In some situations you may not be able to replace your feelings of shame with guilt. In these moments, guilt may not be the appropriate emotion, but what about humiliation and embarrassment?
Humiliation is a feeling that stems from an experience that causes you to lose your prestige, standing, or self-respect. Humiliation says “I didn’t deserve this.”
Embarrassment is a feeling that stems from an experience that causes you to lose your composure, usually due to bad judgement or vulnerability. It is a more fleeting sense of discomfort. Embarrassment says “one day this will be funny.”
Shame says “I am bad”
Guilt says “I have done something bad”
Humiliation says “I didn’t deserve this”
Embarrassment says “one day this will be funny”
Using these four definitions:
Think of a time when you have experienced shame.
Ask yourself: Which definition (guilt, humiliation, embarrassment) do I choose to replace shame with?
How are you different once you reframe the shame you felt?
You can choose to not feel shame. If, instead, you can live these definitions in life you can choose what you feel and choose a better description.
Share your experience with shifting from shame to guilt, humiliation, or embarrassment in the comments below:
“an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.”
Or, to put it even more succinctly:
“Shame says, ‘I am bad’.”
In what situations are you telling yourself “I am bad?”
What people in your life make you think “I am bad?”
Understanding the situations and people in your life that trigger thoughts of shame is an important step in building your shame resilience (we will discuss this more in the Class #4 Brighter Life Bits).
Take some time now to write out a list of the “what’s” and “who’s” that trigger feelings of “I am bad” in your life.
Then, you can share some of your list in the comments section below.
A few weeks ago, I saw a man spit in a woman’s face.
He straightened up and spit, aiming right for her face.
She was stunned.
She froze and she looked like a deer in the head lights.
What was he trying to communicate?
What words would he have chosen if he had chosen to speak words instead?
What could he have been thinking when he CHOSE to spit in her face?
Will she choose to go back to him?
Will she choose to forget her humiliation and her embarrassment?
Will her friends and family make her feel like she should put it behind her?
Will she succumb to the voices that say it may have been her fault?
Will people expect her to explain her behaviors?
What else might he do?
What other insults has she or will she suffer?
When is it enough?!
What have you been exposed to that has made you feel like this woman?
When will enough be enough?
Who can decide?
Love and light
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