Shame (on us?)

 KoMaCarpe (@KoMaCarpe)7 years, 7 months ago

Forgive me for writing this text out of nowhere…. I just felt like ventilating and could not figure out a better place than this website.
I want to talk about shame though; that which our culture reeks of but noone dares to say out loud. SHAME on us? For sure.
Im just rereading Brené Browns book “Daring greatly”. Believe it or not but the letters are mapping out my history for the last 10 years or so. It could virtually be written about me – except that this most certainly applies to the majority of us.
Shame= The fear of not being worthy of love and connection.
We all feel it (except for psycho- and sociopaths) more or less often. And it fuckin hurts. Big time.
For those of you who doesnt know about the author she’s basically a shame researcher. For 12 years she’s worked on the subject and come up with a couple of theories:
1) We all have shame.
2) To get rid of shame all we need to do is say it out loud.
3) Shame is best defeated with vulnerability, which is the foundation of courage.
4) Shame is the feeling our entire western culture is projecting upon us.

And what the hell do I want to say with this? Well, the point Im trying to make is I didnt understand myself nearly aswell prior to reading this amazing book as I now do. And since shame is an universal feeling its elementary that we take our time to educate ourselves about it. Basically: If you’re looking for a deeper understanding regarding your own behaviour you better order Daring greatly asap. The alternative price you’ll pay is far more expensive and won’t only hurt your wallet.

February 9, 2014 at 3:24 pm
Anonymous (328) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

“Embarrassment Expert” Now that’s a kickass job.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

=)Except embarrassment is a different experience from shame.

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Marlon (97) (@shoeopener) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I have a question. I do say it out loud usually and that doesn’t prove I’m not a little psychopathic. How do we deal with circumstances or people that want us to feel shame when we deal with it on the spot? For example, (typical) I was recently to a bar with acquaintances but I got damn drunk. I’ve spoken with everyone, flirted with a few girls and the one I complimented decided to leave first. I decided to just go home because I don’t usually do this and on the next day I felt ashamed. While I was feeling ashamed of what impression I made to people I barely knew I saw they don’t care. I was probably ashamed of being way too drunk even though I didn’t do or say (I hope so) something unbelievably stupid, but it sure felt that way after I woke up. I’ve also had much wilder nights than this one and didn’t care so what’s up with shame?

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Could you state your question in a more concrete way? Not sure Im following you..

I just ahve to make a few points clear. The author makes a clear distinction between guilt, shame, embarrassment and humiliation. They are different sorts of feelings and trigger different kind of thought patterns in our mind. For example, the difference between shame and guilt is wether you blame yourself for being a loser or if you rather say to yourself “what I did was so wrong but that doesnt mean theres anything wrong with me”. Shame is a personal attack while guilt is more of an obejctive and responsible way of looking at the situation.

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Marlon (97) (@shoeopener) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

The example with my hangover is the one I’ve witnessed the most but a lot of times I stop and ask myself if I should be ashamed or not. Sometimes you just don’t know and it’s rather comical.

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Shame hurts because it’s harmful. That’s why pain exists, to keep us from repeating things that cause damage to ourselves. Mind or body, same thing. The only difference is that with the mind it’s all your own thoughts doing the damage.

Shame is a nasty mental violence tactic. It keeps driving people from reality, they try to avoid the painful/shameful truth so they become delusional pretenders.

Shameful people are full of shit. The shame has been earned.
Just clean out the shit and there will be no shame.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

But that takes tremendous courage and vulnerability to do. Im all for taking responsibility for your own actions and behaviour but lets face it. Our society and culture teaches us that we should feel shame even though we didnt necissarily do anything wrong. We inherit shame from previously wrong doings of our ancesteros such as the colonisation, WWII, rasism etc.
I’ve live with shame for a very long time, without being aware of it. I was always praised for my talents and what it taught me was that results were more important than self love. That will breed a perfectionist who strives to satisfy everyone else before himself. Its dangerous. When I got rejected the first time I felt horrible shame but didnt know what the feeling was. To dissapoint anyone close to me became my biggest fear. And when my ability to perform was taken away I no longer saw myself as worthy of love and belonging. I was pure shit in my own eyes. I didnt do anything “wrong”. I was just raised this way.
Anxiety, chest pain, illness, depression etc kicked in. No intimacy for 10 years. And I didnt understand jack! I shut down, basically. I had to crawl out of the black hole all alone, gaining the necessary experiences and information needed to survive. If I’d just given up I would for sure not be here today. Im so fuckin proud of myself for doing this journey.

We need to discuss this subject much more. Shame is a killer and only through honesty and words can we put it down.

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Courage? Punching a bear takes courage, sorting your thoughts out doesn’t.
Vulnerability? That implies that there’s some sort of harm or danger involved, which there isn’t.

