The opener from Carolyn’s live chat Friday:
Athens, Ga.: Do you have any advice for how to deal with a feeling of total humiliation/mortification? Basically I’ve found out that a secret crush I’d harbored until recently, was not as secret as I thought it was. Even though I’ve gotten over the feelings and realized our basic incompatibility, I’m still incredibly embarrassed that apparently I was so obvious about it and I feel really, really foolish — not to mention kind of clueless about how to act around said former-crush now.
Carolyn Hax: There isn’t much you can do now except embrace the law of dissipation: Whether your sense of humiliation is mild or severe, it’s worse right now than it will be tomorrow, and it’ll be worse tomorrow than it is the day after that, and so on. Given enough time, it’ll fall out of your conscious thoughts entirely, except to pop up and make you wince every few years or so (unless it ripens into a funny story, which is always possible).
As for the way you deal with said former crush, just go about your business. Repetition will beat down any lingering awkwardness, as only repetition can.
Ugh. But, really, is there anyone who hasn’t been here? (Not that this makes it any less mortifying for this person now).