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Old 03-17-2012, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,386,275 times
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How would you define "healthy shame" versus "unhealthy shame?"... My parents wanted to teach me "right" from "wrong" when I was growing-up. And all about "boundaries" and showing consideration for others. (So I wouldn't grow-up and become a crook or criminal or spoiled brat.)...They helped me develop a conscience in other words and accountability for my actions...Sometimes it was appropriate for me to feel guilty if I deliberately hurt someone. This is all part of how I define "healthy shame."..."Unhealthy shame" is different. It's when we get "dumped-on" and criticized unfairly. Anyway enough! Please share your thoughts about it too. Thanks!
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:20 AM
 
Location: earth?
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Shame and guilt are two different things. There is a lot of literature out there on the subject if you care to read up on it. John Bradshaw wrote a lot about these issues.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
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imcurious..Thanks for your post. I've read many of John Bradshaw's books through the years. And I've read about "shame" from other psychologists and authors too...Sociopaths and people who commit crimes don't "feel guilty" or "ashamed" of their behavior. They don't feel remorse...I'm a "fallen-away Catholic." Haven't been to church for decades. Don't agree with all the teachings of the church. But I do credit the church for teaching me to "weigh the consequences" of my actions (ahead of time.) And "evaluating" my behavior...I give myself routine "performance reviews" to see if I'm "pleased" with myself and how I've been "acting" lately or not! And "if not" I ask myself how I might "improve."...I'm sure that having to go to Confession as a kid started me on my "self-examination path." I paid attention to "what I did" or "didn't do" and "rated myself" all week long in preparation for Confession each Saturday...After awhile it wasn't just about the church anymore and their teaching. I formed my own "code of conduct" and "set of rules" for myself. (Based on "who I want to be.")...I want to "feel guilty" and "feel ashamed" if I "step on someone's toes" and "hurt someone" through my thoughtlessness or insensitivity...I hold myself "accountable" for my actions and behavior toward others and I'm glad! I want to "own-up" to my mistakes in life and hopefully learn from them. And apologize to other people when need be...So I guess I'm a fan of "healthy shame" and use it with myself at times to "stay on track." Make sense? How do you feel about it? Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
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Things seem "crazy" to me today! People "mouth off" left and right without regard for other peoples' feelings..."I tell it like it is! Don't ask me to be politically correct! Nobody's going to shut me up! If you don't like the heat get out of the kitchen!"...YUK! Talk about being angry and self-centered! And bitter!...People who "mouth-off" like this are on the "rampage!" (Like "out of control" little kids who won't listen to "reason."...As in: "I want what I want and nobody's going to stand in my way and tell me what I can or can't do or say!"...When I run into people like this it's hard to view them as full-grown adults. They seem like arrogant and bratty little kids to me who were never taught manners or respect for others...Obviously their parents didn't tell them "no" very often when they were growing-up. Something went "haywire!" They don't seem to feel guilty or ashamed of their mean and obnoxious behavior. (Like they should!) How do you feel about it? Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:19 PM
 
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I suppose I would experience a "healthy shame" when I tell someone I can't make it because I have plans....and I don't!...as for "unhealthy shame"...I wouldn't take that on...no-one can make me feel ashamed when I know I've done nothing to be ashamed of......you're right about a lot of people these days mouthing off and being rude in public...children and adults...it doesn't bother me though...if anything I would feel sad for the adults (if they only knew how foolish it makes them look)...and concerned for the children (how will they fare in a work force?)that they might confuse compassion with entitlement.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:23 PM
 
Location: southern california
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being dumped on is something somebody else did bad. shame is about something u did wrong and want to correct. unhealthy shame is when u didnt do anything wrong but feel responsible & wana fix things.
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
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Being conscientious is good, having shame is bad. I dont like the word shame because it infers someone else is putting blame on you. Shame and "guilt" in therapy is often something a person should explore, because many times you are being too "self-critical".
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
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Thanks for your posts and insights...There's a whole lot of "shame and blame" going in our country today. (In the political arena anyway!) Each "side" tries to blame the other "side" for all the problems!...I've been trying to examine all the facets of shame since I was really young. It's always been fascinating and interesting to me...I know my Mom grew-up with some shame because her parents wanted their first-born child to be a boy not a girl. So my Mom rejected a lot of her femininity to be "accepted." Same goes for me...All my life my Mom used to jokingly tell people that I was supposed to be a boy (too) and not a girl. She did a whole vaudeville-like routine about it and said: "I told the doctor to send her back! And bring me the son I asked for!" (She could be really funny! She was good at doing comedy-skits.)...I came to terms with all of it at some point. I knew my Mom loved me just like her Mom (my Grandma) loved her!...This was just "old-school stuff" where families placed more worth and value on sons versus daughters back in the "old days"...Shame goes on everywhere and it's always tied to blame. Don't you think? Shame prompts us to blame ourselves or someone else. (As dreamofmonterey brought up.)..Anyway I enjoy talking about shame and trying to learn more about all aspects of shame and blame. (And how it affects us and "plays-out" around us.) How about you?
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
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Neither shame nor guilt are in any way healthy imo.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,505 posts, read 23,783,817 times
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So you were more of a tomboy? I was always a girly-girl , but academic and had to compete with a straight A , brilliant sibling.
Its sad that women used to have to pretend to be more masculine to "get ahead".

Guilt and blame is not a helpful thing in marriage or relationships. (Politics is different however. They are fair game when a public figure in power, and should act responsibly.

I do miss my Mom's generation of common courtesy and values, seems that is a lost art today.
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