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

Is Our Nation Suffering From a Dissociative Disorder?

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on February 24, 2017 in ExperiMentations
There's a diagnostic feeding frenzy about the President, and every possible perspective weighing in on the debate. How about our collective psyche, though? What's up with that?

Sex Addiction 101

By The Book Brigade on February 23, 2017 in The Author Speaks
Despite the debate whether sex addiction is a “real” disorder, many people struggle with problematic sexual behavior. There are ways to break free of compulsive sexual behavior.

Apologizing

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on February 22, 2017 in Life After 50
Do you find it difficult to say you're sorry?

Why Is It So Difficult to Stop Obsessing About Your Child?

By Meredith Resnick L.C.S.W. on February 21, 2017 in Adoption Stories
Do you obsess about your child? Is it wearing you out?

America's Spelling Is a National Disaster

Spelling errors tweeted within the Trump administration raise the issue of why spelling matters. Spelling needs to be taught!

The Best Response to Narcissism in Students

By Tim Elmore on February 15, 2017 in Artificial Maturity
At the core of narcissism is the fantasy that you are better than you really are. But . . . what might be the cause of this misperception?
Pixabay image by Bykst

The Best Way to Apologize

Being human, it is unavoidable to hurt people sometimes. Yet it’s not always easy to recognize this an offer a genuine apology to repair the damage when we’ve injured or offended.

What It’s Like Being a Guy with Binge Eating Disorder

It's important to remember that men endure eating disorders as well.

Monitoring the Self: Are You a High or Low Self-Monitor?

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on January 26, 2017 in A Sideways View
People who seem more socially skilled and confident than others may be more tuned in to their own behavior.

5 Writing Tips for Breaking Through Procrastination

By Judy Carter on January 17, 2017 in Stress Is a Laughing Matter
Procrastinating about writing? Is your creativity block? Guess what? Professional writers are just as anxious as you are and often use shame to fuel their creativity. Read on…

The Hikikomori Hermits

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on January 14, 2017 in Minority Report
Japanese shame has reached a new level of intensity where many who feel shamed to face failure (real or perceived) hole themselves in a room to avoid social contact with the world.

113 Chinese "Shame" Terms

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on January 14, 2017 in Minority Report
Shame and honor are inextricably tied together in Asian cultures. To understand this phenomenon further, you should know there are more than 100 "shame"-related terms in Chinese..

The Asian Scarlet Letter

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on January 08, 2017 in Minority Report
Asian shame can be mystifying to those on the outside but it is a very tangible experience for Asians. So what is it?

How To Take Charge of Your Fear of Failure

By Pamela D. Garcy Ph.D. on January 07, 2017 in Fearless You
What can you learn from children and small business owners to help you "go for it"?

The Surprising Ways that Guilt Can Help Your Relationship

Feeling guilty may or may not have a rational basis, but according to a new study, the guilt-prone may actually be better at reading other people’s emotional states.

Encouraging Interest

How can one sustain and enhance the child’s interest? The first order of business is for us to appreciate the importance of the interest affect and the exploratory behaviors...

Accountability, Love, Shame, and Working for Transformation

By Miki Kashtan Ph.D. on December 22, 2016 in Acquired Spontaneity
"I have more faith in actions that arise from a context of inner peace and acceptance than in actions that are fueled by fear and anger, the hallmarks of non-acceptance."

Dining with Disability

"Why does Grandma talk funny?", your daughter asks at the holiday dinner.

Empathy Can Lead to Profound Insights

As empathy wanes, so does critical thinking, and both concepts are essential to a democracy.

Can of Worms? Pandora’s Box? Divulging Your Dark Secrets

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on December 01, 2016 in Evolution of the Self
As a psychologist, I’ve seen clients show tremendous ambivalence about bringing up certain subjects, particularly those suffused with fear, trepidation, guilt and shame.

Not All Empathy Is the Same

Believing that the power of empathy can be harnessed by perspective-taking alone is itself a false belief.

Feeling Shame About Shame

Is it shame or guilt you're feeling about having an LGBT child? Learn the difference so you can resolve the conflict.
K. Ramsland

Boys Dressed as Girls Who Became Serial Killers

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Some serial killers recall being dressed as girls when young, despite being male. It might have had a negative impact.

A Hopeful Right Turn in Treating Addictions

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on November 26, 2016 in Listen Up!
Tired of the unhelpful stigma and shaming surrounding addiction treatment? Here's a different approach.

You’re Not a Bad Person: Facing Privilege Can Be Liberating

By Miki Kashtan Ph.D. on November 25, 2016 in Acquired Spontaneity
Time and time again I notice just how simple and strong it is to own and acknowledge my privilege where I have it, and to do so without guilt and shame.

Universal Children’s Day Compels Us to Look Into a Mirror

By Rita Watson MPH on November 20, 2016 in With Love and Gratitude
If we look at reports from the American Psychological Association and the Children’s Defense Fund, it appears we are failing our children.

Rhetoric, Violence, and Redemption

Social pain—rejection, shame, disrespect—resonates in the "pain center" of the brain, impairing cognitive capacities. This opens the door for violent responses to Trump's rhetoric.

Shame Management and the Trump Supporter

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on November 13, 2016 in Shame
Many white working class voters who feel likes "losers" supported Trump because he promised to restore middle-class jobs that provided a sense of "basic human dignity."

"I Voted" Stickers: Are You A Good Group Member Too?

By Gregg R. Murray Ph.D. on November 08, 2016 in Caveman Politics
I’ve always been fascinated with the “I Voted” stickers poll workers give people after they vote. Who takes and wears these things and who doesn't?

Coming Out of the Mental Health Closet About My Anxiety

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on November 04, 2016 in Intentional Insights
I am coming out as a mentally ill college professor suffering from an anxiety disorder to help end the stigma around mental illness in academia