Shame is an unpleasant emotion that can be felt in many situations in both personal and professional life. When we are ashamed, we underestimate ourselves and we feel unable to overcome the situation. How to avoid this feeling?
What Is Shame?
Shame destabilizes us, it is felt when we think we are not up to the task, when our behavior, our actions or our identity does not correspond to who we are, or to what we would like to be. We do not accept and take responsibility for the situation. We can even feel disgust towards ourselves. Self-esteem drops, we are characterized by pejorative terms (imbecile, incompetent, ignorant…) and other memories of moments of shame can return.
When we feel shame, it is always in relation to an individual or several people: we can therefore say that it is the fear of the judgment of the other that triggers it. We wonder what others will think of us, how they will value us.
Symptoms Of Shame
The symptoms are similar to those of anxiety. Shame manifests itself in different ways :
- Emotionally: embarrassment, discomfort, fear, aggressiveness …
- Body: head low or high, eyes lowered, gaze elsewhere, blushing, folded position, sweating, increased heart rate …
- Cognitively: devaluing or aggressive internal discourse, absence of decision-making or risk, absence of creativity …
- In terms of behavior: inhibition, paralysis, exhibitionism …
Differentiate Shame And Guilt
Shame should not be confused with guilt . They are two similar feelings, in that they lead to negative self-esteem.
Shame requires the presence of others to exist. It makes us feel a negative emotion in relation to ourselves (the image that we have of us, and that that others have of us). This is an internal problem.
We feel guilty for having acted in a certain way (or for having done nothing) and that the consequences are not what we expected. We blame ourselves, we feel a negative emotion in relation to the action (or not action) performed: it is a fact external to ourselves.