What is Shame, and How is It Impacting Your Life?

“We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous.” ~Brené Brown

What is Shame?

“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.” ~Brené Brown

“Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.” ~Brené Brown

Shame drives parents and teens apart and creates a belief that you’re not good enough.

  1. Emotion
    • It’s a feeling caused by a thought (conscious or unconscious) 
    • It goes hand in hand with our personal narrative, inner dialogue, the stories we tell ourselves.
    • When we feel shame, we believe there is something wrong with us. 
    • We start to look at ourselves negatively. 
  2. Action 
    • We look at others negatively.
    • We try to manipulate their emotions negatively. 
    • We assume that there’s a better way.
      • And that they should be doing better.  
      • “You should have…”
      • “You should …”
      • “You need …”
      • “You’re not  ____ enough.”
      • “You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”
  3. Culture
    1. How we look at things that are different from ourselves, our expectations, or our desired outcomes.
      1. We see shame in:
        • Politics
        • Religion
        • Race
        • Sports
        • Education
    2. It’s our mindsets and belief
      • Right vs. Wrong
      • Good vs. Evil
      • Normal vs. Abnormal
      • Superior vs. Inferior
    3. It’s a way to push agendas, social conformity, and it often lifts one group above another.

What Can We Do About Shame?

  1. Our own emotion vs. someone else’s emotion
    • Allow the shame.
    • Explore the shame.
      • Often we want to push it away.
        • Ignoring it or pushing it to others with blaming.
      • We hide, get mad, or buffer.
        • The only way to process the emotion is to allow it. 
      • Become aware of our own shame.
        • Understand why we are feeling shame. What are the thoughts causing it?
        • Question the thoughts. Why do I think that?
      • Become intentional about your own shame.
        • Think on purpose.
        • Practice allowing, awareness, and intentionality. 
  2. The action of shaming
    • “You cannot shame or belittle people into changing their behaviors.” ~Brené Brown 
    • When you do it.
      • Become aware of it. 
        • When do you do it? 
        • What are you feeling?
        • What are you thinking?
      • Act intentionally.
    • When others do it.
      • Realize that you CANNOT change them. 
      • Choose whether or not to believe their thoughts. 
      • No one can make you feel shame.
      • People can “shame” you, but you don’t have to feel shame. 
      • Don’t shame back. 
  3. Culture of shame. 
    • Embrace everyone as equality valuable
    • Think in terms of right AND wrong, instead of right OR wrong. 
    • Strive to understand
    • Trust that everyone is doing their best!
    • Trust that you are doing your best. 

You CANNOT Change Others, BUT You CAN Be The Change You Are Looking For!

You can’t change others, but YOU CAN change yourself.

We are all guilty of shaming people. It’s okay, let’s just commit to moving forward and becoming more intentional.

Trust that YOU ARE doing your best. And, give EVERYONE else the same benefit.

Join the 5 Day Be The Change Challenge

If you haven’t yet, join our FREE Be the Change Challenge. Each day we will be doing simple 5-10 minute daily exercises to help give you a powerful perspective on your role as a parent and your ability to be the catalyst for incredible change in your life and your relationship with your teen.

  • Join the FREE Facebook Group
    • Join other parents just like you and get the support that you’ve been looking for.
  • Download the easy to follow Workbook and Exercise Guide.
    • These exercises are designed to take you just 5-10 minutes a day!
  • Start making real growth as a parent TODAY!

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