Most people have experienced shame, a difficult and complicated emotional experience, at some point in their lives. The experience of shame frequently includes unpleasant feelings as well as negative, self-conscious ideas and attitudes, in addition to the mental pain it entails. Shame usually surfaces when you take a critical look inward and judge yourself severely, frequently for things you have little control over.

Your negative self-perception is frequently the result of messages you have heard from others, particularly when you were younger. The seed of shame was planted when your parents or teachers criticised you, not any bad decisions you may have made in terms of behaviour.

Shame focuses on your basic identity as a person, and when it starts to negatively affect your sense of self, it becomes especially toxic. Toxic shame invites resentment, self-disgust, and other unfavourable emotions. You could feel unimportant and small as a result. It can creep into your thoughts like poison, trapping you in a torturous cycle of unfavourable self-talk.

People who experience severe and continuing shame about themselves are naturally isolated and carry intense emotions of being unlovable and worthless. This in turn has a connection to depression, and drinking alcohol and using drugs is frequently used as self-medication at first, in which the use of alcohol and drugs also increases feelings of shame. They also undermine one's self-worth and feed the vicious loop of believing one is incapable of coping or inferior.

Shame also impedes the development of closeness in a loving relationship or partnership. Although it is a very challenging emotion to deal with, if it is not completely acknowledged, it can cause tension, conflict, and isolation. Shame prevents people from being really present with their loved ones and with themselves.


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