Ashamed or Embarrassed

Tuesday, April 5, 2022


Quiz: You can only feel one of these when you are alone:   a) embarrassed  b) ashamed

The main difference between these words is that “ashamed” is more about what you think of yourself, and  “embarrassed” is about what other people think of you.

Example #1 — Ashamed: Some people who haven’t had a good education may not be able to read (they are illiterate). They don’t want others to know this because they would be “ashamed” to admit that they are adults who don’t know how to read. Being ashamed is personal, and it’s often associated with feeling inferior, inadequate, or guilty.

Example #2 — Embarrassed: When I was at the university, students would move from class to class on foot (sometimes by bike) and in the wintertime, the sidewalks were often very slippery. It was common to slip and fall on the icy sidewalks, myself included. This was “embarrassing” because other people could see you lose control and it wasn't cool (impressive) in any way.  

When you’re uncertain about whether to use ashamed or embarrassed, think about the source of this feeling: external/other people (embarrassed) or internal (ashamed). 

*(Answer: ashamed)

No comments:

Post a Comment