Courtesy of Cal Abbo.

Dear Dale, 

I did some­thing really embar­rassing a few days ago. I thought it would be fine, but then I over­heard people that I don’t even know talking about it in the union. I am mor­tified!

-Embar­rassed Ed

Dear Ed,

Word travels fast. All it takes is one uncom­fortable slip-up for people to talk. Without knowing the nature of your embar­rassing incident, it is hard to know the specifics of how to approach your problem. Let’s instead look at the root of the issue: caring so much what other people think.

Look at the numbers. There are 1440 minutes in a day. If someone talks about you for a gen­erous ten minutes, that’s only taking up 0.7% of their time. Even though you hap­pened to overhear these people talking about you, it’s likely they merely men­tioned it in passing. 

Moreover, think about how embar­rassed you are by this incident you are con­cerned with your image, your rep­u­tation, and your drama. Well, everyone else is doing the same exact thing with their own per­sonal problems. The reality is, people are gen­erally too pre­oc­cupied with their own life to be putting too much thought into others’. Sure, it might be an enter­taining story now, but it will soon blow over once the next topic of interest comes along.

Finally, remember that even if people do talk about it for a long time, there’s nothing you really can do to stop it. Humans by nature are judg­mental and often gossip. You can’t control what they say but you can decide how much it affects you. You wouldn’t truly be living the college expe­rience without a few embar­rassing moments. So go easy on yourself and don’t worry so much about the opinions of strangers.


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