Humiliation is the mixture of shame, guilt, fear and self-loathing that we feel when people find out things about us that we’d rather they didn’t know. It might be that your girlfriend cheated on you, or that you failed to get into your uni course, or that naked pictures of you were posted by a vindictive ex.
All of us have moments where we just want to disappear, but the good news is that most of what we’re feeling can be controlled – by us.
What’s going through your mind?
Right now you might be thinking, ‘Everyone will think I’m a pathetic loser’, or ‘I’ll never get over this’, but these are just negative thoughts that feed humiliation – you don’t have to believe them. Remember:
- It’s not what happens to you that matters, but what you think about what happens.
- No matter what happened, it will always look bigger/worse to you than it does to other people.
- People always care less than you think. Most of us are pretty self-obsessed, so we will forget about it long before you do.
- Technology is shortening our attention spans, too, so people get bored very quickly and soon move on to the next thing.
What can you do?
- The best way to get over humiliation is to confide in someone you trust – someone who won’t judge you or spread rumours. Their support will help you see that you’re not pathetic, and that you can get over this.
- If it’s too hard to talk to a friend or family member right now, call or chat online with a counsellor at eheadspace, Youth Beyondblue or Kids Helpline.
- Do something kind for yourself: take a bath, go for a walk, cuddle a pet, visit a friend.
- Try to go to sleep – you will feel differently when you wake up (if you can’t sleep, try relaxation exercises, or take a safe dose of sleeping tablets if you have them).