Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Shame

· Mashing the hands against the cheeks
· A vacant or glazed stare
· An inability to make eye contact with others
· Pressing one’s palm over the lips to hold back a cry or words
· Shaking one’s head
· Letting out an uncontrolled moan
· Self-loathing, berating oneself, anger, disgust
· Punching one’s fists against the thighs to release frustration
· Violence to oneself (scratching, cutting, jabbing fingernails into the skin)
· Lashing out at others to transfer anger or blame
· Vandalism of one’s personal objects
· Risk taking, hoping something will happen to balance the scale
· A scruffy look (baggy clothing, unwashed hair)
· Fawning actions toward others—begging, following, even stalking—to try and regain worth…

Win your readers’ hearts by tailoring your character’s emotional responses so they’re compelling, credible, and realistic.

If you struggle with writing emotions like so many writers do, you’ll be happy to know that this sample has been expanded into book form. The full list of physical, internal, and mental cues for this and 74 other emotions can be found in The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. For more information on this bestselling book and where it can be found, please visit our bookstore.

And the news gets better: we’ve added 15 entries to this collection, including grief, lust, and self-loathing. To access these, simply visit our online library at One Stop For Writers. There, you’ll find all 90 entries from our popular Emotion Thesaurus, which have been updated and enhanced to provide even greater value. Users also enjoy the flexibility of cross-referenced material for easy searchability across all of our completed thesaurus collections. Interested in viewing a sample? Register for free at One Stop, and see what this innovative online library can do for your storytelling.


Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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4 Responses to Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Shame

  1. Thanks Brinkka! If you scroll down in the sidebar, there is a box where you put in your email address and you’ll get our posts straight in your email. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    brinkka2011 says: Hi, I love your weblog. Is there some thing I can do to obtain updates like a subscription or some thing? Im sorry Im not acquainted with RSS?

  3. Angela says:

    Thanks–glad you’re finding this helpful. We have a master list of emotions that we pick from–I’ll make sure ‘annoyance’ is on it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ahhhh! I just found this and you guys make me want to cry for joy! THANK YOU! But I have a request. Will you pleeeeeaaasse do ANNOYANCE? I need something besides “rolling the eyes”!

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