Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation caused by the feeling of “wrong” behavior. It’s a dangerous emotion because it tricks our brain to thinking bad about ourselves. Shame can make us feel worthless, inadequate, and extremely disconnected from others.
Shame has the reputation for destroying us from the inside out. It’s a silent killer. Many of us suffer in secret with the feelings causing it to grow and fester in the dark.
Here’s 5 Facts You Should Know About Shame…
1.) Shame is different than guilt. Guilt feels like “I did something bad”. Shame feels like “I am bad”. Shame makes you feel like you’re useless and because of that feeling, it deteriorates your self-esteem.
2.) Self-blaming thoughts develop from feelings of shame. If you blame yourself for bad things happening outside your control, you’re probably suffering with shame. Incorrectly blaming yourself for other peoples behaviors or events, feeds these shameful feelings.
3.) Being excessively self-aware is needed for shame. If you feel that you’re constantly being judged by others or adhering to set of social rules, shame is probably running the show. This can also feel like there’s a spotlight directly on you in social situations. This can also feel like your mistakes are amplified to everyone else and can feel extremely embarrassing.
4.) Shameful people project there shame on others. Whether we know it or not, we try to escape our own shame by judging others. It may feel better for a moment but our own feelings of shame always seem to come back. This is only a quick distraction from a deeper problem.
5.) Shame is toxic. If you do not get your shame in check, it will inflict all of the relationships around you. Even though you think you’re just hurting yourself, you’re not. You’re hurting all the people around you. When our loved ones take on our shame, it can make them physically and emotionally unwell.
The best way to challenge shame is to bring it to light. Find someone who can shine a blinding spotlight on your own shame. Shame can’t survive when it’s exposed. So start exposing it. Find a way to bring objective perspective into your life to make this happen.
If you’re struggling with feelings of low self-esteem, worthlessness, and shame, we can help. Click here to schedule your free consultation so we can start building back your confidence to become the person you want to be.
Aniesa Hanson is a licensed Tampa therapist and owner of Aniesa Hanson Counseling. She people overcome personal struggles to achieve stronger self-confidence. Learn more about Aniesa’s own journey here.