Shame is a very deep-rooted feeling of embarrassment, inadequacy, and disgust with us. Shame has an important social component that pushes people to act according to certain norms or rules. Many people whilst feeling shame try to avoid it as fast as they can with the help of healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Shame is intrinsically different from the feeling of guilt which has a different purpose and action. Shame has a direct impact on your self-esteem, and it has been found that people with lower self-esteem tend to feel more ashamed of themselves. And, shame acts on an individual in several ways, even though some shame pushes a person to act proactively, there are negative impacts of shame as well.
Shame induced by society forces a person to not open up and reveal their true feelings. The shame associated with people how they look, behave and their identity can sometimes make them feel rejected due to which they cannot find solace and feel isolated as well. Shame is a form of self-consciousness that makes people think critically of themselves and who they are. It makes them analyze themselves and form judgments that can either help them change or can negatively impact their self-esteem.
People suffering from serious mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety reported high feelings of shame. Some of the ways one can deal with shame include:
Recognizing and acknowledging shame
When we understand we are feeling shame, then many people try to avoid it and not feel those feelings. But doing such will make only such feelings, not develop and we will not be able to find meaning in why we are feeling in such a manner.
Identifying the source of shame
Finding out where you are feeling the shame is an important step in working towards it by realizing how valid is it to feel such shame. Someone could have used it to shun you from speaking out your thoughts or ideas.
Realizing that everyone can make a mistake and giving yourself some space where you can work on yourself and feel much more at peace with yourself.
Sharing your feelings
Shame thrives in secrecy and isolation thus sharing your feelings with others in extremely important and allows you to feel connected with others and even fight against the people who shame you for their own gains.
Challenge negative thoughts
Examine your negative belief towards yourself and understand. That you can work towards changing such thoughts and thus feel better about yourself in the process.
Accepting who you are and the true feelings you associate towards yourself is extremely important for your identity. The stronger sense of self you have of yourself the more difficult it is for other people to sway you from your ideas, thoughts, and beliefs.
Healing from shame takes time and one must deal with and undergo many thoughts, actions, beliefs, and ideas that they associate themselves with. Once one understands for which reason, they are feeling shame they can work on those areas and be at peace with themselves altogether. Shame strips a person of their identity and self-respect. They are isolated into a territory where they are left alone and rejected.
Thus, society punishes a person feeling shame, and they become devoid of human connection for their particular action. Children usually feel shame for a lot of reasons in a sense which helps them to control their behaviour and act more accordingly. Although misusing shame to treat a certain person in a manner is highly harmful and dangerous for their psyche.