Emotion of Shame



Shame is defined as a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute. According to John Bradshaw on Healing the Shame that Binds You , toxic shame is induced in children, by all forms of child abuse. Incest and other forms of child sexual abuse can cause particularly severe toxic shame.

Also verbal abuse cause shame , for example: Shame on you!

How Shame affect your life

Shame leads to depression, alienation, isolation, inferiority and other emotions. Shame is a trap for seeking approval, in order to make everyone happy you can give more than you can. It can also make you avoid any negative consequence to others , and in doing that you keep ignoring your needs.

Shame keeps you in mobilized because of your fear of being wrong and the avoidance of your feelings.

Guilt is different than shame , because when you feel guilt you feel that you betrayed yourself. Shame on the other hand, as Bradshaw defines , you believe that you are a mistake. When you feel guild you know that you can do something about it , but when you feel shame you feel that there is nothing you can do about it.

Steps for overcoming Shame

  1. Think of the reasons of your shame. Are you feeling shame because you are trying to please another person?
  2. Start building your self-worth and sense of self. Practice affirmations and create positive thoughts.
  3. Focus on your strengths, talents and gifts. Practice self-acceptance.
  4. Be assertive.
  5. Engage in an alternative therapy : Emotional Freedom Techniques, is a great way to release your emotions.


When we feel shame we judge ourselves by impossible standards. We then internalize : we are not good enough. People with shame tend to put other's needs above their own that is because they feel inferior and worthless.