Humiliation

Humiliation

[hyoo-mil-ee-ey-shuhn or, often, yoo-]
Humiliation (also called stultification) is the abasement of pride; mortification. The state of being humbled or reduced to lowliness or submission. It is thus the process of being made humble. It can be brought about through bullying, intimidation, physical or mental mistreatment or trickery and embarrassment.

Humiliation of the self

Whereas humility can be sought alone as a means to de-emphasise the ego, humiliation must involve other person(s), though not necessarily directly or willingly. Acting to humiliate yourself may be linked to a personal belief (as with mortification of the flesh), or it can be part of erotic humiliation where the belittling activity provides emotional and/or sexual arousal.

Humiliation of others

Humiliation by one person by another (the humiliator) is often used as a way of asserting power over them, and is a common form of oppression, bullying or abuse. However, it can also be consensual, as part of an agreement with a sex partner over erotic humiliation. Whilst in either case, it may posssibly be motivated by sadism, most often it is not. In a non sexual context humiliation may be used as a form of torture or may even, as with bullying, not be a wholly conscious aim and may be seen(erroneously) by the humiliator as justifiable behaviour under the circumstances. Many punishments are deliberately designed to be humiliating, e.g. tarring and feathering, pillory, mark of infamy (stigma) as a means of "making an example" of a persona and presenting a deterrent to others.

Humiliation in sport

Humiliation in sport can be regarded as defeat by a large margin - unless the opposing team has so much better circumstances that such a defeat is seen as unavoidable, such as a national team of a very small country losing against a much larger country. In particular a defeat suffered without some believable effort to prevent it, a defeat suffered by simply refusing to fight back, can cause complete loss of face or dignity by a person or team. Can also be defined as a "favorite" losing to a much less talented "underdog" team.

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