In the women's therapy group I am a member of, we are exploring the role of shame in our lives. For this we are using Brene Brown's shame curriculum, which is excellent. Did you know that research shows that everyone experiences shame--everyone! Some more than others, some less.
This week one of the things we discussed is the difference between guilt, shame, humiliation, and embarrassment. I found it interesting to think about the distinctions between the four feelings.
As I see it, guilt is what we feel when we think "I have done something bad or wrong".
Shame is what we feel when we think, "I am bad or wrong" and we feel disconnected, cut off from others, not belonging.
Humiliation is what we feel when we do not believe we deserve the shaming behavior of someone else--we don't own it and we feel badly because we think we are being unjustly treated. We may have done something wrong or made a mistake but don't accept the shaming for it.
Embarrassment is when we make a mistake or do something wrong, feel bad, and yet know that other people do and feel the same things--we are not alone.
Isn't that interesting? What do you think?