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

Mental Illness Among Nurses

By Scott Haas on March 29, 2015 in Shrink in the Kitchen
Workplace Stress: Identification and Intervention. Pilots, yes. And let's look at other professions that are also down-to-earth.

Stop Using Fear to Promote Treatment for Mental Illness

By David J Ley Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Women Who Stray
Today, the fear of the moment is the risk of violence from the mentally ill. Tragedies abound in our media, and sadly, many can be linked to mental illness. Particularly untreated mental illness.But, reactionary responses to mental illness merely guarantee more problems in the future.

Fear and the Fear of Fear

By Gregg Henriques on March 29, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
There are often two levels to our negative feelings, such as fear. Not only do we fear things, but we fear our fearful responses. This "affect phobia" is at the root of many emotional problems.

Shaming Women: Sex, Toys, and Cosmetic Surgery

Stigmatizing women continues. But let us be grateful to women's advocates -- those who expose the finger pointers.

Changing the ‘No Casserole’ Response to Mental Illness

A mother of two who is active in the International Bipolar Foundation shared a story the other day. When her youngest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, friends called, sent cards and flowers, brought food, and posted encouraging Facebook messages.

Understanding Transgender Reality

In February, at the annual International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) symposium, I was honored to hear Ryan Sallans, an international speaker, transgender man and author of the book Second Son, speak.

Teenagers Are From Earth

Our black-and-white thinking about adolescence is getting in our way.

A Corporate Push to End the Stigma of Mental Illness

By Sigurd Ackerman M.D. on March 27, 2015 in Shrink Tales
A new era of corporate acknowledgment of, and support for, mental health would give a dramatic boost to how we address mental illness in America.

Humiliation, Recovery and Monica Lewinsky

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 27, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Public shaming, online harassment and cyber-bullying are ubiquitous but they were not always. This blog examines the heart wrenching plight of one woman and how she overcame humiliation to become a tour-de-force and an agent for public good.

Brian Williams, Journalism, and Celebrity Culture

When journalists start living in a celebrity bubble, bad things can happen. Just ask Brian Williams. His downfall reminds us of the malleability of memory, and it also poses a cautionary tale to all journalists, particularly to the trend in journalism education to promote "entrepreneurial" journalism -- teaching aspiring journalists to cultivate their own "brand".

Is the Wedding Still On?

There's more to deciding how to treat acne than counting the pimples.

Changing Our Perspectives on Mental Illness and Health

Addicts and those with co-occurring disorders such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD are frequently overwhelmed by shame. This is not just an internal issue of being ashamed of past behaviors.

Dad Publicly Shames his Bully Son

With punishments becoming increasingly difficult to enforce, parents of defiant children are beginning to consider publicly humiliating them

You Can't Have Real Intimacy Without This

Being human means being vulnerable. But oftentimes we try to control love and intimacy, not realizing that true intimacy can only arise as we develop the awareness to notice and the courage to embrace our vulnerabilities. Our task is not to transcend our humanity or take flight into a spiritual self-image, but rather to engage with vulnerability in a skillful, gentle way.

The Best Reason to Get a Good Night's Sleep

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on March 23, 2015 in Minding the Body
In a recent study, getting an extra hour of sleep increased women’s likelihood of having sex with a partner the next day by 14 percent.

When Words Are Weapons: 10 Responses Everyone Should Avoid

By Peg Streep on March 23, 2015 in Tech Support
We often wrongly discount the effect of emotional abuse that's unaccompanied by the physical component. But words can and do hurt. What you need to realize so that your vocabulary doesn't become an arsenal.

Addicted to Being Right!

I’ve found that even the best fighters – the proverbial smartest guys in the room – can break their addiction to being right by getting hooked on oxytocin-inducing behavior instead. Connecting and bonding with others trumps conflict. The more you learn about other peoples’ perspectives, the more likely you are to feel empathy for them.

Slut vs. Stud: Monica Lewinsky and the Shaming of Girls

By Ravi Chandra M.D. on March 22, 2015 in The Pacific Heart
Monica Lewinsky is creating another cultural moment - her recent TED talk has garnered over 500,000 views in a few days, and rightly calls for a culture of compassion to combat cyberbullying and shaming. The soon-to-be-released film The Sisterhood of Night also explores shaming and cyberbullying in the lives of teen girls. Here are some thoughts on both.

Coming Out as Polyamorous, Part II

This blog explores strategies for coming out to families, friends, and kids about being polyamorous.

5 Tips for Transforming Stage Fright into Stage Delight

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on March 21, 2015 in Wander Woman
Instead of trying to be calm, you can use your nervous energy for positive results. Here are two tips for counteracting your negative self-talk with positive nervousness before you go on stage and three tips to keep you engaging and likable while you are speaking:

The Neurobiology of BDSM Sexual Practice

How can one experience pain, either the physical pain of a smack on the tush or the emotional pain of humiliation, as pleasurable? Aren’t pain and pleasure diametrically opposed? The answer, informed by neurobiology, is that the opposite of pleasure isn’t pain but ennui— a lack of interest in sensation and experience.

Don't Believe Everything You Think

Every human mind generates fear much of the time, unless we "retrain" the mind. Without conscious management on our parts, fear can permeate our thoughts -- and poison our relationships with our children. That’s why fear has to be consciously confronted. Here is how.

Sexism in Mental Health Practice

Misogyny in the mental health system warrants special attention during Women's History Month.

Self-disclosures Increase Attraction

The sense of closeness increases if self-disclosures are emotional rather than factual.

Forbidden Knowledge

By Thomas Scheff Ph.D. on March 17, 2015 in Let's Connect
Learning about yourself and others.

Video Clips of Bullying vs. Memories of Abuse

Should this not have been a televised event eliciting public outcry, Joe Irvine might be in the same situation many young people find themselves—mocked for trying, humiliated as a pathetic wannabe, and branded a loser. Worse yet, that young person—not unlike Joe—might find video of their public beat-down posted.

Ten Things to Help You Be More Creative

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 17, 2015 in A Sideways View
Can you really teach creativity? If so, what is it we need to do?

Making Saves

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on March 17, 2015 in In Excess
Extreme couponing is an activity that combines shopping skills with couponing in an attempt to save as much money as possible while accumulating the most groceries. Extreme couponers spend hours and hours on the internet or scouring scouring rubbish tips or supermarket car parks looking for coupons. But can it be addictive?

Instant Romance is Just a Click Away

From fast food to same day shipping, we have come to expect that everything in life—even intimate relationships—are available at the click of a key. Unfortunately, interpersonal chemistry in a face-to-face meet-up is still the deal breaker or maker in potential relationships.

Embracing the Fear at the Heart of Depression

Depression can make you tumble and fall as well as climb and grow.