The reaction is almost as strong as if you've just opened one of those containers which have been left in the fridge for too long. The body recoils, the nose wrinkles up and the eyes don't want to look inside. We don't like the word shame let along feel it.
Here's what Brene sais about shame:
1. We all have it. Shame is universal and one of the most primitive human emotions that we experience. The only people who don't experience shame lack the capacity for empathy and human connection. Here's your choice: Fess up to experiencing shame or admit that you're a sociopath.
2. We're all afraid to talk about shame.
3. The less we talk about shame, the more control it has over our lives.
There are a couple of very helpful ways to think about shame. First, shame is the fear of disconnection. We are psychologically, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually hardwired for connection, love, and belonging.
If shame is the fear of disconnection it can happen to us at any time. When our product or service fails, when our look, weight or age gets criticized, when our parenting skills get scrutinized. Basically any time someone or something we cherish, hold dear or value gets ridiculed, judged or rejected.
So the question is not 'DO you experience shame?' but 'what do you do WHEN you experience shame?'.
Do you shut up, pull back, let go? Do you attack and/or blame someone or something else?
Neither approach is really helpful. The first one will ensure that your creativity, innovation & courage dies. The second one will just mask the underlying issue and not get rid of it either.
The way forward is to learn the basic skills of 'shame resilience'. More on this in the next post.
To your happiness,