We’re taught to do a lot of stupid shit, yeah, but it’s up to each individual whether he/she will do what they tell us.

Results can mean the difference between life and death, and anything in between. Self love cannot, it’s just how you relate to yourself, of course it isn’t as important.
If your mentality made you a perfectionist, tough luck, doesn’t mean it was caused by these priorities.

If you beat yourself up about your failures, that’s your choice, your attitude.
You can’t blame your own mistakes on how you were raised. The more you blame, the less power you keep. Responsibility is freedom.

Sounds like you had a rough ride, but yknow what? That’s the kind of stuff that makes you stronger. Why so negative about all of it?

Shame is not a killer, stress is. It’s ok to be ashamed every now and then, it’s only natural, it’s only when you make a big deal of it that you get fucked up.
People gotta stop making a big deal of things, that’s all. Relax, it’s just the cosmic joke, it’s amazing.

Blaming and magnifying and distorting things breeds dishonesty.
Your experiences are the result of your actions, denying this is lying, and lies multiply.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I disagree. If shame is “the fear of not being worthy of love and connection” then it sure as hell takes courage to talk about it. Even though you dont deem yourself worthy enough you still force yourself to make an attempt – thats brave.
Im actually valuing intention over results. Achievment is only as important as the reason for even trying.
My mentality made me respond in a certain way towards the cultural influence – I guess its genetic. Whos fault is it? The little boy who did what he thought was best or the adults who should have known better to begin with? My question is: Does it matter whose fault it is? Im just trying to bring forth awareness about shame. Im not here to blame or be blamed. Thats irrelevant and counter productive.

Im grieving for my past so I can once and for all put it behind me and move on. I’ve had this urge to find out why I am who I am and why it hurts and what caused it? Reading Daring greatly made me connect a whole lot of lose threads and Im so greatful for that. How can I ever expect to live fully when Im a complete riddle to myself?

Isnt stress just a symptom of shame? I dont agree feeling unworthy of love and connection is “ok” – thats all we got. Taking away the reason to live cant ever be fine by me. Perhaps you might mean that feeling guilt is ok now and then, and if so I agree.

“People gotta stop making a big deal of things, that’s all. Relax, it’s just the cosmic joke, it’s amazing.” Even though I share this view of life I will never be in complete control of my own reactions and emotions – thats not to say Im not responsible but rather thinking to be in control is delusional…I believe emotions trigger thoughts and are primary. Its both complicated and very simple at the same time.

Im tired….Sleep tight

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

“If shame is “the fear of not being worthy of love and connection” then it sure as hell takes courage to talk about it.”

-Ehh, no… it’s not like someone wants to silence you and would stab whoever talks about it. It’s not like talking about shame would summon a rabid bear or anything. It takes absolutely no courage, because there is nothing to be afraid of.
Climbing mount Everest blindfolded is brave, making an attempt to think differently is not.

You value intention over results? Yeah, I’m sure you’d change your mind when your intention to get food and not starve didn’t grant you anything to eat at all. Want a hundred more examples? Or do you understand?

“I guess its genetic.”

-No it’s not, there’s nothing genetic about it. Just wow…

“Whos fault is it?”

-Well, if it was genetic it wouldn’t be anyone’s fault, would it?

“The little boy who did what he thought was best or the adults who should have known better to begin with?”

-The little boy who grew up and learned to think and question and take action, yet wouldn’t fix the issue, perhaps?

“Does it matter whose fault it is?”

-It really doesn’t, since the script can be erased at any time.

“Im grieving for my past so I can once and for all put it behind me and move on.”

-Doesn’t add up. Gonna have a bad time, struggling against yourself, fighting for both sides… grieving and putting something behind you are pretty much complete opposites.

“How can I ever expect to live fully when Im a complete riddle to myself?”

-Umm, everyone is a complete riddle to him/herself. Doesn’t stop others so why should it stop you?
Why do you set up these crazy criteria for letting yourself live?

“Isnt stress just a symptom of shame?”

-Nope! Stress is a symptom that can be caused by thousands of different things.

“thats all we got.”

-What? No it’s not. That’s like saying the sprinkles on a cake is all you got.

“Taking away the reason to live cant ever be fine by me.”

-Now for the big surprise, mate… Not a lot of people have that same reason for living that you arbitrarily assume we all share. It’s not even a rational or biologically driven reason in the first place. Nor is a reason even necessary in the first place, there is nothing greater than life.

This is the problem with the HE kids… you think more love and more free stuff will fix humanity’s problems… when most of these problems really only exist because people are spoiled and coddled and curled ad nauseum.

“thats not to say Im not responsible but rather thinking to be in control is delusional”

-You have as much control as you give yourself. You’ve given most of it away, and for some reason won’t take it back, so of course you can’t wield it. That is, however, a chosen situation.

