Such contempt does nothing good to children and prevents them from becoming successful people in the future. Constantly hearing these phrases, the children start thinking their emotions and inner feeling are not interesting even to their closest surrounding and have no other choice than to hide emotions deeply inside. Moreover, such attitude usually causes shame, sometimes a very profound sense of it.
Shame has long been ignored by psychologists for a long time. But the first scientific researches that appeared in this area revealed a destructive impact of shame on the person’s self-esteem and intimacy.
American scientist Thomas Scheff from the University of California defines shame as the “master emotion, regulating the expression of other feelings.” He is convinced that shame considerably limits the person’s ability to express all emotions except anger. Human shame is so unique because it is unbelievably difficult for an individual to admit it.
The term “master emotion” refers to the fact that shame restricts the person’s ability to experience and express all other feeling.
It’s like a fence that prevents us from living a full life. In a situation when one feels scary, his emotional shame orders him not to show it because other people may think he is weak or cannot cope with the situation. Similarly, when one feels sad, his shame tells him to conceal this feeling and not seem emotionally unstable.
Shame affects our body not only on the emotional level but on the physiological one as well. Jean-Paul Sartre, a French philosopher and writer, described it as “an immediate shudder which runs through me from head to foot without any discursive preparation.” Shame ending in depression and reducing self-esteem is a common phenomenon among people.
Men Shame Suppresses Intimacy
It is the shame that makes us isolate ourselves from unpleasant emotions. Being afraid of criticism, we start building a false self, the one which will be attractive for other people. We try to create a wealthy, clever and cheerful self and playing this role we often forget who we really are. Over time, we move away from our true nature and may lost it completely being absorbed by the artificial self we once constructed to conquer other people’s recognition and affection.
When it comes to love, it should be noted that true intimate relationships may survive only in the atmosphere of authenticity. Loving each other, two people reveal their true emotions and aspirations. The sweethearts have to acknowledge and accept their strengths and weaknesses, otherwise the love will quickly die and both of them may suddenly discover they have nothing in common.
Healing shame is not an easy task at all. If you understand that shame occupies too much place in your life, it’s high time to act. Start from the attempts to identify the way you feel shame inside. Physiological symptoms shame is manifested by may be different, so try to determine what is specific for you. Perhaps, you experience a tight breath, a tension in your chest, a pain in your stomach or anything like that. Frequently your body may remain numb while an inner voice of your soul demands you to retreat and not look foolish.
Once you know how to recognize your shame’s face, try not to be ashamed of it. Regard the shame as an integral art of the human nature. After all, shame is positive in a certain sense. For example, this emotion may warn us in case we intervene into someone’s private territory or violate our own principles or do something that is considered immoral.
Distancing from the shame may be the next step in your treatment program. When we are aware of something and expect it coming, we are no longer afraid of it or at least we can control our fear. You shouldn’t identify yourself with the shame. It’s only one of your emotions, don’t exaggerate its importance and you’ll be able reduce shame in such a way.