Shame is a self-conscious emotion that constantly keeps us trapped in an internal state of inadequacy, unworthiness, regret, and disconnection from our ability to be positive. It is a clear signal that our motivation and positivity has been interrupted. Often, we feel shame because subconsciously we believe we have failed to meet our own ideals and standards, leading us to think we are flawed in some way and deserve to be excluded, so we hide away to save face. Shame can often be confused with guilt, an emotion we are more likely to admit over shame. A painful feeling of humiliation caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour.
We all make mistakes regardless of how much we believe we do not, especially when it comes to relationships with other people, not just romantic ones but family and friendships. Shame can be felt when we anticipate someone seeing us as inadequate in our intellect, the way we look or our ability to function in certain situations. A perfect example of this could be someone who is severely obese having difficulty leaving the house because they have gained more weight and fearing they will be judged by others.
Feelings of shame are toxic and will cripple your self-esteem, keeping you trapped in a vicious cycle of constant turmoil and pain, especially if projected from another person on to you. Many abusive relationships are based around one person shaming the other who will often conceal the emotion, creating severe anxiety when anticipating being shamed once again. Shamed people will experience intense anger which becomes all-consuming and contagious, occupying their entire thought process and if passed on to someone else, that person will experience the toxic repercussions.
Whatever triggers these feelings of shame, it is an extremely negative toxic emotions and will destroy an esteemed sense of self which ultimately becomes devastating and impossible to escape. Shame is a form of self-attack and can leave a person battling other toxic emotions like envy, sadness, loneliness, and depression. Taking a step back and consciously thinking about why you are allowing shame to destroy all that is good and positive within you takes being mindful with an honest perspective, just like with all other toxic emotions.
Once again as I always say, how we respond to shame is shaped by our memories of what we have experienced in the past, which gets activated in the present, influencing our ability to either face it out or hide it away from it. If we have gained weight because we have been over-indulging, we must always be conscious of our inclination to hide away when the emotion is triggered because hiding away often accompanies further triggers for shame such as addictions, basically self-harm. Any compulsive behaviour or harsh criticism can be erased by compassionate self-observation but instead of allowing feelings of shame to be in control, take it as an opportunity to learn, improve and then ultimately change.
Always remember, when you are feeling guilty, you are making a judgment that something you have done is wrong but when you feel shame, you are feeling your whole self is wrong. Shame and guilt are two self-conscious emotions that everyone will feel many times throughout their lives but remember, shame is characterized by the desire to hide and escape and guilt is the desire to repair.