“I believe emotions trigger thoughts and are primary.”

-Sorry to ruin your lollipop lane, but… read up on basic neurology, hormones, neurotransmitters, neuroplasticity, bioelectricity, and you’ll understand beyond a doubt that your assumption is dead wrong.
Emotion is just a reaction.

“Its both complicated and very simple at the same time.”

-Things are simple. Domesticated humans complicate things in their heads… that’s why they understand so incredibly little.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

You seem to have 0 clue about the similarities between emotional and physical pain and your “all-knowing” tone kinda pisses me off to be honest. Evidence clearly shows that people experience real pain – the brain experiences psychological and physical pain very much the same – when suffering from emotional wounds.

And dude, why are u trying to twist my info into something entirely different bogus? Im not discussing primal survival aka hunter gathering – thats a completely different topic. I wrote about “shame”. Not f*cking Bear Grylls.
And why I wrote the part about valuing intention over achievement is simply because I dont see the point of merely surviving. Why is staying alive so damn important to you if u cant appreciate it? Just eating, breathing, sleeping andm pooping but still being miserable kinda sucks imo. Ever asked yourself why u continue doing the basic things u do?

Ironically enough, when I read between the lines all I can see is pointing fingers and casting blame. You really thing you’re getting anywhere with your paradoxical way of trying to “wake people up”? Its retarded dude and you obviously missed the entire point. You of all people would very likely benefit the most from buying mrs Brown’s book.

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Cool your jets, dude. Why the anger?

Pain is just pain, nothing but a reaction. It’s a clever system, because it keeps us from hurting ourselves… well, it’s supposed to and when it comes to physical pain people generally keep their shit together.
But when it comes to the mental pain, they ignore the warning and just keep accumulating harmful thought patterns. That’s what’s real fucked up.

If you think there’s more than one meaning to survival, look up what the word actually means.

Where did I say people should focus on just survival? Hmm?
That’s right, I didn’t. I don’t even consider that stuff an achievement, because of instincts and shit handling it for you unless you interfere.
As for why I do the basic stuff, well, I wouldn’t live if I didn’t… and I love living.

You’re not reading between the lines, you’re digging for stuff to turn into a demonic strawman of the person who ticked you off, as is expected of a modern person.
You’re the one with the paradoxes, mate… take a good look, seriously.

I wouldn’t benefit from some pointless psycho-wankery book. Especially not one on shame, since I have no shame.

As for how pointless or paradoxical you think my methods are… that frankly doesn’t mean shit, doesn’t affect anything.
I’m results-oriented, I wouldn’t keep doing something that doesn’t work. I do what I do because I know what works great.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I didnt talk about the meaning of survival, but rather the difference from staying alive contra being alive. Dont kniow why I even bother answering your completely misguided critic…

The only reason I lashed out a bit on you is because of your disrespectful tone but u still keep missin the point. I have 0 problems dealing with different views and perspective as long as the one presenting them doesnt try to cut me down by my ancles.
“I dont give a shit…” Its hilarious how spot on your way of treating shame/blame correlates with what the author writes. Basically shutting down or answering with rage and contempt. I once again strongly recommend you to take at least a quick look through the book. Take care.

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

“I didnt talk about the meaning of survival, but rather the difference from staying alive contra being alive.”

-Being alive = physical systems work well enough to not break down and decay.
Staying alive = keeping the above mentioned state/process going.

“The only reason I lashed out a bit on you is because of your disrespectful tone but u still keep missin the point.”

-Hmm, you’re the one who keeps denying practical advice, you’re the one who keeps claiming that another person “doesn’t have a clue” and “misses the point”…. you’re the one who tries to “win.”

” Basically shutting down or answering with rage and contempt.”

-Ehh, what? Not giving a shit means not giving a shit, it doesn’t mean anger or contempt… if I was pissed off I would have said I was pissed off, and not that I did not care.

That’s a terribly ugly straw man you’re building there.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

theres more to being alive than “physical systems work well enough to not break down and decay” – at least thats my belief.

Im completely puzzled man. I just re-read our first three replies and nothing disrespectful was said until you decide to answer with your besserwisser-attitude:

“-No it’s not, there’s nothing genetic about it. Just wow…”

You live in denial and honestly it ticks me off. Once again u decided to act like an academic douche snobb:

“This is the problem with the HE kids… you think more love and more free stuff will fix humanity’s problems…”

And again!:

“-Sorry to ruin your lollipop lane, but… read up on basic neurology,…”

Who the hell do you think you are adressing someone random on the internet like they’re a pile of sh*t and then expect to be paid any decent respect back? Are u totally retarded? Im sorry but you’re delusional…

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Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 7 years, 6 months ago ago

“at least thats my belief.”

