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Shame vs Guilt

Let’s look again at guilt vs shame.


According to Brene Brown, “guilt” is behaviorable and actionable, “fixable.”

**I did a bad thing

“Shame,” on the other hand, is character-ological (is that a word? ), it’s who I am

**I am a bad person


It is much more challenging to get out of shame.


Shame creates hopelessness and helplessness.

Shame is NOT a motivator for change.


Research shows that shame is actually correlated to substance use, obesity, and other negative behaviors – it does not motivate us to change for the better. Again, that hopelessness does not leave options.


Dr Linda Hartling describes 3 behaviors we do when we feel shame: Move Away – hiding in secrecy (this is mine, btw) Move Forward – seek to appease and please others Move Against – act out towards whomever


*Moving Away is staying in shame – feeling Less Than

*Moving Forward is moving towards others in hopes that the other person will bring you into your healthy center and tell you that you are okay

*Moving Against is going Up into Grandiosity, lashing out and/or getting defensive


(if you’ve been watching my videos on FB, do you see the Contempt Cycle at play here?)


Healthy is when you can say “I did a bad thing and I can still hold myself in warm regard, in spite of that thing I did.”


When you’re feeling Less Than, you can’t make healthy decisions. When you’re feeling Better Than, you can’t make healthy decisions either.


Healthy decisions only come from our Healthy Center! Makes sense, right?


If you are feeling Less Than, breathe yourself UP into Equality – I am enough and I matter.

If you are feeling Better Than, breathe yourself DOWN into Equality – this other person matters too.


In which direction do you move? Away? Toward? Against?

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