Shame is a reason to become better?

There is an opinion in society that a person who was shamed for some oversight must necessarily realize his mistakes and want to improve. The psychotherapist Dana Belshchier considers this method of influence destructive and offers a fundamentally different approach.

People who turn to a psychotherapist often find a common problem: a certain part of themselves has been disgusted, so they want to change it, fix it, and better destroy it. They describe it as “my stupid anxiety”, “vile depression” or “damned habit of overeating”.

They mercilessly scold themselves for any shortcomings and unhealthy inclinations, and, as a rule, it turns out that others criticize them for this. Someone comes, once again listening to the parental instructions “you need to overcome yourself”, someone advised someone to “pull yourself together” friends. They sit in a chair in the hope of a miracle: at once to end a shame that prevents them from living and becoming another person. They are ashamed, and this is a very unpleasant sensation.

Analyzing his own experience, the psychotherapist Dana Bellier came to the conclusion that those who try to shame us, even out of good motives, actually provide us with a bear’s service. “I tried to recall whether it happened at least once that shame was becoming an impetus for changes for the better, but nothing came to mind. Instead, cases surfaced in my memory when they were shameful, forcing me to correct or behave differently.

As a child, the father of a neighbor’s girl shouted at me for carelessness, pulled out the stick that we played from his hands, and broke her through his knee. In my youth, my friend ridiculed me for being confused in an unfamiliar company. The University Professor of the Spanish language released caustic remarks about my “linguistic dementia”.

Suppose all this experience was given so that I would get better. Alas, nothing happened. I did not become more attentive, I just stopped playing with a neighbor in whose house it was so uncomfortable. I did not stop worrying about trifles, I just decided not to communicate with that guy anymore. I did not rush to teach Spanish, I just left the course and chose a less eminent teacher who believed in my natural abilities “.

According to her, everyone has a million such examples. In our culture, for some reason, it is considered the norm to force a person who does not know or does not know how to, to feel as worse as possible, as if he would instantly become perfection. In fact, shame does not lead to changes, but to fear.

Any spiritual leader, mentor, coach or sociologist will say: fear is a bad motivator. Work on herself is effective only if it begins with love, acceptance, patience and good motives. Changes dictated by fear are short -lived – if at all possible. Sooner or later, everything returns to its own circles: the shameful part of our personality again makes itself felt. Society needs to rethink the meaning of shame, since it does not teach anything and does not help.

“When customers look through the prism of shame, I suggest that they try to relate to the part of their personality, which they consider disgusting, more condescendingly. If they judge her too strictly, I ask you to turn to her softer so that she can “hear” us and cease to feel for the change (because coercion does not motivate anyone), ”the psychotherapist explains.

This is the only way to understand what this part wants: customers come to this themselves, and then they manage to gradually “re -educate” it. This does not mean that she is allowed to dictate the conditions – this means that she is accepted and appreciated, but not at all ashamed. For our cultural climate, this way to achieve positive changes looks very non -standard. But the process is based on respect for itself, so its results are stable.

When a person realizes that the internal transformation can and should begin with the adoption of his imperfect “I”, his attitude to work on himself changes fundamentally. Shame that comes from ourselves, or caused by those who are not indifferent to us, should be an incentive for gradual improvements,

and not a ruthless kick.


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