Skip to content

Your Weird Self-Conscious Emotions: Shame, Pride, Guilt, Humiliation, And Embarrassment

During the second year of life, your child will begin to feel the emotions of self-consciousness. Specifically, this is when your conscience becomes knowledge of its own existence. In this article I’ll explain to you what are self-conscious emotions, some good and some not so good. All of us experience these self-conscious emotions to include shame, pride, guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment.

The Self-Conscious Emotions That Comes When Your Current Self Meets Your Idealized Self.

Self-conscious emotions - Feeling Self-Conscious
Feeling Self-Conscious

All of us have an idealized vision of ourselves. For example, we all have set ideas about ourselves, be it good, bad, or somewhere in between. Then an event will occur that gives us information about our current self that is different than our idealized self. Also, it could be someone else who invokes this self-conscious event within ourselves.

Frequently in our daily lives, we can experience these self-conscious emotions. For example, we could experience pride when we do something exceptionally well on a test or work task. Moreover, we could experience shame or guilt when someone comments about our weight or some of other physical attribute. See Med Ed Models’ Self-Conscious Emotions for more information on idealized self and current self.

The Positive and Negative Affects of Self-Conscience Emotions.

Self-conscience emotions are thought to encourage our behaviors to increase the stability of societies and affirm status roles.  These emotions can motivate and regulate people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Self-conscious emotions have their pros and cons. See below:

  • Shame. Shame is the most detrimental self-conscious emotion we experience. We perceive a loss of social status. Shame does not motivate us to do better. Shame triggers lower self-esteem.
  • Guilt. Guilt is a similar emotion to shame. With shame comes the conclusion that “I am bad” versus guilt is, “I did something bad.” Guilt invokes a sense of remorse and regret. Guilt usually encourages us to do better in the future in order to change a given situation.
  • Humiliation. Humiliation is something that is brought on by others. When others become knowledgeable of a perceived deficiency in ourselves, we experience humiliation.
  • Embarrassment. Embarrassment is similar to humiliation, but embarrassment is brought on by ourselves. We become aware of a deficiency in our current self that does not measure up to our idealized self.
  • Pride. Pride can either be a positive or negative emotion. As a positive emotion pride can be invoked by an accomplishment or being recognized. This type of pride encourages people to be more confident and motivated to be successful in the future. Pride can also be a negative emotion. This happens when a person misperceives their current self and develops feeling of personal grandiosity and superiority to others (see Arrogant Vs. Confident). 

See  Iresearchnet’s Self-Conscious Emotions and Sanford Behavioral Health’s  Shame and the Self-Conscious Emotions for more on the pros and cons of self-conscious emotions.

For more information from Unvarnished Facts, see articles on values.

Don’t miss the tips from Unvarnished Facts!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.