Shame is a toxic emotional experience that is highly linked to our negative emotions. Shame is different than guilt. To put it simply; Guilt is “I did something wrong, or something wrong happened.” Shame is, “I AM something wrong.” Shame is attached to worth and creates a belief that a person is not “good enough." As a byproduct to that feeling of shame people act, react, and interact poorly as a way to minimize or avoid the feeling of shame. Often depression and anxiety are highly linked to the experience of shame and self loathing.
Understanding how shame plays into a person’s emotions and relationships can make a big difference. Understanding and practicing awareness is the first step. Next comes training and skills that help the person start to challenge the shame, share their honest selves, and move forward in a more authentic and meaningful way.