One of the first lessons that we learn on the road to being a good person is not to shame and judge other people. Yet, even as children, there are moments when we can’t help but do it. We all have that instinct to compare and contrast what we are doing against the rest of the world and make decisions on what is “right” and “wrong”.
But how does shame serve you in your life? While it might come naturally, it doesn’t have a lot of power to put good out into the world. One of the biggest issues is that when we feel ashamed of ourselves, we are compelled to try to pass that shame onto others. How do we break the cycle of this toxic emotion?
Feeling shame is not just damaging to a person’s mental health. It can also cause issues to a person’s physical health, can lower a person’s ability to empathize with others and can cause them to engage in risky behavior — like substance abuse, dangerous driving or unsafe sex. (Psychology Today)
An alternative to shame is to help someone embrace responsibility for their wrong-doing. The difference is to approach with understanding and support, rather than judgement and negativity. The goal is to get them to take responsibility and want to change, rather than just making them feel bad about what they have done. (Danielle Burnock)
Question: How can we eliminate the desire to shame others?
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