1

I am looking for a word to express the feeling that you have when you don't want to weigh on someone but still have to ask for a favor out of need.

For example, consider the following sentence.

He felt ashamed asking for a favor.

"Ashamed" has a negative connotation. Looking for a word that implies virtue (modesty, humility, down-to-earthness)

6
  • 1
    Please describe positive shame a little bit more. I think you're looking for a different idea.
    – Valkor
    Sep 10, 2020 at 8:51
  • You could say "He respectfully asked for a favour". (Which I'm not posting as an answer because it's not a synonym for or otherwise really comparable to shame.)
    – nnnnnn
    Sep 10, 2020 at 9:00
  • @Valkor Thank you! Revised the question to be more clear.
    – abdul
    Sep 10, 2020 at 17:07
  • 1
    You mention humility in your question. I assume you considered 'humble' did you dismiss it for any particular reason?
    – JeffUK
    Sep 15, 2020 at 9:29
  • 1
    He felt ... almost ashamed, asking for a favour. Sep 15, 2020 at 10:58

5 Answers 5

1

The closest words that I found are "considerate" and "thoughtful"

For example, consider the following sentences.

He was very considerate about asking for a favor because he was already indebted to her.

He was very thoughtful about asking for a favor because he was already indebted to her.

These words are not exactly what I was looking for because of the following reasons.

  • Both of these words are an action and not a feeling.
  • "Considerate" is mostly used for the person who is on a higher ground.

However, these words somewhat serve the purpose.

Interesting Fact:

There is a word for this in Urdu language called "Haya"

  • "Haya", noun translates to "Modesty"
  • "Haya Aana", verb translates to the positive shame that I was talking about. The person is already indebted and feels shame in inconveniencing the other person by asking for another favor.
1
  • 1
    I wouldn't consider either of those words as being the positive equivalent of shame. Oct 11, 2020 at 19:16
0

Shame is negative, so a word with a positive connotation would be a very different word.

You mention modesty in your question, but that isn't in the sentence you wrote. Discretion, or being discreet, is sometimes a positive reason to hide something.

0

A positive word for shame about asking for a favor

diffident adjective

diffident adjective

dif·​fi·​dent | \ ˈdi-fə-dənt , -ˌdent \

Definition of diffident

1 : hesitant in acting or speaking through lack of self-confidence

2 : RESERVED, UNASSERTIVE

https://merriam-webster.com/definitions/diffident

1
  • The person asking is not hesitant because of self-confidence but because he doesn't want to cause trouble, worry or even discomfort.
    – abdul
    Sep 10, 2020 at 17:13
0

How about abashed? Not as assertive as ashamed and invokes the more complex feeling you describe. " made to feel uncomfortable, disconcerted, or embarrassed by something that has happened or been done or said" https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abashed

2
  • 1
    You should include a full definition of your chosen word with a dictionary link. Nov 10, 2020 at 20:33
  • OK~sorry-new to this
    – buddhiarts
    Nov 10, 2020 at 22:30
-1

Thesaurus work gives many possibilities but none seems to fit the subtle change of meaning that you seek. The nearest I can get from other related concepts is “presumptuous”, which admits your negative embarrassment in asking, but keeps the balance of positive respect between you and the other person.

2
  • 2
    I have never heard of presumptuous being at all positive. Presumptuous is the opposite, really. The person asking has no embarrassment, nor any respect for a social construct being violated.
    – Valkor
    Sep 10, 2020 at 8:41
  • Yes, it is a difficult question. Do you have any other suggested answer?
    – Anton
    Sep 10, 2020 at 8:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.