Blushing, clammy hands or a tendency to flee! Do you feel insecure in swimwear or lingerie?
Or do you not dare to say how you think about a topic in a group discussion?
That unpleasant feeling is shame. You feel inferior and excluded. It is a negative and painful feeling. You would prefer to get out of the situation completely.
This is normal because shame is a human emotion. Do you suffer from this and do you want to stop your shame for good? I would like to help you!
In this article, I’ll teach you how to deal with shame and overcome it for good. Or some Tips To Stop Shame For Good.
Today you will learn:
What is shame?
Everyone has felt ashamed of something or something, everyone knows the shy and uncomfortable feeling of shame.
Shame is so personal! It’s a painful feeling of humiliation – that you’ve done something wrong or that there’s something shameful or embarrassing about you. It’s the secret emotion that can be like a poison inside you.
But have you ever thought about what shame is? Shame is a psychosocial emotion . This emotion creates a feeling of fear; you are afraid of not being accepted in a group or a club.
Shame therefore arises from the fear of not being able to meet one’s own imposed requirement or one’s own ideal and the accountability for this to the ‘group’.
If the self-imposed requirement is not met, we people experience a feeling of worthlessness and we are afraid that we can no longer belong to the group.
This fear is caused by your lack of self-confidence, fear of rejection from others, or fear that you will fail or be disrespected by the group you are in.
Shame amounts to an inner battle against yourself. An important basis for better coping with shame is to become more self-confident.
Do you want to know how you can be more confident in your shoes? Then read my article on how to increase your self-confidence.
In addition to increasing self-confidence, it is also important to understand the distinction between different feelings.
Shame is often confused with embarrassment or guilt, but they are not the same expressions.
Shyness arises when people see you in a different way than you would like. For example, you want to appear very relaxed, but as soon as the planned test fire alarm goes off, you turn into the biggest scaremonger.
Feeling guilty is yet another expression that can be translated into the breaking of norms and values. For example, you feel guilty when you lie.
shame is; i feel uncomfortable. is to blame; I did something bad. You can live on that for quite some time, but you feel better about yourself if you are honest.
What you need to know about shame
Shame often originates in childhood. Children cannot distinguish between feelings and their self-image.
So they will associate a bad experience that makes them feel bad and ashamed with a bad self-image.
However, shame can also arise at a different stage of your life. For example, people nowadays increasingly compare themselves with ‘acquaintances’ on social media.
You can be ashamed of yourself because someone on Instagram seems successful and happy and you don’t. Your ideals do not match reality and you feel that you can be rejected or fail as a result.
You can think at such a moment; should I really be ashamed of this or did the shame just overwhelm me?
Therefore, shame is classified into two forms. You have namely;
You think you should be ashamed of yourself and you think that others should also be ashamed of the particular situation.
You think that you do not have to be ashamed of your own shame and situation and do not expect that from others, but the situation was just the way it was and the emotion of shame suddenly and unconsciously arose.
The fact that this emotion arises in an ‘undesirable’ situation arises from the function of shame. Shame works as a social antenna that ensures that you adhere to the ‘unwritten rules’ (the norms and values) of a group, making it easier for you to fall into this group.
So you read that despite a negative feeling, shame can also be positive for your self -development . I would like to explain further below what the exact consequences of shame can be!
Consequences of feelings of shame Tips To Stop Shame For Good
I would like to list the most important consequences of shame for you:
1: It causes you stress
Shame can create a stressful situation as you look for a solution.
You are looking for a way to get out of that situation or you are not thinking about other ideas to save the situation.
In my article I explain exactly where stress comes from and what you can do about it.
2: Unhealthy urge to prove
Because you want to meet a certain standard or value, you keep setting the bar high and sometimes that bar is too high.
You want to prove yourself and show that you are doing well. As a result, you can lose the feeling of happiness, contentment and mental relaxation and you become exhausted.
3: Feelings of Rejection
Another important consequence of shame is the feeling of rejection. By failing to meet the self-imposed standard, you feel like you are failing and a failure.
You don’t think you’re good enough for the group you’re in and you let yourself be rejected.
All these consequences are preventable. Are you curious how you can do this? I give you extensive advice in tips that are easy to implement.
5 Tips to deal with feelings of shame!
Of course everyone will have to deal with shame, but with these tips you will go a lot further to allow less shame in your life. So get started! Shame should not hinder your life.
Tip 1: Analyze your feelings of shame
Make a list of concrete situations that caused you to experience shame. By writing down what situation you find embarrassing, you put them in a new perspective.
For example, you may have said something stupid at work. As soon as you relive this by writing it down, you may be able to put it into perspective and put it in a new perspective.
You then write down ‘I dropped the plates at work today and this made me ashamed’ or ‘my underwear was visible even though I didn’t realize it’.
You will see that after writing it down, you can handle the situation better and literally write off the shame. Do this for every small situation that makes you ashamed.
Tip 2: Use affirmations to practice self-compassion
Many of us who struggle with self-compassion also struggle with what I often refer to as the shame or “doubt monster,” whose voice can crop up at the most unexpected times. With that in mind, I’ve listed some common phrases from the shame monster:
- “I’m not good enough.”
- “I shouldn’t feel that way.”
- “Why can’t I do things like other people?”
- “I’m too old to struggle with these problems.”
Much like flexing a muscle or practicing a new skill, cultivating self-compassion requires us to practice “talking back” to this shame monster.
Over time, the hope is that your internal voice will grow stronger and louder than the voice of self-doubt.
Some examples to try:
- ‘I can feel how I feel’.
- “I am unique in my own ways.”
- “I get to be who I am.”
- “I’m a beautiful person inside and out.”
If these don’t feel natural to you, that’s okay! Try opening a journal and writing some positive affirmations of your own.
Tip 3: Listen to your shame
In the video below, professor Brené Brown at the University of Houston explains why you should listen to your shame and vulnerability.
Did you watch the video? She indicates that shame can be a motivation by confronting ourselves with our own shame.
Tip 4: Follow an EMDR treatment
For example, did you vomit during a presentation of anxiety or were you bullied because you are overweight? Then EMDR treatment can be a good therapy.
With EMDR, the situation is evoked, after which you have to think about it very much. At such a moment, the situation is in short-term memory.
Then you have to move your eyes very quickly from left to right, guided by a therapist. The situation you are thinking about changes or even disappears due to the movement of the eyes!
This is because the working memory has to work too much and the unpleasant situation in your short-term memory disappears into the background.
Tip 5: Check if your feelings of shame are based on truth
Check whether your thoughts that you develop through shame are really reality.
I will tell you that they are 95% based on our own interpretation and therefore not on facts.
For example, are you ashamed of your weight, but do you sometimes hear others say; You look super good! Then listen a little more to what the other person is saying.
You may be feeding yourself the thought of the shame and have no point at all to be ashamed.
You can do this very easily for yourself by asking yourself the question; Is it 100% true what I think about myself right now?
Tip 6: This way you can overcome shame
Living with shame is lonely and isolating. Shame can last a lifetime as an inner block if you don’t do something about it.
It is not caused by a single event, but by an accumulation of cracks in your confidence and self-esteem.
On your deathbed, you don’t care what your boss thought of your presentation or what an ex-partner said about your body. You are the only one whose opinion counts. Most importantly, you learn that YOU are good enough.