Shame is that sense of badness, of having caused harm, of being someone who doesn’t really measure up. And it is so much more. Shaming others, and accepting shaming is built into our culture. This drives people apart and creates feelings of alienation and separation because everyone hides things about themselves that they fear will bring shaming. And each person hides things to prevent someone else from feeling shame.
Do you feel apologetic too often? Do you wonder what others are thinking of you? Have you had feelings of self hate? Do you sometimes wonder what is the purpose of life and why go on? Do you wonder why you become angry and want revenge when your partner has been critical? Do you find yourself becoming defensive, and being right seems essential? Do you think about ways you have caused harm, and feel regret way beyond what is appropriate?
Read the blogs on men and shame, and how women don’t know they shame men.
People don’t usually start therapy to deal with shame. Rather, it is something they discover once working on themselves. They see that looking at their level of self esteem is relevant to all areas of life. But if you answered yes to several of my questions above, you could begin right there. Read Healing Humanity: Life Without Shame, and learn how you have been receiving shaming you didn’t recognize as harmful. Then join a group, or a GATHERING, to relate with others who are discovering how they have been shamed, and didn’t know it. Or did know, and thought they deserved it.
I am adept at helping people see when shame is truly pointless. Each person can differentiate between useless “toxic” shame, and a useful feeling of guilt that can bring repair. Repairing harms makes you feel really good. Toxic shame makes you feel really bad.