Shame is one of our most painful, powerful, and complex emotions. Unlike guilt, which is usually focused on a particular behavior or action, shame is an intense judgment of self. It instills feelings of being flawed and unworthy, and it is usually introduced to us through external criticism or ridicule for having done, expressed, or believed something considered socially inappropriate, unacceptable, or harmful. Shame motivates us to withdraw, hide, and disconnect from others, to mask crucial parts of ourselves, or to lash out aggressively in self-defense. We all carry the weight of shame, but it is possible to free ourselves from its immense burden and live fully into our whole being.


Brené Brown: 3 Things You Can Do to Stop a Shame Spiral | Oprah’s Lifeclass | Oprah Winfrey Network

If you're caught in a shame spiral, Brené Brown says there are three things you can start doing today to break the cycle

Healing the Shame that Binds You

Shame is the motivator behind our toxic behaviors: the compulsion, co-dependency, addiction and drive to superachieve that breaks down the family and destroys personal lives.

Letting Go of Shame

Truth is, we all participate in the collective consciousness, which includes our massive unconscious shadow, of which shame is a part. The more we observe, notice and take action on evolving and elevating our contribution individually and collectively, the more energy we place on evolution.

Our society doesn’t promote self-acceptance and it never will. First of all, self-acceptance doesn’t sell products. Capitalism would fall if we liked ourselves the way we are now. Also, people who feel shamed and inadequate themselves tend to pass it on.


The 3 Reasons People Feel Guilty | Oprah's Life Class | Oprah Winfrey Network

Spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant says many people confuse guilt (a feeling that you've done something wrong) with shame (a sense that there's something wrong with who you are). Find out why Iyanla says both sentiments are wasted emotions.

Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy and Build True Self Esteem

Human beings everywhere, in every culture and on every continent in the world over, experience shame in exactly the same way: gaze aversion, brief mental confusion, and a longing to disappear, usually accompanied by blushing of the face, neck, or chest.

How to Listen to Pain

Why do we feel shame and how does shame change us?

Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing.


Brené Brown: Focus on Guilt Instead of Shame

The bestselling author explains the difference between the two and why the distinction is crucial.

Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You

In Conquering Shame and Codependency, Darlene Lancer sheds new light on shame: how codependents’ feelings and beliefs about shame affect their identity, their behavior, and how shame can corrode relationships, destroying trust and love.