EMOTION THESAURUS

HUMILIATION



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HELPFUL TIP:

The inner landscape of your characters (especially your protagonist) is the lifeblood that runs through your story. Emotions, and how they're expressed, are tied deeply to a character’s personality and which positive traits and negative traits will manifest. To bring your readers in deeper through shared experience, consider filtering the setting descriptions through your character’s emotions while also exploring important colors, textures, and shapes through his or her senses.
DEFINITION:
Feeling degraded or mortified, worthless or cheap

PHYSICAL SIGNALS AND BEHAVIORS:
Body collapsing in on itself
A bowed head
Shoulders curling over chest
Angling torso away from others
Uncontrollable shuddering or shivering
Hair hanging in face, hiding the eyes
A downward gaze
A flushed face
Hitching chest
Eyes dull, lifeless
Pulling down a shirt hem (covering gesture)
Body shielding (if holding onto an object)
Hands clutching at stomach
Covering face with hands
Bottom lip or chin trembling
Whimpering
Throat bobbing
Arms falling to sides, lifeless
Uncontrolled tears
Flinching at noise or from being touched
Huddling, crouching
Trying to cover body with hands
Neck bending forward
Movement is slow, jerky
Knees locked tight together
A loss of coordination
Cold sweat
Stumbling, staggering
Backing up against a wall, sliding into a corner, hiding
Visible tremors coursing through the body
Hands gripping elbows
Pigeon toes (tilted inward)
Sobs trapped in throat
Drawing knees up to the body’s core
Wrapping arms around self
Runny nose

INTERNAL SENSATIONS:
Weakness in legs
Sluggish heartbeat
Pain in chest
Rapid swallowing
Dizziness, a sense of vertigo
Ribs squeezing
Body feels broken
Skin tightens (crawls)
Loose muscles
Hot eyes and cheeks
Nausea

MENTAL RESPONSES:
Self-loathing
Shattered thoughts
A feeling of nakedness, of being on display
A need to hide or flee that supersedes all else
Wanting it to end at all costs

CUES OF ACUTE OR LONG TERM HUMILIATION:
Curling up on the floor
Hiding behind something, against something
Crying, blubbering, hitching sobs
Willingness to escape by any means
A desire to die, for the emotional pain to end

MAY ESCALATE TO:

CUES OF SUPPRESSED HUMILIATION:
Numbness in mind and body
Becoming passive and disengaged
Closing off all thoughts of what is happening
Not speaking or making any sound
Sending the mind “somewhere else”
A disconnect between the mind and body

MAY DE-ESCALATE TO:

ASSOCIATED POWER VERBS:
Shame, disgrace, demean, dishonor, mortify, ridicule, abuse, blow, crush, flatten, destroy, collapse, ruin, demote, abase, slump, weep, hurt, ache, blur, brand, slander, slur, stain, wound, suffer, torture, cut, scar, choke, fracture, suffocate