Difference Wiki

Shame vs. Embarrassment: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 23, 2023
Shame is a deep feeling of guilt or unworthiness. Embarrassment is a feeling of self-consciousness or awkwardness.

Key Differences

Shame is a profound emotional response related to one's sense of self, often tied to guilt, unworthiness, or disgrace. Embarrassment is a more surface-level emotion, typically arising from awkward social situations or mistakes.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023
Shame often involves a negative evaluation of one's character or identity, possibly leading to lasting emotional impact. Embarrassment, however, is usually about a specific incident or action and is typically short-lived.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023
The feeling of shame can be internal and private, not necessarily known or observed by others. Embarrassment is often experienced in social contexts, triggered by perceived social judgment or faux pas.
Huma Saeed
Dec 23, 2023
Shame is often associated with deeper psychological effects and can contribute to feelings of low self-esteem or depression. Embarrassment is generally less severe, causing temporary discomfort or social awkwardness.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023
The triggers for shame are often personal moral failings or deep-seated issues, whereas embarrassment can be caused by simple social blunders or misunderstandings.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

Emotional Depth

Deep and profound
Surface-level and temporary
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Focus

Self-identity and moral standing
Social situations and interactions
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Duration

Potentially long-lasting
Typically short-lived
Huma Saeed
Dec 23, 2023

Psychological Impact

More serious, affecting self-esteem
Generally less serious, causing discomfort
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Trigger

Personal failings, moral lapses
Social blunders, awkward situations
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023
ADVERTISEMENT

Shame and Embarrassment Definitions

Shame

A person, action, or situation that brings a loss of respect or honor.
The scandal was a shame to the community.
Harlon Moss
Dec 04, 2023

Embarrassment

A person or thing causing embarrassment.
The broken zipper was an embarrassment during the presentation.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Shame

A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
She felt shame for lying to her friend.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Embarrassment

A situation or state of being that causes embarrassment.
The mix-up at the office was a huge embarrassment.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Shame

The condition of being disgraced or guilty.
He carried the shame of the mistake with him.
Janet White
Dec 04, 2023

Embarrassment

A feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness.
He felt embarrassment when he forgot his lines on stage.
Huma Saeed
Dec 04, 2023

Shame

A regrettable or unfortunate situation or action.
It was a shame that the event was canceled.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Embarrassment

The act or condition of being embarrassed.
Her embarrassment was evident when she tripped.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 04, 2023

Shame

A loss of respect or esteem; dishonor.
His actions brought shame to his family.
Sara Rehman
Dec 04, 2023

Embarrassment

The state of being awkwardly exposed to ridicule or shame.
The misunderstanding caused her great embarrassment.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 04, 2023

Shame

A painful emotion caused by the belief that one is, or is perceived by others to be, inferior or unworthy of affection or respect because of one's actions, thoughts, circumstances, or experiences
Felt shame for having dropped out of school.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

Embarrassment

The act or an instance of embarrassing
His embarrassment of the guests ended the party.
Sara Rehman
Dec 01, 2023

FAQs

Is embarrassment always public?

Often, but one can feel embarrassed even in private situations.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

What is embarrassment?

Embarrassment is a feeling of self-consciousness or awkwardness.
Huma Saeed
Dec 23, 2023

Can shame be private?

Yes, shame can be a deeply internal and private emotion.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

What is shame?

Shame is a deep feeling of guilt or unworthiness.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Is it possible to overcome shame?

Yes, through self-reflection, forgiveness, and therapy, one can overcome shame.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Does shame affect self-esteem?

Yes, shame can negatively impact one's self-esteem.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Does culture affect what causes shame?

Yes, cultural norms and values can greatly influence what is considered shameful.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

How long does embarrassment last?

Embarrassment is typically a short-lived emotion.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

What causes shame?

Shame can be caused by actions that one perceives as morally wrong or degrading to one's character.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

What triggers embarrassment?

Social gaffes, mistakes, or awkward situations often trigger embarrassment.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Is embarrassment related to social norms?

Yes, it often arises from violating or not meeting social norms.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

What is the relationship between shame and guilt?

Shame is about how we feel about ourselves, while guilt is about our actions.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Does age affect sensitivity to shame?

Sensitivity to shame can change with age and personal development.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Does embarrassment have to involve others?

Not necessarily, one can feel embarrassed even in solitary situations.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Can shame lead to other mental health issues?

Yes, persistent shame can contribute to issues like depression and anxiety.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

Can shame be a motivator for change?

Yes, it can motivate individuals to change behavior or improve themselves.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Can embarrassment be humorous?

Sometimes, embarrassment can be seen as humorous, especially in retrospect.
Sara Rehman
Dec 23, 2023

How do people react to embarrassment?

Reactions vary, including blushing, laughter, or trying to hide the situation.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

Do children experience embarrassment?

Yes, children can experience embarrassment, often as they learn social norms.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Can embarrassment be positive?

In some cases, it can be a learning experience or lead to personal growth.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons