Tag Archives: Humiliation

Defining humilation?


How would you define humiliation? Is it something done to you or a experience/perception of yours? This might seem like semantics but consider this definition offered up by Richard Mollica in his Invisible Wounds (Harcourt, 2006, p. 72),

Humiliation…is primarily linked to how people believe the world is viewing them.

In this definition I hear that it is the result of objective harm but also related to how we think others see us. So, is it possible to be violated, mistreated, objectified…and not feel humiliation? Could you be stripped naked before a crowd of people and not feel humiliation? I suspect it is possible but not likely, not typical.

Who cares?

At one level, no one cares about the definition. If you feel it, you know someone has done you wrong. Someone has defamed you. Someone has acted in an ungodly way toward you. At another level, maybe it does matter. Does it (in a small way) take the power out of the abusers hands and place it back in your own. Does it enable one to say as Joseph, “what you intended for evil, God intended for good.” Of course, that is very hard to say if you aren’t now the prince of Egypt!

It is probably good to think about how we come to view ourselves and how much power we give to the perceptions of others. However, let every counselor or friend remember, humiliation is real…not something in the fantasy of the victim.

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Filed under Abuse, counseling, counseling skills