Which Emotion Is The Hardest To Control? A Psychologist Weighs In

When we asked Beurkens what emotions were the hardest to control, she had a quick answer: “Embarrassing. Shame is a big one.”

As she tells mindbodygreen, she’s seen countless people in her work get stuck for long periods of time in what she calls a “spiral of shame.” She notes that without even realizing it, people caught up in the shame spiral have identified with their shame, internalized it, and colored their perception with it.

“I think shame is the hardest emotion for people to deal with because it’s so deeply rooted. It’s an insidious emotion because it involves so many things—it’s not the same as fear, joy or happiness. Shame stems from so many aspects of how a person sees and feels about themselves and others, and how they perceive things that have happened to them,” explains Beurkens.

And not only that, but shame is as confusing as decompression. “Even realizing that’s what they’re fighting for, to name it, is hard for people,” she adds, “It’s really what most people — according to somehow, shape or form — struggling with, whether they realize it or not.”

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