"To lose face" in front of others, to feel inadequate for a task or in a given instance: shame is an intensely involving emotion. It can unleash anger and revengeful desires, or conversely push into depression. This book explains what shame is, how it starts and manifest itself, grasping its peculiarities as compared to similar emotions such as guilt or embarrassment, and goes over its role in different cultures. Special emphasis is given to "dirty tricks". Those special interaction modes in which one tries to put the person one is talking to in a position of inferiority, to humiliate or to push him/her into behaviours s/he will later be ashamed of. Nevertheless shame can be overcome, and the best way to do it is to achieve a deeper knowledge of ourselves. The "Tosca" test, presented in Italy for the first time, has been designed to assess individual inclination to this condition and to trigger effective cognitive and emotional strategies, based on this awareness.
Luigi Anolli teaches Psychology of Communication at Cattolica University in Milan.