Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Humiliation

Emotion Humiliation

When you want to write the emotion humiliation, it's important to "show" the emotion your character is experiencing through their physical reactions and dialogue, rather than "tell" it. In this article we provide you with inspiration so you can avoid show; don't tell and immerse your readers in your story.

Humiliation is a feeling of shame, embarrassment, or mortification caused by the perception of one's own inferiority or a loss of respect from others. It is often accompanied by feelings of powerlessness, inadequacy, or worthlessness, and can be caused by a variety of factors such as public failure, social rejection, or personal disappointment. Humiliation can have a profound impact on a person's self-esteem and confidence, and can affect their behavior and relationships with others. It is a complex emotion that can be difficult to address, but understanding its causes and effects can help writers create more realistic and compelling characters.

  1. Different Types of Humiliation
  2. Situations Associated with Humiliation
  3. Physical Reactions to Humiliation
  4. Thoughts Associated with Humiliation
  5. Atmosphere of Humiliation
  6. Verbs Associated with Humiliation
  7. Emotions Before Humiliation
  8. Emotions After Humiliation
  9. Telling Humiliation Examples to Avoid
  10. Practical Examples of Showing Humiliation
  11. Exercises for Showing Humiliation

Different Types of Humiliation

Here are some different types of humiliation:

  • Public humiliation: Being embarrassed or ashamed in front of others.
  • Self-humiliation: Feeling ashamed or embarrassed due to one's own actions or thoughts.
  • Social humiliation: Being rejected or ostracized by a group or community.
  • Professional humiliation: Feeling belittled or ashamed at work or in a professional setting.
  • Physical humiliation: Being physically dominated or overpowered, leading to feelings of shame or embarrassment.

Situations Associated with Humiliation

Here are some situations where a character might experience the emotion of humiliation:

  • Being publicly criticized or shamed
  • Failing in a public situation
  • Making a mistake in front of others
  • Being rejected or turned down in a humiliating way
  • Feeling inferior or inadequate compared to others
  • Being betrayed or exposed in a humiliating way
  • Being laughed at or ridiculed by others
  • Being forced to do something embarrassing
  • Being caught in a lie or exposed for dishonesty

Physical Reactions to Humiliation

Here are some physical reactions a character experiencing humiliation might have:

  • Blushing or flushing of the face
  • Avoiding eye contact or looking down
  • Physical shrinking or shrinking into oneself
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Rapid heartbeat or shallow breathing
  • Nervous laughter or awkward movements
  • Apologizing excessively or making excuses
  • Withdrawing or becoming quiet
  • Difficulty speaking or stammering

Thoughts Associated with Humiliation

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing humiliation might have:

  • I can't believe I made such a stupid mistake.
  • Everyone is laughing at me.
  • I wish I could just disappear.
  • I'm such a failure.
  • I don't deserve to be here.
  • I'll never be able to live this down.
  • Why did I even try?
  • I feel so small and powerless.
  • I can't face anyone right now.

Atmosphere of Humiliation

Here are some ways that you might reflect the emotion of humiliation in the atmosphere of your scene:

  • Choose a setting that is public or exposes the character to scrutiny, such as a crowded street or a party where they don't feel comfortable.
  • Use language and descriptions that emphasize the character's vulnerability and embarrassment, like having them blush or stutter.
  • Create a contrast between the character's internal feelings and the external environment, such as having them feel small and insignificant in a large and imposing space.
  • Make the character's physical movements reflect their humiliation, like having them hunch over or avoid eye contact.

Verbs Associated with Humiliation

Here are some verbs commonly associated with the emotion of humiliation:

  • Blush
  • Stammer
  • Shrink
  • Flinch
  • Cower
  • Grovel
  • Squirm
  • Cringe
  • Wince
  • Tremble
  • Bow
  • Submit
  • Yield
  • Apologize
  • Beg
  • Wallow
  • Demean
  • Conform
  • Admit

Emotions Before Humiliation

Here are some emotions that may come before a character experiences humiliation:

  • Embarrassment
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Regret
  • Disappointment
  • Rejection
  • Inadequacy
  • Inferiority
  • Self-consciousness
  • Betrayal
  • Abandonment
  • Failure
  • Defeat

Emotions After Humiliation

Here are some emotions that may come after a character experiences humiliation:

  • Embarrassment
  • Shame
  • Insecurity
  • Self-doubt
  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Defensiveness
  • Avoidance

Telling Humiliation Examples to Avoid

Here are some examples of telling the emotion humiliation in a sentence. You should avoid things like this:

  • Sarah felt humiliated when she stumbled and fell in front of everyone.
  • Tom was humiliated when his boss scolded him in front of his colleagues.
  • After being rejected by her crush, Emma felt humiliated and embarrassed.
  • The athlete felt humiliated after losing the game in front of his fans.
  • When her presentation was met with silence, Jenny felt humiliated.
  • After being caught in a lie, Jake felt humiliated and ashamed.
  • The student felt humiliated when his teacher corrected his mistakes in front of the whole class.
  • When his painting was criticized, the artist felt humiliated and discouraged.
  • After tripping on stage, the performer felt humiliated in front of the audience.

Practical Examples of Showing Humiliation

Here are some examples of showing humiliation in a sentence:

  • Her face turned bright red as the room erupted in laughter.
  • He stumbled over his words, feeling like a complete fool.
  • She avoided eye contact, wishing she could disappear into the ground.
  • His shoulders slumped as he realized his mistake in front of everyone.

Exercises for Showing Humiliation

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing humiliation:

  • Write a scene where the character embarrasses themselves in front of a group of people they admire.
  • Describe a moment where the character is belittled or ridiculed by someone they respect.
  • Write a monologue where the character reflects on a humiliating experience from their past and how it still affects them.
  • Create a dialogue between the character and someone who is trying to make them feel ashamed.
  • Write a scene where the character tries to hide their embarrassment and pretend everything is fine, but eventually breaks down.
  • Describe a situation where the character is forced to confront their own flaws and shortcomings, leading to feelings of shame and humiliation.
  • Write a scene where the character is publicly called out for a mistake they made, and how they react to the humiliation.
  • Describe a moment where the character is unfairly judged or discriminated against, leading to feelings of humiliation and powerlessness.

Want more help with showing emotion instead of telling? You find more help in our full list of emotions.

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