Shame is a systemic feeling. It is not in the so-called basic set of emotions, “built into” the psyche. It is a product of social interaction. Shame is taught. To regulate behavior. Shame is an excellent regulator of behavior, in the top of the most reliable. Working with shame is not easy. The process is long, often with varying degrees of success. And the results are definitely worth the effort: a horde of manipulators smokes dung in sadness, unnecessary actions are no longer needed, the freed time and inner space are now yours, belong and serve you.
How Shame Works
Shame is the fear of not being accepted into some conventional group. Or be excluded from this group. For example, I don’t want to share a cookie, they say to me: “Fu, greedy! No one will be friends with a greedy person.” What’s this? “Expulsion” of me from the conditional group ‘non-greedy_people_whom_friends’. I don’t want to be expelled from there. It is important for me to be in a group of non-greedy. And as soon as I hear “greedy”, it becomes scary that I will now fall out of the group of non-greedy people. But I can’t, there are a lot of bonuses in the group (this is how my brain feels), and outside of it – it’s not known what. And it’s scary. And causes tension. And I want to stop it quickly. It all feels like shame.
More examples: It’s embarrassing not to lend money to a friend – it’s scary to “fly out” from the group of ‘good_friends’; It’s embarrassing not to invite your mother on vacation – it’s scary not to get into the ‘good son/daughter’ group; It’s a shame to ask for help – they won’t accept ‘independents’ into the group; It’s a shame not to have a smartphone – they’ll be excluded from the ‘successful’ group, etc.
Where does this fear come from? From a very, very ancient memory. Our psyche stores information about the times when being expelled from the tribe literally meant death. The ancient world was such that it was almost impossible to survive alone, and the strategy to remain in the tribe at any cost was chosen by the brain and preserved as survival. And still keeps. Only now, instead of a real tribe, there are conditional groups.
The brain does not “see” the difference between the imaginary reality and the real one. And he reacts to the danger of not getting into the conditional group as to a real danger. And takes action – includes the “necessary” behavior. And you do what you don’t want, then you get angry at yourself and at others, you get sad, you fall into despondency, and a lot of internal strength goes into recovery.
What to do when you are ashamed?
Learn. To endure: to be ashamed and not crumble from it. Deal with yourself in the face of shame: be ashamed and keep doing it. Don’t curl up, don’t run away, don’t defend yourself – stand in shame and endure shame. And then he backs off. And you are getting stronger. Become less and less vulnerable to shame. This tool gradually ceases to work on you.
How to achieve this? Train at every opportunity. Accept that it won’t work right away. That it will take time before a more or less stable habit of withstanding shame appears. And continue. Step by step to move towards liberation.
Keep the algorithm to help:
- Step one. Name your shame. Ask yourself: “What am I ashamed of?” Reply.
- Step two. Remember that shame is the fear of not being accepted or excluded from a group.
- Find this conditional group. name.
- Step three. Separate reality from imagination. Say to yourself: an automatic reaction has worked. In reality, no one kicks me out of nowhere. This is the work of imagination and genetic memory. I am valuable / not myself / but in itself, without any conditional groups.
- Live and feel – separateness – reality and imagination.
- What to do when you’re ashamed? 5 saving steps
- Step four. Switch to reality. Tell yourself: I consciously choose to be at a point of reality, and not at a point of imagination. From the point of reality, look again at shame as a tool for regulating your behavior. Tell myself that I think shame is a tool. What I think of myself in the face of shame. Make sure I’m speaking from a point of reality and not imagination.
- Step five. Assign to yourself the right to live your own life, and not to serve others. Tell yourself: with the help of shame, I am now invited to serve someone else’s life. I feel shame, endure this feeling and choose to live my life and not serve someone else.