When selfrating leads to paralyzing shame or excessive pride, you can take some simple steps to extricate yourself from the emotional quagmire. Ask yourself whether you really become a foolish person if you act foolishly. Experimenting with new activities with new people is liberating and usually well worth the risk. Assert your right to look foolish. You’ll find that your confidence grows. Accept your failings. Even if you have acted stupidly in the past, determine to do better next time. Rate your traits and behaviours critically if they warrant it, but refuse to rate your entire self. Do something socially ‘shameful’ to show yourself that nothing terrible happens.