The Antidote for Shame

Shame is the cause of pain for so many. Shame often keeps us stuck in patterns or cycles that seem never-ending. Another problem with shame is that it can seem hopeless and that there is no way out. What keeps us stuck in shame?

In this short video clip, renowned shame-researcher and author, Brené Brown says there are three things that shame needs to survive:

  1. Secrecy
  2. Silence
  3. Judgment 

Brene says, “Shame cannot survive being spoken” and the antidote is empathy. She goes on to say that, “it [shame] cannot survive being spoken and being met with empathy.”

If secrets intensify shame, then why aren’t we sharing this feeling? Sometimes, it is because we want to seem like we have everything together. We are scared to show weakness.

For some, when shame is triggered, it can be so intense or difficult to see what is really going on. Often, we shut down, or push these feelings away. Sometimes we even criticize ourselves as the cause of the shame in the first place. 

Brene offers 3 ways to reality-check triggers for shame:

  1. Talk to yourself like you talk to someone you love 
  2. Reach out to someone you trust 
  3. Tell your story 

The sad part is that some people don’t have anyone they can trust to talk with, or that can give empathy. If you’re experiencing shame, you don’t have to keep suffering. Please reach out to a therapist who is trained in helping you work through shame. We enjoy helping people find the right therapist to create a safe place to tell your story. 

Dustin Ellis