Embarrassing moments are fun to relive if a) they’re long after the fact and b) if they are relived in a safe environment and not brought up by your best friend on a blind date. But what makes them so universally funny is that we all have been there. Some had it worse, others had it better, but the whole experience makes us inherently human.
And this is what the new TikTok videos are all about. It all started with one TikToker, Michaelslagel, who took the sound from the viral scene from The Real Housewives of New Jersey that the user @amiryaassofficial shared to make a connection to the end of Trump’s presidency. He then used it for sharing his own embarrassing moment of how he ran into Ariana Grande.
It was then immediately picked up by TikTokers who just couldn’t miss a chance to not share the moments they remember with cringe and painful hilarity. From emails sent out too early to hugs that were uninvited, these are some of the best funny moments that are so relatable that we totally feel for these people.
Image credits: nikkithechameleon
@nikkithechameleonLeonard was a bit confused #wakingupinthemorning #fyp #trending♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Image credits: Michaelslagel
@michaelslagelyikes #greenscreen #Coming2America #arianagrande #arianator #ariana #meetandgreet #embarrased #awkward #victorious #homediy #viral #fyp #positions♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Depending on how powerful the embarrassing moment is, meaning how much you invest yourself in it (whether consciously or unconsciously), it either slowly fades from your memory, often giving space for the new embarrassments, or stays for many years to come.
These thoughts about embarrassment usually come back when you least expect them—while shopping for groceries, or having a shower. According to Jacob Goldsmith, a licensed clinical psychologist and coordinator of the Emerging Adult Program at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, “Sometimes the thought is meaningful, and sometimes, it is not.”
Image credits: elizabethao037
@elizabethao037By far the most embarrassing moment of my life! #QuickerPickerRapper #fyp♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Image credits: zps18xo
@zps18xothe amount of friends I have now, portrayed in photos😭 #OurHouse2021 #sad♬ original sound – Amir Yass
But not every thought is so innocent since “thoughts about past embarrassing experiences may certainly be a part of anxiety or depression,” said Goldsmith. And what we make of these thoughts is crucial in the way we deal with embarrassing memories.
“The trick is to be open to receiving the message—that is, understanding that I need to make a change—without getting caught up in a spiral of rumination, and shame that doesn’t contribute to positive change. If you think the embarrassing thought points to something you can and should change, actually taking action and making change will go a long way to stopping the rumination.”
Image credits: emily howard
@emilyyyhoward#greenscreen Sorry not sorry erica♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Image credits: gayathri
@gayathreeeeBYE this is so embarrassing 😭 #fyp♬ original sound – Amir Yass
But it’s not the memory of the moment itself that feels very real when you revive it years later, it’s the emotions attached to it that make it so hard to forget. This is because we, humans, learn by associating experiences with outcomes.
Your brain brings back unpleasant situations in the form of fear or shame when you find yourself in a situation which is fairly similar to the one that made you embarrassed. This, of course, happens without us being aware of it, and that’s why the emotional burden behind the unpleasant memories is so hard to control.
Image credits: spencewuah
@spencewuahi wish i could explain what possessed me to do this, but i cant #fyp♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Image credits: mellorlite
@mellorliteShortly after these pictures were taken I was the only bald kid at my school #drphil #regret #whydididothat♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Image credits: lydialoo121
Image credits: sophie__txo
@sophie__txoI was a troubled child #xyzbca #fyp #foryou♬ original sound – Amir Yass
In these moments, refocusing your attention on other things is a great way to get back control of your thoughts. Try catching yourself in the moment you get stuck with the embarrassing memory, define the emotions you’re feeling, and tell yourself it’s all in the past. Remember that whatever the memory, you’re all safe now in the present moment and all the embarrassment has no effect on where you are right now.
Image credits: heyyourprettyugly
@heyyourprettyugly￼ tragic experience♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Image credits: kenzirosem
@kenzirosemWhich one is your favorite? #fyp #greenscreen♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Image credits: vapebrincess
@vapebrincess@justinbieber tell them it really happened please #bieberfever♬ original sound – Amir Yass
Image credits: yungtamponn
@yungtamponnI feel bad but I don’t♬ original sound – Amir Yass
And while distressing memories truly make us who we are today, as we learn to tackle obsessive thoughts, unpleasant emotions, and shame by learning from it and moving on, in some cases, they trigger obsessive thoughts.
Image credits: kaylaismshop
Image credits: obsessedwithmexx