“I’m so stupid.” “I can’t believe I did that again!” “What’s wrong with me?” “I can’t do anything right.” “I’m not worthy of happiness.”
Do these comments sound familiar? Are they ones you make to yourself more often than you would like to? If so, you might be experiencing an increase amount of shame. According to Brené Brown, shame is “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.” Shame is something we all experience at times, however if it is our main lens of ourselves, there might be underlying issues such as trauma or early attachment disruptions.
In my previous blogs, I have talked about the importance of acknowledging emotions, especially the difficult ones. Shame is no different. We need to acknowledge our shame and shame language in order to heal through it and move past it. However, this can be incredibly difficult, especially if our shame is due to past or current trauma. Another technique I recommend is introducing and practicing self-compassion. According to Dr. Kristin Neff, “Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?” Remember, you are human and are allowed to make mistakes. Take a deep breath, acknowledge this, and care for yourself. If shame and implementing self-care continue to be a struggle, consider contacting a Mental Health Professional.
Written by Candace Hanson, MA, LMFT
Brown, Brené. “Shame v. guilt.” Design and built by DesignHaus & Alchemy+Aim.
Neff, Dr. Kristin. “Definition of Self-Compassion:” Self-Compassion.
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