Have you ever been in such situations where you feel dead on the spot, and you wish you could disappear because of utter humiliation? Indeed, at least once in your entire life, you have had a humiliating experience.   

Clearly, you don’t want to relive your past embarrassments. You also don’t want to experience embarrassment in the future. But, you can’t avoid being constantly reminded of your past mistakes by others. They make fun of you for making mistakes, thus putting you in shame.

If humiliation is a big deal for you, or if you’re in the brim of possible embarrassment, this guide can help you can stop reliving your past mistakes, get over your shame, regain self-respect, and surpass these tough times stronger than ever. 

What is Humiliation?

Humiliation or embarrassment is the action of causing shame on someone. This is considered a public emotion where others see you as less of a person and someone who they can easily manipulate and make fun of. Humiliation is felt when your vulnerable side is exposed to others.   

You feel humiliation when you are devalued as a person. When humiliation occurs, your emotions are all over the place. You don’t know if you will fight back or hold it together. Can you be humiliated when you make a mistake, and no one knows about it? In other words, is the humiliating feeling dependent on whether or not someone witnessed the situation or not?

When you experience embarrassment, you certainly don’t want to go through it again. Because of this, you could be holding yourself back from activities such as public speaking, being in charge of a project, or speaking out when you know the answer to the question.

What Causes Feelings of Humiliation?

The common cause that contributes to your feeling of humiliation is your childhood experience. Persistent humiliating experiences by the parents, friends, or teachers cause an adult child’s anger management and depression challenges. Some of these childhood experiences are:

  • Having overly critical parents and parents with mental illness
  • Educational challenges due to Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Sexual abuse
  • Loss of socioeconomic status
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Sexual orientation or racial discrimination
  • Delayed physical maturation
  • Inferior to a sibling with greater talent

You can prevent the long term effects of humiliation in children by:

  • Praising a child when their behavior makes them, and you feel proud
  • A child can be confident if they are supported in activities they are passionate about
  • They can develop self-esteem and resilience from humiliation if you help them with some of life’s challenges.

To avoid humiliation is impossible for children. Experiencing humiliation is part of their growth. When parents give them support, this can have a long-term effect on children developing positive self-esteem.

How to Deal With Humiliation in the Workplace

Workplace bullying is very common than most people think. Humiliation in the workplace is hard to overcome, especially due to bullying. Here are some useful tips on how to deal with bullying or humiliation at work:

Be Cool-Headed

It is a normal reaction for you to lose your calm when being humiliated on the spot. In the heat of the moment, you can start a heated argument and, worse, lead to physical violence. If you allow yourself to be consumed by anger, this will make the situation more difficult. You will end up being hated by your colleagues more.

Listen, Think, and Talk

When you are being pushed into an argument and spoken to with harsh words, be calm and think before doing anything you will regret. Listen to your good intuitions, think of a better way to handle this, and talk in a professional manner. 

If you are being pushed by your superior, think hard before doing anything that might cost you your job. If you have to defend your self-worth, do it professionally. This way, you earn their respect.

Leave as Soon as You Can

If you feel humiliated, it is best to leave the room right away. Go as far as you can, take a breather, and calm down. If this is the only way you can avoid further humiliation, then do it.  This will also help you to feel less hurt, and you can keep your peace. 

Arguments and physical fights may be avoided by leaving. Leaving is not a sign of weakness. Rather, this is the attitude of someone strong enough to walk away from life’s negativities.

Don’t Take It Personally and Focus On Work

When you are humiliated at work, don’t stress too much about it. Don’t take it personally to the point that you are mentally depressed. Try to imagine the other person who humiliated you as a school kid who likes to bully you. This will make your feeling of humiliation less stressful.

Also, remember the reason why you are working in the first place. You are working for your loved ones. If you let the bullies get to you, you will be at the losing end of it all.

Keep Your Friends Close

I’m sure that there are people who are on your side to support you. Be social and interact with them. If you have formed a group of friends in the workplace, it is likely that the humiliations will die down.

Solve It When It’s Too Much

Avoiding humiliation can only go so far. This is not the solution to your problem. If emotional torture is too much, you have to confront the problem.

Be professional and confident when facing the person who constantly humiliates you. This will definitely put that person in a tight spot. This could also improve your self-image and self-confidence at work.

A professional way of handling this matter is by sending an email addressed to the HR department stating exactly what issues need to be addressed right away.

How Can You Recover if You Feel Humiliated

Here are some tips you can consider to recover your dignity and confidence because of humiliation:

  • Be aware of what triggers you
  • Know your life goals
  • Share your hurts with someone who can understand and guide you.

Recovering from humiliation is not easy but not impossible. You don’t have to make a big deal out of your humiliation. Everyone goes through it.

If feeling ashamed is not a big deal, then ask yourself why you feel that way? Is it possible that you are uncomfortable about people seeing you make mistakes? These people may have pointed this out to you with good intentions. It is only you who had negative inclinations about the matter.

When You Feel Shame in Public

There are emotional hurts that cut a deep wound and won’t ever go away. This is true with public shaming. Not only does this bring humiliation, but it also brings trauma.  

Public shaming is now easier and faster because of the internet and social media. This is characterized by anonymity which makes it easier to induce a humiliating experience. Through social media, it is easier for others to shame you without considering the consequences of their actions.

If you look at the Great Recession, there were higher rates of suicides committed. Many lost their jobs and assets. They couldn’t bear to be publicly shamed due to losing their source of income. Eventually, many resorted to suicide.

When you are shamed or humiliated, you are emotionally vulnerable. This makes you hopeless, and you want to disappear forever. Suicide is inevitable when you lack resilience and social support.

Dealing with Humiliation

Uncovering and exploring the reasons behind childhood humiliation is part of the treatment. Medication and therapy are possible treatments for humiliation.

Medication and Mental Illness

Medication can treat mood or anxiety disorders, and even panic attacks which increases a person’s vulnerability to humiliation. Furthermore, medication is needed if you are depressed or have other mental health disorders. 

Talk Therapy

Going through talk therapy is another treatment for humiliation. In talk therapy, you understand the cause of your humiliation, its effects, how you unconsciously deal with it in your daily life, and how you can move on from your fear of humiliation to a better life.

Humility and Self-Esteem

If you don’t want to be humiliated, you have to be confident, clever, and not take the humiliation personally. Humiliation appears in everyday life, and avoiding it is impossible. Remember that the most important thing is the value that you put on yourself. If you have high self-esteem, you are not easily affected by the comments, negative emotions, and humiliations of others.   

Humility is recognizing and accepting our own limitations. When someone makes fun of you, that person is not the cause of your humiliation. Rather, that person helped you see clearly your limitations. It all depends on your reaction at the moment. Will you laugh along or feel ashamed about the situation?

Seek Help 

Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) loves nothing more than to take care of your well-being. KCC can help you be more empathetic and compassionate towards others. KCC is passionate about your recovery and is willing to work hand in hand with you to ensure your lifelong happiness.

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