Before dropping off the cake, she contacted her daughter to arrive at the fund raiser as soon as it opened, purchase the cake and bring it home. The daughter complied, but to her horror discovered she wasn’t first. The cake had already been purchased! Mortified she called her mom, who was horrified about the consequences of her “quick fix.”
The next few days the woman worried about the cake. She agonized over what others would think, distressed and tormented over the likely ridicule, and conversations certain her friends would have over the ‘event.’ Sleep eluded her as the demons in her mind shouted demeaning phrases.
As fate would have it, she was obliged to attend another church function where the hostess had more than once been unkind and reminded those around her of the status she held in the community. The meal and company, however, was wonderful until to her horror, the cake she “created” was offered for dessert. She got ready to explain her “creative ability” when another person commented on how beautiful it looked. Before she could respond, the hostess gleaming with delight, said proudly, “Thanks! I made it myself!”
We all have situations where we “improvise” and later regret our actions. We then, like the lady in the anecdote, worry about the consequences. We are concerned about what others think, afraid of the consequences if we get ‘found out,’ wonder how we’ll ever get past the embarrassment, and kick ourselves for not doing things right the first time!
I had a situation similar to this, yet radically different. I ran into a high school friend I hadn’t seen in years. We were chatting in a store she worked when a lady walked up to us, clearly agitated and said, “Can you help me? I’ve been waiting long enough. I know you (looking at me) saw me.” I felt horrible. I honestly hadn’t realized I even saw her or that she was waiting to be ‘served.’ I apologized and left. Later I sent another message of apology.
I wondered if my friend thought I was a horrible person! Certainly, the customer in the store did. It bothered me for days, even though my friend said it was not an issue and not to give it any more thought.
It’s human nature to wonder what other people think. What makes this worse is when we have inadvertently (or deliberately) done something out of the ordinary or embarrassing! When we’ve done something we’d rather not admit, and then get ‘found out’ – or think we’ve been found out, our stress level can get crazy! This can even apply when we are wrestling with our choices, sometimes even down to what we are wearing or our latest hair cut!
I encourage you to admit when you’ve made a mistake. It happens to everyone. But I also urge you understand that people are going to talk, speculate and even misinterpret! Be yourself and let it go! You are created uniquely you! That makes you special and if that is going to make someone "talk," rather than looking at it as a bad thing, consider it a chance to give someone the opportunity to use their creative devices and imagination. Perhaps your impact will be hugely positive rather than something unpleasant!