Tuesday, August 09, 2005
For Shame...
So, I've had a brilliant realization. No, really! I realized that the living out loud project (LOLP) is actually the no shame activity (NSA). I realized last night that the core reason that I don't do a lot of stuff that I want to is because of shame. I'm even ashamed to say that!!! Sometimes I'm even ashamed of my knitting. Isn't that ridiculous!? No more!

According to Mark Miller, Ph.D. in his article on shame and psychotherapy,

"Shame is often experienced as the inner, critical voice that judges whatever we do as wrong, inferior, or worthless. Often this inner critical voice is repeating what was said to us by our parents, relatives, teachers and peers. We may have been told that we were naughty, selfish, ugly, stupid, etc. We may have been ostracized by peers at school, humiliated by teachers, treated with contempt by our parents. Paradoxically, shame may be caused by others expecting too much of us, evoking criticism when our performance is less than perfect. Unfortunately, these criticisms become internalized, so that it is our own inner critical voice that is meting out the shaming messages, such as: "You idiot, why did you do that?," "Can't you do anything right?,"or " You should be ashamed of yourself," etc.

One source of shame is associated with the expression of certain emotions. In many families, as well as in many cultures, expression of such feelings as anger, fear, sadness or vulnerability, may be met with shaming reproaches, such as "Pull yourself together," "Don't be a baby," "Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about," or "You don't have anything to be afraid of."

Pride is also a feeling that is often met with shameful condemnations, such as "Who do you think you are, Mr. Bigshot?," or "You're getting too big for your britches." Often these shaming admonitions are internalized, so that when we get in touch with any of these "shameful feelings" we will automatically feel shame, and try to control or hide the feelings, or, at the very least, to apologize profusely for them.

Clearly these shaming inner voices can do considerable damage to our self esteem. These self criticisms, that we are stupid, selfish, a show-off, etc., become, in varying degrees, how we see ourselves. For some of us, the inner critical judge is continuously providing a negative evaluation of what we are doing, moment-by-moment."

Wow! I haven't been in a shame spiral, I've been in a damn shame typhoon!!! A shame tornado! A shame vortex!!!

As of today, I'm on the look out for signs of pending shame or shame in progress. Fuck this shame crap! You should try it too. It might be really fun!



Stumble It!


Blogger K8 said...

That's a really great realization. Feels like it's in the same vein as people being motivated by guilt (calling your mom, helping someone, all because you feel guilty or obligated) But I like the idea of pulling out of a shame spiral :)

Blogger dawn said...

Hey, I just found your blog via Aunt Pearl's blog, which I found via another blog and, well, it goes on and on.

I just wanted to drop you a line and say I feel your book proposal pain. I'm in the process of writing one as well. I swear it has taken me 10 times as long to write the proposal as it took to write the friggin' book. I'm sooooo over it. But I push on - cause I figure I've already invested so much damn time in it.

Hope you get published...I'll visit your site for updates.

Blogger Allison said...

This is really interesting. I was never really able to identify that feeling but I think it's shame. It eats at you, doesn't it?

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