiety. I forget, do you openly share your blog with your friends and family?

      Like

      • Yes, about 15 months ago, I decided that I had gained enough confidence talking about mental illness and substance abuse to let it all hang out. I started a new blog under my own name (which you read). Still not sure if it was a good idea – especially since I’m becoming interested in looking for a new job.

        Like

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