About Adoptee Rage

Statistics Identify large populations of Adoptees in prisons, mental hospitals and committed suicide.
Fifty years of scientific studies on child adoption resulting in psychological harm to the child and
poor outcomes for a child's future.
Medical and psychological attempts to heal the broken bonds of adoption, promote reunions of biological parents and adult children. The other half of attempting to repair a severed Identity is counselling therapy to rebuild the self.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Embarrassment Defined


Embarrassment Defined __________________________________________

Embarrassment is an emotional state of intense discomfort with oneself, experienced upon having a socially unacceptable act or condition witnessed by or revealed to others. Usually some amount of loss of honor or dignity is involved, but how much and the type depends on the embarrassing situation. It is similar to shame, except that shame may be experienced for an act known only to oneself. Also, embarrassment usually carries the connotation of being caused by an act that is merely socially unacceptable, rather than morally wrong.


Embarrassment can be personal, caused by unwanted attention to private matters or personal flaws or mishaps. Some causes of embarrassment stem from personal actions, such as being caught in a lie or in making a mistake, losing badly in a competition, or being caught performing bodily functions such as flatulence. In many cultures, being seen nude or inappropriately dressed is a particularly stressful form of embarrassment (modesty). Personal embarrassment could also stem from the actions of others which place the embarrassed person in a socially awkward situation, such as having one's awkward baby pictures shown to friends, having someone make a derogatory comment about one's appearance or behavior, discovering one is the victim of gossip, being rejected by another person (humiliation), being made the focus of attention Adoptee birthday celebration, or even witnessing someone else's embarrassment.
Personal embarrassment is usually accompanied by some combination of blushing, sweating, nervousness, stammering and fidgeting.  Sometimes the embarrassed person will try to mask embarrassment with smiles or nervous laughter, especially in etiquette situations; such a response is more common in certain cultures, which may lead to misunderstanding. There may also be feelings of anger depending on the perceived seriousness of the situation, especially if the individual thinks another person is intentionally causing the embarrassment. There is a range of responses, with the most minor being a perception of the embarrassing act as inconsequential or even humorous, to intense apprehension or fear.
The idea that embarrassment serves an apology or appeasement function originated with Goffman (1967) who argued the embarrassed individual “demonstrates that he/she is at least disturbed by the fact and may prove worthy at another time”. Semin & Manstead (1982) demonstrated social functions of embarrassment whereby the perpetrator of knocking over a sales display (the ‘bad act’) was deemed more likable by others if he/she appeared embarrassed than if he/she appeared unconcerned – regardless of restitution behaviour (rebuilding the display). The capacity to experience embarrassment can also be seen to be functional for the group or culture. It has been demonstrated that those who are not prone to embarrassment are more likely to engage in antisocial behaviour – for example, adolescent boys who displayed more embarrassment were found to be less likely to engage in aggressive/delinquent behaviours. Similarly, embarrassment exhibited by boys more likely to engage in aggressive/delinquent behaviour was less than one-third of that exhibited by non-aggressive boys (Ketlner et al. 1995). Thus proneness to embarrassment (i.e. a concern for how one is evaluated by others) can act as a brake on behaviour that would be dysfunctional for a group or culture.

Types of Embarrassment in social psychology

One typology of embarrassment is by Sharkey and Stafford. There are six types of embarrassment:
  1. Privacy violations - for example where a body part is exposed, or there is an invasion of space, property, or information that may be warranted to privacy,
  2. Lack of knowledge and skill - for example forgetfulness, or experiencing failure while performing a relatively easy task
  3. Criticism and rejection - is another form of embarrassment, as well as being made the center of attention positively or negatively
  4. Awkward acts - refer to social situations, for example inappropriate conversations, clumsiness or ungraceful actions (such as an emotional outbreak like speaking out unintentionally) that can trigger embarrassment
  5. Appropriate image - refers to more of a personal reflection of embarrassment, like body image, clothing apparel, and personal possessions for example owning a regular phone in compared to the latest phone
  6. Environment - can also have the effect of provoking embarrassment, as when an individual in a movie theatre with his or her parents, other family, co-workers, or mixed-company peers is made uncomfortable by an unexpected occurrence of nudity in the film that the group is watching.
Another typology is by Cupach and Metts which discusses the dimensions of intended-unintended and appropriate-inappropriate behavior, and the four basic types of embarrassing circumstances:
  1. Faux pas which are socially awkward acts
  2. Accidents
  3. Mistakes
  4. Failure to perform a duty or moral obligation.
Based on these types, Cupach and Metts classified two basic embarrassment situations, the actor responsible and the observer responsible. Actor responsible situations are embarrassing when a person executes an act that is inappropriate to a point of proficiency matching with social norms and expectations, inconsistent with role expectations, or out-of-sync with a social identity. The observer responsible categories are embarrassing when an individual becomes the focal point of attention through recognition, praise, criticism, correction or teasing; becomes initialized through being tripped or bumped; which is then associated with someone acting inappropriately; or has information revealed publicly to another individual or peer group.