Understanding Embarrassment

Embarrassment is a painful but important emotion. It makes us feel bad about our mistakes so that we don't repeat them, and one of its side effects—blushing—signals to others that we recognize our error and are not cold-hearted or oblivious. Shame, a related emotion, can be felt even when no one knows about a slip-up. Guilt tends to focus on what one has done, rather than who one is.

Recent posts on Embarrassment

The Secret Life of Procrastinators and the Stigma of Delay

Rather than shame procrastinators for the way they get things done, instead let's understand motivational style differences.

Sexual Disorientation of Male Sexual Abuse Survivors

Sexual abuse disorients you; it does not orient you. Consider straight men who have sex with men due to childhood sexual abuse.

5 Ways to Turn Mistakes Into Valuable Life Lessons

You can gain a lot of wisdom from your mistakes. Here's how to learn the most from your blunders.
Andrew Agaloos/Flikr

Nine Ways to Fight Impostor Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome comes in many different types and flavors. Identify these and learn how to overcome this mindset.

Shoe Shaming in the Strictest School in Britain

Merchants’ Academy was called the strictest school in Britain, a tough label for a good school. But Merchants’ may not make it easy for itself by using shame to enforce behavior.

What Is the Sexiest Emotion for Men to Display?

By Alec Beall, Ph.D. on July 27, 2017 in Aesthetics 101
Why are bad boys so dreamy? Emotion research may help to explain.

Cultural Humility

The United States' relationships with other cultures have declined. Cultural humility can help correct this.

Uncovering Hidden Causes of Indecision

By Kimberly Key on July 24, 2017 in Counseling Keys
There is nothing more frustrating and disempowering than not being able to make a decision. Here are some tips for helping you find your desires and voice your truth.

Procrastination Is Not to Blame

The shame of defeat can challenge our potential to look with interest at what has happened and to learn from it.
RelaxingMusic/Flikr

Mindfulness for Beginners

Mindfulness is all the rage, and with a promise to improve concentration, mood, and energy, reduce stress, improve immune function, and even fight obesity, it should be.

The Ordinary Courage of Being Our Selves

If we want to live full, rich lives, we must take the risk to override the shame and to be fully in relationship with others and the word.

Shame of Our Cities: Neglect of the Mentally Ill

By Allen J Frances M.D. on July 07, 2017 in Saving Normal
A step-by-step comparison illustrates that the United States is the worst place in the world to be mentally ill and that Trieste is the best.

How to Overcome Body Shame

By Caitlin Cantor LCSW, CST on July 05, 2017 in Modern Sex
Do you suffer with painful thoughts and feelings about your body? Start practicing new ways of relating to yourself to lessen shame and strengthen compassion for your body.

How to Avoid Creeping Women Out

When it comes to looking like a creep, the bar is set a lot lower for men. Here's why, along with some advice.

Is Sexual Shame Worth Preserving?

By David J Ley Ph.D. on July 03, 2017 in Women Who Stray
Advice columnist Dan Savage shares his experiences and views of sexual shaming. Some of it will surprise you.

Why You Should Fear Failure

Shame avoidance is a way in which evolution has provided humans with a useful tool to reach desired goals.
Pixabay image by Mary1826

The Toxic Emotion That Rules Our World

Shame is a hidden emotion that infects our politics. A sign of shame is to shame others. Spotting how shame operates can lead to wiser choices in our lives and in how we vote.
“’Bikini girls’ mosaic at Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina, Sicily”/Kenton Greening/Wikimedia Commons

Enough Talk of Bikini Bodies

By Renee Engeln Ph.D. on July 01, 2017 in Beauty Sick
Women who want to improve their fitness need realistic, healthy goals — not shame.

Unloved Daughters and the Culture of Shame

By Peg Streep on June 23, 2017 in Tech Support
Shame plays many roles in an unloved daughter's life, especially on the road to recovery when the cultural notion of filial obligation becomes yet another obstacle.

The Doctor Is In: New Web Series Explores the World of Kink

A new web series provides insight, humor and education about BDSM.

Why Do Man Buns Inspire Instant Vitriol?

By Gregg McBride on June 10, 2017 in The Weight-ing Game
With the advent of social media, we’ve all become a little more “brave” in regard to sharing our opinions. The parallels to other life disagreements have not been lost on me.

The Vitamin Cocktail of Courage

Choosing to take even tiny courageous actions can be a powerful antidote to toxic shame and a vitamin cocktail for our Zesty Selves. Drink up.

Is Teaching Tolerance the Solution or the Problem?

Tolerance is part of discrimination, which explains why we have intolerance. Acceptance is the answer, not tolerance.

Overcoming Sex Addiction: A Self-help Guide

By The Book Brigade on June 08, 2017 in The Author Speaks
Compulsive sexual behavior typically conceals negative feelings about oneself—feelings that are readily treatable.

Five Embarrassing Things That Therapy Can Help With

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on June 07, 2017 in Friendship 2.0
Many people believe that therapy is just for specific mental health disorders. But many everyday concerns—including those rarely spoken about—can be helped by it as well.

The End of Guilt

Has shame taken over from guilt as the marker of American culture? Or was guilt never very important in the first place?
labeled for reuse, Pixabay

Sex Work IS Work: a Documentarian Gives Sex Workers a Voice

A documentary filmmaker dispels myths about sex workers through their own words.

The Asian Christian Sex Addict

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on June 05, 2017 in Minority Report
If you're an Asian, Christian, sex addict, is there a difference in your issues compared to other addicts? I would say definitely so since there are three distinct parts.