Shame is unpleasant and uncomfortable. It can fill you with as much shame as sometimes if it feels better to ignore the event that has caused it. Even after many years of therapy, sometimes I get paralyzed by it, failing when it comes to taming the beast.
These days I have been feeling quite ashamed. The source has been mostly about race relations and how I’ve been a dangerous, silent opponent. I think a lot about my lack of response to past events and I feel an immeasurable shame in my complexity. It is difficult to remain calm in these times and even harder to do so when managing your own faults.
Nevertheless, shame is worth expressing as anger, happiness and all other feelings. The following strategies have helped me counteract shame:
According to Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, “the less we talk about shame, the more power it has over our lives.” We must make a conscious effort to speak openly when we associate incidents with shame. We must grow to see it as an emotion that everyone experiences. Speaking honestly and openly I’ve always found myself to be the most stress relieving. Unloading stress, like any other feeling, removes the protective layer that embraces and instills shame.
Source mind map
Shame does not exist in isolation. It’s always connected to something else. Often, the issues that shame is associated with are taboo. And so, it’s important to unload the history behind the source of the shame. It’s also essential to get the person you’re downloading to on the same page as you. Feeling comfortable when you unload is just as important as acknowledging it, as it prevents you from being ridiculed further for the incident associated with your shame.
There will always be triggers everywhere you go. However, understanding and recognizing these triggers will play a vital role in understanding ashamed and mentally healthy. If you are aware of your triggers, call them out for exactly what they are as it helps you to form a clearer reflection process and by extending more rational decision making.