Shame, Dig Deep

Have you ever wondered what motivates others? For example if someone lashes out at work or over reacts to a situation? Do you take it personally right then? Judge them? Or do you think maybe they have something going on that is bigger than that moment in time?

Talking about guilt this month I see how shame plays a huge part with guilt.  They go hand in hand usually and shame is by far a more unhealthy emotion.  It starts with guilt and grows into a more destructive force inside the person.  Thus it grows and starts to show on the outside environment. Here are some examples I have seen and at the time didn’t realize I had shame or who I was with was going through it.

1.  The over reacting usually in this instance of attacking or striking out at other people. In a last-ditch effort to feel better about their shame, people will oftentimes strike out at others in the hopes that they will be lifted up by bringing others down. A good example of this is when you are younger and you put others down at school by appearance or where they live.  While this behavior may produce short-term relief from shame, in the long-term shame is only strengthened — in both parties — and nothing is done to get at the root of the problem.  Teens are famous for this type but I see it in adults with “keeping up with your neighbors”.

2.  Shame masks your feelings and sometimes seeking power and perfection gives you a feeling of short-term relief. Others attempt to overcome their shame by preventing the possibility of future shame. One way in which they do this is by aiming for perfection — a process that inevitably fails and causes more problems. No one is perfect we all make mistakes and we shouldn’t put that un-needed stress upon ourselves or other people.  Those that push others to be perfect should look inside themselves to see what they lack to push others to be perfect.  Another manner in which people cope is by seeking power, which makes them feel more valuable.  Power is an illusion, you only have your own personal power, not power over others.  When you try to exert your power onto others, know at some point it is going to backfire on you big time.  Rebellion with your kids is perfect example.

3.  Not taking responsibility causes us to divert blame. By blaming our faults or problems on others, we can avoid guilt and shame. Guess what your pattern will resurface and you will more than likely have the problem show up in your life again and again until you deal with the issue at its core.  When you begin to blame others remember it fails to get at the core problems and as a result, fails to achieve its purpose.   When someone blames you for their problems keep in mind this is what they are doing, but also take a moment to reflect if you have done the same recently.  God usually reminds us of what we do by looking at others actions around us.

4.  I have been “guilty” of doing this over and over, being overly nice or self-sacrificing. People sometimes compensate for feelings of shame or unworthiness by attempting to be exceptionally nice to others. By pleasing everyone else, we hope to prove our worth. However, this inevitably involves covering up our true feelings, which is, once again, self-defeating.  THis is sooooooo true!!  I myself do this and see many others do it too.  Sometimes those old saying such as “easier to catch flies with honey” meaning being sweet gets you further in life.  Well that only works in some situations, you have to begin to learn when to be sweet and when not to be.  Do you often say yes when you want to say no?  Think about this example and reflect what is going on inside you that you want others to like you? In reality you can not make them like you, trying to please doesn’t guarantee them liking you.  Often they begin to take advantage of you and then you begin a new pattern and feeling bad.

5.  Ah the big one!! I see so many people withdrawal from the real world. By withdrawing from the real world, we can essentially numb ourselves to the feelings of guilt and shame so that we are no longer upset by these sorts of things. Again, nothing has been done to address the core issues of the problem.  Examples of withdrawal are watching TV way to much, consumed with it, prefers TV time over spending time with you.  On computer way to much just surfing sites.  Withdrawal has a mix of emotions that pair with depression too.

 

These are just reminders to look inside yourself to help you think of new ways to live.  To open up communication with others to get their views and opinions.

Enjoy today ~

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