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

Women's Sexual Fantasies - the Latest Scientific Research

It's important to note that while headline writers may focus on the fact women have sexual fantasies about coercive sex, this research finds it's an occasional daydream, not a preoccupation. It would be similarly unfair to tar men with the brush of an occasional fantasy they may have.

On-Air Shooting Raises Specter of "Bullying"

Before we are content to establish Flanagan’s ‘underlying mental instability,’ or situate the tragedy at the intersection of graphic video games and life, we must consider the ways in which our culture is fast paced and unforgiving.

The Advantages of Being Shy

Shyness is often criticized by our society. But if we distinguish shyness from social anxiety, we might honor being shy as a tender and positive part of ourselves. If we can become more empowered in our shyness rather than feel shame, it can be a doorway to connecting with people in a more deep, sweet, and tender way.

Would a Basic Income Increase National Happiness?

What if we gave everyone an extra $500 every month just for being a citizen?

Dear Beach-Going Friends...

Will someone think the patterns on my bathing suit secretly spell out the phrase “Do not resuscitate”?

3 Common Fears that May Be Affecting Your Relationships

Everyday fears of abandonment and rejection show up in the form of tension, anxiety and relationship problems. Such "garden variety" fears are not just about what might happen, but what’s already happened in the past. We tend to close the barn door after the horse has bolted. Doing so can cause new problems, as we seek to right what isn't wrong.

Women Held for 30 years in Slavery - 'Traumatic Entrapment'?

Three women rescued from horrific conditions after allegedly being held as slaves for 30 years, are described by the British Metropolitan Police's human trafficking unit as 'highly traumatised'.

Why Trump Appeals to People

By Robert L Leahy Ph.D. on August 12, 2015 in Anxiety Files
Trump plays on anxiety and fear and uses an emotional appeal to promise a cure. Why does this appeal to people?

Grid Irony? Taunting Initiatives and the NFL

With taunting penalties on the books since the mid 1980's, the NFL has the opportunity to take on much more than jeers, derision, and game-related 'in-your-face' posturing. By modelling and showcasing what it already proclaims—that ridicule, disparagement and discrimination will not be tolerated—the league reinforces social, anti-bullying agendas.

Why Do Women Have Rape Fantasies?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on August 01, 2015 in All About Sex
Rape fantasies reflect women’s erotic comfort—wherever it may lead.

The Trouble With Facebook

We need Facebook etiquette rules.

The Trouble With "Shame On You! You Shouldn't Feel That!"

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 27, 2015 in Ambigamy
Some people shun negative emotions to purge them. It doesn't work.

Baby Crying? Don't Shame the Parents!

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
A medical doctor, also a parent, wrote to me recently to complain about my blog post, "'Dangers of Crying it Out.'" Here is (most of) my response.

Stories of Seclusion: Embarassed into Isolation

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 26, 2015 in How To Do Life
The price of an affair can be great indeed.

The Value of the Therapeutic Relationship — Part One

I have always considered therapy a “gift” and the decision to work with a therapist a proactive sign of self-compassion and courage as well as a healthy statement about one’s desire to learn, grow, and heal. However, for countless people the idea of seeking out therapy and opening up about painful emotions, intimate or shame-based thoughts and behaviors is too daunting, an

The Benefits of a Trauma-Sensitive Approach to Healing Shame

I have created a compassion cure program for former victims of trauma that includes: self-understanding, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-kindness, and self-encouragement. This article focuses on the first of these five components of self-compassion.

Don’t Be Shameless! Why Good People Feel Bad Emotions

We tend to protect our children from shame. Should we?

F%$& Shame, TEDx and Mental Health

By Adi Jaffe Ph.D. on July 13, 2015 in All About Addiction
Many of us don't give the proper weight to the use of mental health labels. As this talk shows, diagnostic labels can actually impact the way in which labeled individuals perform. If nothing else, this fact should make us more wary of using these labels as everyday placeholders to describe those around us. We may just be sentencing them to meeting our low expectations.

Release the Shame to Heal

The Resilience Regiment speaks with Sovereign Health.

Bill Cosby: Patriarch to Predator

Separating reality from TV fiction

Shame and Depression

Low on energy = low on activity. That is a sure fire path to feeling blue. How does a person deal with what seems like an inevitable failure of motivation and activity?

Is Your “Game Over” or “Job Over?”

Is Your Job Over or Is Your Game Over: learn from the pros.

Funny… or Bullying?

In his Comedy Central special, Ari Shaffir viciously took on a female comic for being fat and having only one arm - even mentioning her by her full name. Is this comedy or bullying? Is this OK? What are your thoughts?

Gay Marriage Ruling: Maybe We Can All Breathe More Easily

Gay Marriage Ruling: Maybe We Can All Breath a Little More Easily. Acceptance and inclusion makes us all feel better. By David Braucher, L.C.S.W., Ph.D.

5 'Flaws' That Just Make You More Lovable

By Juliana Breines Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in In Love and War
You may think that people love you despite your flaws, not because of them. But some of the traits that you see as flaws may be more attractive than you realize.

The Impact of Cyberbullying: 3 Strategies to Help

Cyberbullying is a general term used to describe a form of bullying that takes place via electronic technology, such as blogs, chat rooms, emails, and other social media sites. It’s such a devastating form of bullying because it can happen literally at any time—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Reflections on Pixar's "Inside-Out" and the Neglect of Shame

Distinguishing whether you are depressed because you have experienced a prolonged state of sadness, or because you have experienced a prolonged state of shame, is critically important.

Delight, Cruelty and Young People

By Nick Luxmoore on June 23, 2015 in Young People Up Close
How can anyone delight in young people capable of doing terrible things?

Stories of Seclusion: Obese, She Decides to Lose It Alone

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in How To Do Life
It's tempting to hide to avoid embarrassment and hearing what we need to.

The Psychological Effects of Shaming Children

Public shaming videos seem to be on an uptick, and the recent story of a teen girl’s apparent suicide after a public shaming incident is an extreme example. Whether or not this particular case was a one of a parent shaming his child, there are lessons for all parents on the psychological risks of using shame to change your child or teen's behavior.