Most people have it. Shame because of your race, because of your skin color, because you are a man, the list is endless.
Shame is a tool that people use and especially the left constantly used it in this election: Racist, bigot, misogynist, white people etc. All this bullshit is a tool to get you to do what they want, which is apologizing for something you have no control over or for something you did that goes against their beliefs.
What can you do about that?
It’s easy to say just don’t listen to what strangers say to you and to some degree that’s basically what it is, but as always it’s easier said than done, if it was that easy less people would be affected by it.
As I say so often, being aware of what shame really is will help you to free yourself of shame.
Realizing that shame is a tool, a technique to make you feel bad and get a certain reaction from you is key, learning about shame and what it is helps you to get rid of it or at least it’s a step of ridding yourself from it.
I’d imagine that positive self-talk can help you tremendously to conquer shame. Accepting that you are a white male for example and being proud of it will certainly have a positive effect.
Self-love, that’s what it boils down to. It sounds very feminine and reeks of New Age crap I’m aware of that but there’s evidence that this technique helped people.
How do you expect to be happy and not affected by shame if you don’t like yourself? So accepting who you are (white, male, female, black whatever) is one step you should take to overcome shame.
Guilt and Shame go hand in hand.
There is no need to feel guilty for things that your ancestors might have done in the past, that’s not you and is certainly none of your business, The past is well… the past, it has no meaning.
You can’t change it and everyone who focuses on the past and tries to blame you for something you didn’t even do is trying to pull a trick on you.
Look forward, move on, focus on the present and the future, that’s all that really matters and another corner stone on the way of getting rid of shame.
Another question you have to ask yourself is:
Why do you care so much about the approval of complete strangers?
If you forgot your phone at home, how many people would even care about that? If you were having a heart attack, do you think any of them would bother calling for help? Sure, a few people would do that eventually but I’ve seen it often enough that most people walk or drive by accidents or pull out their phones to record it instead of taking action. People don’t care about you so why do you care so much about them?
The only people whose opinions should matter are those who are there for you. I have a few friends & they are people I have been loyal to and who have helped me when I needed it. If they disapprove of something I’m doing, then I’ll listen. I may disagree and continue doing it but I’ll listen and consider their take on it when they speak.
Opinions of strangers? Who cares? What they think or feel shouldn’t prevent you from doing what you want to do. Eliminate shame, and you will have eliminated one of the biggest reasons you might fail in your life.
Now, I talked a bunch about how bad shame is but don’t get me wrong I believe that shaming in some situations is incredibly useful. China for example shames their women if they are fat which is a huge plus in my opinion.
In China, the concept of shame is widely accepted due to Confucian teachings. In Analects, Confucius is quoted as saying:
Lead the people with administrative injunctions and put them in their place with penal law, and they will avoid punishments but will be without a sense of shame. Lead them with excellence and put them in their place through roles and ritual practices, and in addition to developing a sense of shame, they will order themselves harmoniously.
Shame can be useful in some cases but overall it’s a technique used by abusive people to divert attention away from their own behavior and issues by putting pressure on another person so they can maintain control.
We are wired to feel shame because it keeps us in line with the rules of our society.
But what if that society is flawed? Our current society is based on shame. Everyone gets shamed for something.
You aren’t for women’s rights or a feminist? You must be a bigot women hating misogynist! You are against illegal immigration OMG you must be a racist, xenophobic asshole. We all heard these terms and most of us probably know that they have no meaning whatsoever but I won’t rule out that some of us are still affected by it.
The reason why shame works so well is because we’re wired to connect and seek acceptance from others, and shame effectively withdraws that acceptance and connection.
Shaming tactics are emotional devices meant to play on a person’s insecurities and to shut down debate. In the example I gave above shame is meant to elicit sympathy for women and to demonize men who ask hard questions. Most, if not all, shaming tactics are basically ad homimem attacks.
I end this post with a saying that I learned from cognitive behavioral therapy:
“Don’t believe everything you think.”
Don’t view your thoughts as something absolute. Instead, see them as something to observe and evaluate. Challenge your negative shame-based thoughts and replace them with something more accurate.
As always thanks for reading and until next time.
P.S. If you liked this post then you’ll like my books as well. You can get them on Amazon.