The body language of shame



  • 1 Looking down

    When a person feels ashamed of themselves or of something they have done, they might look down towards the floor instead of looking up.

  • 2 Avoiding eye contact

    When a person feels ashamed, they might find it hard to look people in the eye. This can lead to weak or almost non-existent eye contact. See also why some people avoid eye contact.

  • 3 You take less space

    When a person feels ashamed, they will feel that they want to hide. This will let the person take less space because they unconsciously think that this move makes them less visible.

  • 4 The neck disappears

    When a person feels ashamed, their shoulders might get raised and their necks might sink inside their bodies. It's another indication that the person wishes to hide or disappear.

  • 5 Covering face

    If the situation is too shameful for a person, they might actually cover their face with their hands. 

  • 6 Darting eyes

    Darting eyes are one of the signs that indicate the presence of emotions such as shame or embarrassment.

  • 7 Avoidance

    When a person feels very ashamed, they might avoid social interactions completely. The person might seem anxious as they approach other people. See the body language of anxiety.

  • 8 Curved back

    When a person feels ashamed, their back will become curved. This is considered an attempt to hide or to take less space to not be seen.