I feel like just answering the first part of the question directly and ignore the second part, making this a very brief post. However, I also feel you deserve a bit more than that and so to make things more interesting will start with the ‘why’ part first.
Why do I fear this emotion?
Because whenever I feel it, I also start to associate with other more complex emotions which are difficult to handle. Where this association comes from I am not quite clear but perhaps it has something to do with key childhood experiences. This is not to say that I had a particularly troublesome time growing up. If anything it is because my imagination was lively and unbounded so that small things could suddenly magnify for no particular reason.
Time for an example. At some unspecified young age I was playing with friends in a neighbouring field where they used to keep racehorses. We had often been told not to go into the field, but of course as children you ignore such things. One day it was clear that the person in charge of the horses had had enough of our incursions. I was brought to his stable randomly as the first child that could be found. He told me never to go in the field again and then sprayed a large purple spot on the ground in front of me. If I or my friends were ever caught in the field we would be marked for life with the spray. I was terrified. What would happen to my life with a huge purple stain all over my body? Surely I would be socially finished, never picked again for the soccer team, rejected by girls etc. Wild horses wouldn’t drag me into that field.
Another example. At a similar age we went on holiday as a family to North Wales. We stopped off at a roaring mountain stream to have a closer look at it. Yours truly managed to fall in the water in his clothes. Resultant car journey involved child cringing as his underwear was hung out to dry on the car aerial for all to see. More images of social pariah never being allowed to go near other human beings.
A final example. A little later, my brother and I were taken to the cinema by our loveable but eccentric grandmother. The film was ‘Dr Zhivago’ and we were much too young to be allowed in given some of the very visual scenes, but things like that had never stopped ‘The Baroness’ as she was known. At one point in the film they play the Imperial Russian anthem. Granny stands up and insists grandchildren do the same out of respect for her deceased husband, who had served under the Tsar. Other cinema goers look bemused or snigger. I wished I could be folded up and hidden inside my pocket.
What is this emotion?
Well if you haven’t guessed by now then I supposed I should put you out of your misery. The emotion is of course embarrassment. Which is why it is so difficult to blog about it. And safer not to advertise yourself too much, so please everyone ignore this post.
But I have promised to be 100% open so whether I like it or not I need to publish this now ….