Some Friendly Words of Caution…

Just a few pointers, so that you don’t fall into some common traps. Like becoming annoying to people, blaming your parents for everything, or using it as an excuse to hide behind.

Just a quick word of caution before you embark on your journey of shame resilience.

Try not to become annoying to people!

As you become more aware of the effects of shame, you’ll start to notice it everywhere. I mean it.

Almost everyone you meet, every situation that someone describes to you – you’ll be able to instantly spot causes, triggers, feelings of shame.

Try to resist the temptation to talk about it. 

Keep it to yourself.

Ponder on it, think about it, even write about it if you keep a journal – but try not to talk about it!

If you start saying “sounds like she has shame issues!” or “sounds like shame to me!” or “is it like a feeling of shame that you’re describing?” then you’re going to come across as annoying and potentially threatening.

You need to remember that to an outsider, the concept of shame is still a dirty, icky thing, that feels uncomfortable and threatening. Its only when you really get into the details that you realize all the subtle effects and feelings.

To someone else, it just feels like a reductionist, judgmental thing that you’re throwing out – without any real explanation, reassurance or enough time to justify what the hell you’re talking about.

You don’t want to become one of those kinds of people, right?

If anything, maybe just tell them about this interesting site you found… and give them the link! 😉

The only two times that you should be discussing it

1) If you have a moment of shame that you want to talk about, to practice courage (part of building shame resilience). Then you can talk to your trustworthy friend or relative and explain it all with as much courage as you can muster.

2) If you’re that trustworthy friend to someone else, who has come to you for help, then you can use your awareness and listening ear to again practice empathy (also part of building shame resilience). If they’re aware of the concepts of shame because you’ve discussed it before, then great. If not, then try to avoid using the term until you’ve really explain it before hand (or referred them to this site 😉 If they’re unprepared for it, then suggesting they’re carrying shame might in itself be an act of shaming that just makes them feel worse, rather than liberated.

Try not to identify too much with shame

Its an easy mistake to make when you stumble across something new and interesting – it becomes your focus point for a while, almost like an addiction.

You’ll be all wrapped up in getting in touch with your feelings of shame, spotting the effects, and figuring out the causes.

It can be a rabbit hole.

My advice is to take it easy.

Try not to  identify too much with it, out of some secondary gain that you might get from it such as attention, or something to do.

It will feel liberating, and that in itself can be enough get you really into it – but that should be its own reward.

If you’re building decent levels of shame resilience then that’s good enough – take it all as slowly as you feel like taking it. Don’t feel that you have to get hung up on delving into childhood causes and suchlike unless it feels appropriate.

The benefits are just being allowed to be yourself – pushing forward with life in a natural, healthy way, without as many fear barriers.

If you start using your awareness and knowledge to try and “correct” others too much, or talk about it all the time for attention – then it sounds like you might have more feelings of shame that you haven’t yet dealt with properly. Try to get in touch with those feelings, and chase the trigger.

Don't go blaming people!

Once you start exploring the causes of shame, its tempting to suddenly feel blame for people – maybe your parents, siblings, teachers – anyone you can point the finger at for having suggested you should feel not good enough.

Blaming and shaming are of course, effects of shame, and also causes of shame in themselves.

Its exactly that powerful tendency that may have led to that original cause of shame in the first place! Your parents would have been acting from a position of shame, to create feelings of shame in you.

Break the cycle – please don’t become someone who shames others because of their own shame. Use your awareness to understand the people who caused your shame. Talk about it with a trusted friend or relative, on neutral grounds. 


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