How to overcome feelings of shame

How to overcome feelings of shame

– what do challenges as diverse as addiction, perfectionism, narcissism & masochism have in common? They are driven by family of emotions shame
– “shame is more common & everyday than we think”
– the program argues it can be overcome
– Dr Burgo defines shame as a whole family of emotions & what these emotions have in common is a painful awareness of self (self-consciousness, embarrassment, guilt, humiliation, mortification – it can range across a spectrum from mild and transient to severe & lasting)
– the types of shame also share a physiological basis (accompanied by blushing, averting of gaze -eyes & head, you want to run away & hide, you often want to disappear)
– everyone does experience shame of some form at some time in their life
– where does shame come from?
– it can come from trauma &/or abusive parents
– latest studies show shame evolved biologically to ensure “tribal cohesion” & survival depended on cooperation & adherence to social rules (they had a survival, evolutionary imperative)
– the following behaviours manifest as part of shame:
– defensive reactions (denial of fault &/or blaming another)
– avoidance reactions (shy, withdrawn, anxious in social situations
– controlling reactions (self-deprecating comments – they get to it first before anyone else can)
– shame experiences include:
– letting yourself down
– blame-shifting/deflecting/not taking responsibility
– telling white lies to justify/blame shift
– rushing/catching up all the time
– seeking escape opportunities rather than take responsibility/learn from an experience
– what can people do to manage shame (which can sometimes be useful)
– listen to what shame is trying to tell you, & learn/grow/improve from the experience
– also learn to be more self-aware & sensitive to self, your responsibilities & others
– remind ourselves that shame is ubiquitous & something we all encounter as part of being human
– set goals to build pride (effort & performance is key – intention is important – know your values & what you expect for yourself)
– success builds pride & more agency [this is very difficult]
– put behaviour first for mood to catch up

Source: Savvy Psychologist | podcast date: 26 October 2018


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