In some situations you may not be able to replace your feelings of shame with guilt. In these moments, guilt may not be the appropriate emotion, but what about humiliation and embarrassment?
Humiliation is a feeling that stems from an experience that causes you to lose your prestige, standing, or self-respect. Humiliation says “I didn’t deserve this.”
Embarrassment is a feeling that stems from an experience that causes you to lose your composure, usually due to bad judgement or vulnerability. It is a more fleeting sense of discomfort. Embarrassment says “one day this will be funny.”
Shame says “I am bad”
Guilt says “I have done something bad”
Humiliation says “I didn’t deserve this”
Embarrassment says “one day this will be funny”
Using these four definitions:
- Think of a time when you have experienced shame.
- Ask yourself: Which definition (guilt, humiliation, embarrassment) do I choose to replace shame with?
- How are you different once you reframe the shame you felt?
You can choose to not feel shame. If, instead, you can live these definitions in life you can choose what you feel and choose a better description.
Share your experience with shifting from shame to guilt, humiliation, or embarrassment in the comments below: