Understanding Shame Part 3

We have all felt shame at one time or another. Maybe we were teased for mispronouncing a common word or for how we looked in a bathing suit, or perhaps a loved one witnessed us telling a lie. Shame is the uncomfortable sensation we feel in the pit of our stomach when it seems we have no safe haven from the judging gaze of others. We feel small and bad about ourselves and wish we could vanish. Although shame is a universal emotion, how it affects mental health and behavior is not self-evident. 

In this post we will look at some of the expressions & actions of shame :

  • Hiding behaviour or a characteristic from other people.
  • Avoiding the person you have harmed.
  • Avoiding persons who have criticised you.
  • Avoiding yourself, distracting, ignoring
  • Withdrawing; covering the face
  • Bowing your head, groveling.
  • Appeasing; saying you are sorry over and over and over.
  • Looking down and away from others
  • Sinking back; slumped and rigid posture
  • Halting speech, lowered volume while talking

Here are some after effects of shame :

  • Avoiding thinking about your transgression; shutting down; blocking all emotions.
  • Engaging in distracting, impulsive behaviours to divert your mind or attention.
  • High amount of “self-focus”; preoccupation with yourself.
  • Depersonalisation, dissociative experiences, numbness, or shock
  • Attacking or blaming others
  • Conflicts with other people
  • Isolation, feeling alienated
  • Impairment in problem solving ability

Want to conquer shame? Learn more about this difficult emotions here > https://empress2inspire.blog/2021/01/31/understanding-shame-part-2/

Reference : https://i.pinimg.com/originals/53/96/36/539636b6d9efe2fe24daee861cdbfc1c.jpg

14 Comments Add yours

  1. the greatvincent says:

    Only if it was that easy

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GS says:

      Shame enforces social norms. For our ancestors, the ability to maintain social cohesion was a matter of life or death. Take the almost ubiquitous social rule that states stealing is wrong. If a person is caught stealing, they are likely to feel some degree of shame. While this behavior may not threaten anyone’s survival today, in the past it could have been a sign that a group’s ability to cooperate was in jeopardy. Living in small groups in a harsh environment meant full cooperation was essential.

      Like

    1. GS says:

      The Catch-22, of course, is that shame creates emotional patterns that make us reluctant to face it down. After all, who wants to look inward when what’s staring back is a painful emotion that makes us feel unworthy and unlovable? Ultimately, though, avoiding or suppressing this universal feeling can result in long-term emotional and physical consequences that trump the short-term discomfort that accompanies self-analysis and honesty.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. DDM says:

    It may be painful to face, but necessary.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GS says:

      Shame, like all emotions, exists because it conferred a meaningful survival advantage for our ancestors. It is a universal experience. The body language associated with shame — inverted shoulders, averted eyes, pursed lips, bowed head, and so on — occurs across cultures. Even blind people exhibit the same body language, indicating it is innate, not learned. We would not waste our time and energy on shame if it wasn’t necessary for survival.

      Like

    1. GS says:

      I am glad you liked the series

      Liked by 1 person

  3. c.f. leach says:

    Great post. Blessings and Peace!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. GS says:

      Thank you. I am glad you liked the series.

      Like

    1. GS says:

      Thank you for the reblog

      Like

    1. GS says:

      Thank you for the reblog

      Liked by 1 person

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