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How to Deal With Feelings of Shame

Shame is similar to guilt, but more personal. You might feel guilty for stealing a TV last month, whereas you might feel shame for being a thief. When you feel guilty, you feel bad about a particular event. Shame is more pervasive and personal. You might feel shame for being a poor parent or even being the victim of abuse. 

Think of guilt as “I did something bad” and shame as, “I am bad.” 

People that never feel shame are usually psychopaths. So, that is one less worry you now have.  

Use these ideas to deal directly with any feelings of shame: 

1. Explore why you feel shame. What happened? What does that event or series of events say about you? Is that a reasonable interpretation on your part? Are you being too hard on yourself? Is it possible that you didn’t do anything wrong at all?

  • Be honest with yourself and someone else you trust. The truth might be that you don’t love your spouse anymore, or you prefer when your...
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