April 08, 2020


I started reading "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown last night (turns out reading a book before bed is less stressful than reading news. Who knew?). Now I have all sorts of thoughts about shame buzzing around in my brain.

Shame is complicated.

Shame makes it hard to talk about failure. Shame makes it hard to talk about fear. Shame makes it hard to admit our faults to ourselves, let alone admit them to other people, and that makes it hard for us to improve those faults or get over those fears or confront those failures. It makes us feel like we're unworthy.

Humans use shame a lot. Religions teach people to feel shame from a young age. Internet shaming is a real and powerful thing. "So You've Been Publicly Shamed" is a book I read about a year ago that goes over the damage an internet mob can do when they want to shame someone. I don't know if there are good uses of shame, but I don't think using shame to manipulate human behavior is a good thing.

So to me, it's like there are two sides to shame. The shame I feel and the shame I dish out to the world. I want less of it in both cases.

I want to work past shame so I can be a more vulnerable person. I want to show more humanity, especially on social media. But it's hard. Even writing this post I feel protective of myself. I only want to share things I'm proud of, not my fears and failures.

I also want to try and stop using shame. That's hard because I don't really understand how shame pop can up in human interactions or what habits I might have that contribute to making other people feel shame. Maybe Brene Brown can help shed more light on that for me. Guess I'll find out!


  1. Today my coworker shared that he disappointed himself for not accomplishing as much as he had hoped these past couple of weeks. This was a small public expression of the guilt he was feeling for that.

    After expressing this I immediately felt more at ease around him allowing for an opportunity to connect with him.

    As I've become more open with my emotions, other's are allowed to be more open with theirs. It's a positive feedback loop.

    1. That's great! That's exactly what I want to be able to do. I want to be part of that positive feedback loop.

  2. its Interesting to study ashamed vs shaming Its good to feel ashamed as if it leads to growth but its bad to be shamed because it is hard for both parties to grow from the experience!