One of my best birthdays was on a boring night, I didn’t have the money for a real party but it was a good reason to come together with some friends. At a certain moment we came to talk about our mistakes, bloopers, blunders and situations which were embarrassing and humiliating. It was hilarious, it was almost a competition in who’d made the biggest blooper. Besides the tremendous laughing it was healing; “These people loved me despite my mistakes, NO, these people loved me because of my mistakes”.
Afterwards I can even say that it helped me, it helped me to put my mistakes and embarrassing feelings into words. Because of the words I could analyse what went wrong and why and how I could avoid it or solve it.
But please do help me think. What is a mistake or an error? -I’ve tried definitions in a couple different languages, the best one was –The outcome of a situation which deviate from the expected/ desirable outcome.-
A Blooper is more serious according to the dictionaries; A blooper is a mistake with consequences for the concerning partie(s).
In both definitions the consequences or outcome are subjective; except for some scientific truths, like the world is round and 1+1=2, the outcome is depending on what people expect.
Anyway, a mistake or a blooper can make you feel ashamed, loss of pride or – face. In some cultures it even involves the whole family, clan or nation when a person makes a mistake.
Shame is an emotion, fear for the judgement of failing yours – or others expectations and fear for being unaccepted or even expelled. Guilt is also a judgement but that is much more legal. Shame is very subjective/ depending on the opinion of other people, so it depends on expectations of the person or the group he/she belongs to, that’s why shame is very much a cultural phenomenon.
That night, my friends didn’t have expectations and that’s probably why it was okay and even so much fun; I felt so happy and relaxed.
The best thing I’d learn, was that I’m not a mistake but I make mistakes, and that everybody makes mistakes and we learn from them by falling and getting up again and it’s very nice to have a hand to help you up instead of yelling how stupid it is to fall.