awkward embarrassed


"I'm awkward, but not embarrassed." said by a father from a interview talking about his bittersweet experience, this man attended a university when his daughter was a toddler, during the graduation ceremony, he hold his daughter's hand, went up to the podium to get his diploma. In the interview, his grown-up daughter asked him if he felt embarrassed at that moment, he said this.

I heard this sentence about half years ago, so the memory is vague, Maybe what he said is "I'm embarrassed, but not awkward". But the most impressive thing is they have difference. Dictionary shows they are same, and no thread relates this, from his talk I feel "embarrassed" maybe in emotion stronger than "awkward", is this reasonable?
  • PaulQ

    English - England
    Like many dictionaries, yours is not entirely accurate: awkward and embarrassed at not identical, but they are related.

    We are usually embarrassed when others are observing. Embarrassment is the feeling of self-consciousness - you feel as if others are disapproving of your actions or feeling shame on your behalf/vicariously.

    Awkward = clumsy, inept, unnatural; of a feeling that you yourself have that you should be able to do something in a more skilled way.

    Awkwardness can create a feeling of embarrassment, but embarrassment does not automatically mean that something was awkward.
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