-So your belief is that there is more to being alive than being alive… that doesn’t make much sense, mate.
Being happy/fulfilled/whatever is not the same as being alive.

“nothing disrespectful was said until you decide to answer with your besserwisser-attitude”

-Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.
It’s subjective and relative, why are you winding yourself up like this over a misinterpretation?

If stating simple faccts which were clearly overlooked makes me a besserwisser, then I guess that’s what I was being.

Don’t you think it’s a bit crazy that you’re trying to shame someone in this shame thread of yours?
Cool your jets for a second.

“Who the hell do you think you are adressing someone random on the internet like they’re a pile of sh*t and then expect to be paid any decent respect back?”

-I am Elion, and I didn’t act like anyone was a pile of shit… trying to discuss with a pile of shit would be absolutely mental.
If you consider reasoning and offering sound advice… treating someone like shit, then something really isn’t right.

“Are u totally retarded? Im sorry but you’re delusional”

-Now that’s real mature. Again, you trying to shame me in this very thread? It’s ridiculous.

And buddy, that attitude aint alright… there’s nothing wrong with being retarded, lots of people were born that way and it’s pretty damn fucked up that you’re using their handicap as an insult.

Check yourself before you Shrek yourself, Komacarpe.

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Marlon (97) (@shoeopener) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Not everyone grows up working hard on themselves and thinking they are going to be real mentors one day.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I used to feel shame when I was depressed but then I realized it was mostly grief and anger. Now when I realize my weaknesses or unwanted behavior I seem to think to myself “Well that was a funny joke Anjelica”.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I kinda recognize the strategy of not taking yourself to seriously, but still emotions are such a dynamic and uncontrollable aspect of life that sometimes even the greatest attempt of selfcontrol dont work. I believe one of our biggest problems are the ways we try to control outcomes. If we just could let go completely and be comfortable with who we are, what we’ve done and how we appear the issue of shame would soon vanish. But as much as we want to be alone about this we cant control what our subconcious mind stores. Info from every angle about expectations, norms and other social constructs keep hitting us.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Emotions have a root though… I think shame often comes from a genuine ambition mixed with the anxiety of trying to match other people’s values. But even if you’re feeling terribly ugly inside and out… there is still life. Nothing is truly urgent, except to you. The talent across the planet is so diverse that it’s actually ridiculous to compare yourself to anyone. Still, being worthy of love and connection… well this is more a matter of sharing values and understanding with people, and emotional trust. It is really hard to see that you aren’t living up to your own standards, but how much of that is really your standard? I don’t know, feeling life in your own body is enough to love yourself, really.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

yeah, people pleasing is definitely one big part of our shame armor, as Brené Brown writes.
its just that I find a lot of the problems today to be intellectually understandable but they are still affecting us whether we like it or not. There are a lot of unknown variables that we cant control which still takes a toll on us. Just the physical aspect of fertelized food doing damage to our body, pills, cigarettes, pollution, aerosole clouds, radiation etc. And then we got the psychological part with the entire infowar on our minds.
We want to believe that we’re in control but reality is that we will never be in total control just because we’re part of something much grander.
So with a weaker mind and body we really need to cultivate a strong spirit to even begin to live out fully. Shame is a constant factor I believe we all do battle against. The only shame free people are probably people who dont give a damn about human connection in the first place and who dont give a sh*t about any other than themselves. But they are a minority and often I think theyre just covering up their true selves with different strategies such as perfectionism, numbing and other things.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

It is fortunate to have emotional support and it can be found in a lot of places but shame can only be eliminated with a very personal conviction that your individuality is beautiful. And that is a matter of tastes. The grander design attracts us to certain things that we may feel frustration and fear when we don’t accomplish but most shame is steeped in a lot of unreasonable expectations. Usually trying to be congruent with someone that isn’t you. Some people are shamelessly gluttonous or obnoxious or abusive because they value being themselves over an archetype.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

But also, just a moment of shame when becoming more self-aware is a good thing to humble and fuel your own growth.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

Shame or guilt? It is actually two very different emotions but we commonly use them in the same context (at least I’ve always done). I believe guilt can be of some use but never shame. No matter what, I think its crucial that we always believe we are worthy of love, respect and belonging.

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KoMaCarpe (92) (@KoMaCarpe) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

“but shame can only be eliminated with a very personal conviction that your individuality is beautiful”.

Wise words

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I’d say fear in general, I wouldn’t specify a particular category; fear in general is a key tool used against everyone in order to manipulate them, because fear is endorsed and exploited to drive people towards a prescribed goal within society, like cattle.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 7 years, 7 months ago ago

I’d say fear in general, I wouldn’t specify a particular category; fear in general is a key tool used against everyone in order to manipulate them, because fear is endorsed and exploited to drive people towards a prescribed goal within society, like cattle.

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