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On the Road to Understanding Shame

Klara road

Photo By Klara Pospisilova

In my last post, the difference between guilt and shame was discussed (click here to read). But what are the feelings and emotions most commonly associated with shame? Typically they are feelings of unworthiness, berating, criticizing, and other self-defeating emotions, in fact the expression, “Shame On Me!” already implies that you have done something wrong. But are there other sentiments or reactions which stem from the negative things we have learned to believe about ourselves?

To begin, there are varying degrees to which people experience shame. Sometimes those feelings aren’t too terribly negative while in extreme cases, it creates complete devastation and destruction in someone’s life. If this were to be put on a graph, the most overwhelming feelings would be at a -10 while the less extreme would be closer to -1 or 0.

However, is it possible that shame can generate opposite effects; ones which are on the + side of the scale emulating those of arrogance? Does shame manifest in some as a false confidence leading to the belief that we are better than who or what we really are? This will be discussed in the next post but I would love to hear your thoughts in the interim. Thank you.

To find out more about the book “Shame On Me” – Healing a Life of Shame-Based Thinking, please visit

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