The definition of shame
This shame definition is from Collins dictionary
causing one to feel a painful emotion resulting from an awareness of having done something dishonourable, unworthy, degrading, etc
It’s too shaming!
(often in combination)
the act or practice of attempting to embarrass a person or group by drawing attention to their perceived offence, esp on social media
I am far from perfect most days, but due to the interwebs, shaming has become common place. Everywhere you turn people are telling others how they are less than and it’s out of hand (shame on you).
Fortunately, there are efforts happening like moms encouraging to stop judging other moms. This blog is a perfect example; 15 things we should stop judging moms for in 2018. However, the focus here is on judging, which really is about forming an opinion. I’m not suggesting we can’t have opinions so what’s the deal?
First, how is our discernment or the ability to judge well? While there are some people who inherently perceive the world for what it is, It takes work and effort to improve wisdom and be able to perceive the truth. Morals change as humanity and life evolves so I’m not coming from that perspective. Put the work in to see what’s happening and be curious about our own perceptions to understand where they came from and why we believe what we believe.
Next, acknowledge when we’re comparing and why. Comparing in formal competitions is part of the package. However, informally, why does superiority and inferiority carry so much value. Some of this comparison comes from our evolution, the survival of the fittest. But we have this spectacular thinking brain that can override the limbic/animalistic part of our brain with rational thought. FYI – breathing, yoga, & meditation help us to improve using the thinking brain quickly when something is not a true threat to our lives. So let’s try to recognize that people and ideas are not threats, but unique (vs good or bad) and it will greatly improve our social interactions.
And the really hard part that takes a lot of work, and maybe professional help; Why do we want to use our opinions to make others feel shame for what they believe or what they’ve done. There are over 7.5 billion humans who have their own perception. That is a lot of people to expect to act, see, and perceive the same way. Okay. So somewhat of a grandiose statement, but truthfully we need to be curious about why we perceive the world differently.
You know what they say about assumption.
And as Brené Brown suggests; Be generous about your assumptions. We can be very quick to evaluate and judge as we start to shame others. However, even a short moment to acknowledge what underlying assumptions are being made may soften our responses and allow for genuine respectful discussions without the shaming.
So let’s agree to be curious about our perceptions, not qualify everything on a black and white scale, be present and aware while questioning ourselves before we jump to shame others.
I’ve mentioned Brené Brown in my posts self compassion & reliability. She has her PHD and studies shame and vulnerability. I reccommend that you read her books or watch YouTube vides about the findings of her research. She has two Ted Talks, but here is a quck video where she discusses why shame is never good. I disagree with her approval of guilt and think remorse is a more healing action/thought, but thats another topic.
May you Smile More, Worry Less (and Shame never)