We all have things we feel shame about. It can be our financial situation, our relationships, our weight or body shape, or something we did years ago or yesterday. Recently I read books by Brene Brown, a shame researcher who tries to understand how we can live life easier.
When we experience shame, we are experiencing a belief that we are inadequate in some way. It’s a self-belief that we are so flawed that we don't deserve to be loved or to belong. It is an emotion experienced by all human beings from time to time and one that erodes the quality of our lives.
Brene Brown says shame cannot survive exposure. When we identify it, recognise it, understand why we’re feeling shame, and then talk it out with others, we develop shame resilience. Sometimes something we feel shame about can feel worse in our head. We need other people that we trust to help us see that we deserve love and deserve to belong.
According to Brene Brown, there are four steps to developing shame resilience.
1. Recognize shame when we feel it.
2. Recognize our social and cultural expectations and how we react to shame.
3. Connections - make meaningful empathetic and compassionate connections with others.
4. Share it - speak about that which is most shameful to us - Shame cannot survive exposure.
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Published in the Connaught Telegraph on 7 Feb 2017
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