Shame can be defined as the breaking of an interpersonal bridge or as the belief we are flawed in some way that deems us as unworthy of love. This is an emotion as well as something that happens within our bodies, promoting a physical response.
Shame often starts in the childhood, and is learned as a defense mechanism. This response can be our body stiffening, our larynx shrinking, muscle tension, whatever we can do to maintain our bridge. Shame is a deep rooted and intense emotion that we often take our on ourselves or others.
Ask yourself, where is the first place your interpersonal bridge was broken? When was the first time you felt true shame? What triggers this shame now? It is healthy to name your shame triggers to better understand how they came to be, as well as the correlation to our childhood or upbringing.
Common ways we react to our shame is by attacking ourself, attacking others, denial/clinging, or withdrawing. There are a variety of tools a therapist can utilize to help you understand which form of shame you take on, and how to make a healthy transition for yourself and your loved ones.
The most important thing to note about shame is that there is hearth level and reaction to it. Like sadness or happiness, it is a viral emotion we utilize. To react to shame in a healthy way, we must practice self-compassion, responsibility and humility. Remember, we all have flaws and our own perception of how these flaws affect us.
Shame is an emotion that is rarely talked about or acknowledge by us as humans. The more you identify with is, the more comfortable it will be to express. If you feel like you have unresolved shame, or are having a hard time understanding the concept or shame or where it stems from, speak to a counselor at Orlando Thrive today. To speak directly to the author of this blog, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thrive on!
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.