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Uploaded:2014-11-18
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In which Hank wonders at some stories of his own humiliation, and why he feels it sometimes, but not other times. The trick is finding people and places that support you in being you so that you are comfortable feeling right even after finding out you are wrong.

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Good morning John, and happy Pizzamas.

As I think you expected, people have been enjoying your green-screen time. They're calling it John Greenscreened; it's a thing, it's beautiful. But I want to skip back another video, to the almost incalculably distant Friday video that I did, in which I used the word "dipthong". Which, unfortunately, does not exist. The word I was going for was diphthong, which is also really great.

I have pronounced and spelled diphthong wrong for at least a decade. I am not embarrassed about my misunderstanding with the diphthong word, and I want to know why!

In college, I did an oral presentation on Leon Battista Alberti, who was a mathematician, architect, and artist of the Renaissance. Super cool dude, if you ever want to learn about him. He designed a great number of the fronts of buildings in Florence. Those fronts of buildings are called that word (façade), which I said, for the entire presentation, "fah-caid". Like, 26 times, I said "fah-caid", and I knew something wasn't going well, but I just powered through, you know, and then found out later, from a friend, "fuh-SAHD". Anhhhhhhh . . .

So I mispronounced Diphthong in front of 200,000 people - didn't bother me. "Fah-caid", in front of twenty people, left a permanent scar. Like, I still have a hard time telling that story. What is the difference between those two things? I think it's mostly confidence. Like, being confident when you're wrong is one of the most amazing things you can be. It's wonderful... if you can pull it off, which is impossible.

I don't mean confidence in believing a thing that is wrong and continuing to believe a thing despite knowing that it's wrong, which some people are really into.  I mean, finding out you're wrong, knowing you're wrong, and being confident in your understanding of your own wrongness. When you see someone be super-wrong and be like, "Eh, whatever, yeah, I was wrong. Yeah! Thanks for letting me know!" you're like "That person is cool. They're cool. How do I get that?"

Feeling fine about being wrong is the logical way to feel, because, as I have pointed out in previous videos, I am a towering mountain of ignorance, and all simplicity is a lie. Even when you're right, you're a little bit wrong!

Getting to a place where I feel comfortable enough with myself to have internalized that truth, even a little bit, has been a lifelong process. And really, it only works when I'm in places and with people who I trust and know and understand and feel good about and feel confident around, which is the case here - the Vlogbrothers channel and nerdfighteria. Embarrassment really isn't about being wrong, it's about feeling wrong, and it is hard for me to feel wrong here, because you guys are nice.

Sometimes the most embarrassing part of the embarrassment is the embarrassment itself! That's weird! In the comments on my Friday video, I owned up, and I said that I mispronounced "dipthong," just like John recently mispronounced "hectacre," and I asked people to tell me their hectacre moments.

And I read through them, just before I made this video, and it was wonderful. There's like 300 replies and they're all hilarious and wince-inducing.  But several of them were also façade, which made me feel better about myself, and I think in general, that thread was cathartic for all the people who participated in it.

Being wrong is part of what it is to be a person. And you have to work on how to be wrong without feeling wrong. I think that thread was a good start. So I'm going to ask all of you: if you got a little time, tell us an embarrassing thing that has happened to you. We can read it and feel better about ourselves, knowing that everyone does dumb things!

But I think owning it is the number one thing you can do, and I think the other thing you can do is let people know who are admitting to their embarrassing things that have happened to them, that they're awesome, and that that's hilarious, and not to worry about it.
That's hopefully what's going on in the comments; John, I'll see you tomorrow.

Hi, endscreen! This is sad - only three days left of Pizzamas, but the Project for Awesome is coming up, so there are reasons to celebrate the future. Because of Paper Towns shoot dates, we're actually moving the Project for Awesome up this year, it's going to be the 12th and 13th of December. So mark your calendars and start planning your videos.