How to survive humiliation in school | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 06, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 06, 2018

How to survive humiliation in school

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure you've never had any embarrassing experiences in your life, especially in school. I mean school is the most neutral, peaceful, and safe place in the world. So why would you ever have to go through humiliating situations there, right?

But just in case you did, we got you covered.



You tripped over and fell in front of the whole school, accidentally wore your uniform inside-out on a morning that was way too early, or said something very embarrassing in front of everybody; and now you're afraid that the cruel booming laughter of every person you know will echo throughout your life. Well, here's the zig — laugh at yourself. Laugh at your own stupidity and clumsiness. And if by chance, you can't just bring yourself to laugh shamelessly, then imagine someone else in your place (surely that will make you laugh). If you laugh with those around you, people will inadvertently think, “If they can still laugh at themselves, maybe it's not that bad?”



Well, friends may not be there when you need them but they will always be there when you necessarily don't. If you did something awful, then be sure that your friend will be present, waiting with an amplifier. Now, they don't actually want to hurt you or something, they're just testing the waters to see if you are mature enough to handle such situations. So make them proud by beating them to it. Grab your own amplifier and dance the day away by telling and retelling the story of your embarrassing experience over and over again. Spice it up more every time you repeat it, recounting your own sheer idiocy to others, because why not? You're a good friend too. You also want to help your dear friend to see if they are profound enough to handle the situation when you've actually beat them to the punch in retelling the funniest incident of the day and becoming the true comedy king in your school.


Now let's see, oops, you didn't learn, and you did something humiliating yet again. People are pompously shaking their heads at you. You want to sigh and just curl into a ball and go through another melodramatic episode... just STOP right there. No, actually, sorry, stop before you sigh. People are shaking their heads at you, huh? Well, let's test their headshaking abilities further. Do something clumsy again (yes, you read it right), but this time don't forget to serve your platter of ineptitude with a pinch of intention. Let them understand and swallow the fact that you just did something embarrassing on purpose and you don't care if you are a klutz. Let them rediscover you as a human with no modification. You are just you, with your share of embarrassing experiences.



On a different day, when you have miraculously survived your day without any hint of embarrassment, someone may suddenly start narrating and recalling the old, good times of your demeaning past. Now, you can of course be very nostalgic about it. Or, you can pull out your own bag of stories of others' moments of mortification. Be a grandma and start your own story-telling quest of others' ignominy, sans the insult of course. The one who had planned to make fun of you will taste the bittersweet minus the sweet and hopefully won't make such schemes again.



So, you have taken care of your friends, but school is not school without teachers. And it may so happen that you got an answer wrong in front of everyone, which is alright because you're here to learn. But, if you bend your answer too wrong then there's trouble for you. Then what?

Play the 'polite' card.

Now, just after getting an answer wrong, power up yourself with a nice dose of politeness. Humbly, apologise to your teacher, ask them how you can efficiently minimise such blunders in the future. Dig deeper into the topic and show your teacher your latent curiosity. That way, the previously humiliating scene will turn into a serious, academically rich discussion. The ones who were laughing their heads off will themselves be baffled seeing fire in your eyes instead of your abashed face. And that should be enough for you to minimise insults directed at you.

If an embarrassing incident takes place in your life in the coming days, you can pull up these tricks and see how it goes. But remember that school life is bound to be beset with such situations. Also, embarrassment is not the end of the world and one way or another, it will go away (or at least I hope it does). At the end of it all, when you grow old and have nothing to do, these stories are what you'll blabber on about all day while everyone around you pretends to be interested.


Maisha Nazifa Kamal is on a highly-confidential mission to defeat all Muggles in procrastination. Join forces with her at

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