Necessary Conversations

Six Degrees of Shame

Shame is a very unpleasant feeling and probably the most unpleasant of them all. Shame is a feeling experience where we berate ourselves and question the goodness of our essence. Arrogance or hostility can be someone’s cover for shame. Interesting, huh?

The feeling of shame spreads across a spectrum: embarrassment, vulnerability, resentment, reactive, threatened, and guilty. I call it Six Degrees of Shame. Educating yourself about this insidious feeling will help you take a leadership position over it when you are struggling.

Embarrassment can quickly morph into disgrace if we don’t step up and shed the shame. Shame is the type of feeling that takes the statement: “I made a mistake.” into “I am a mistake.” If you have screwed up, welcome to being human. Humans can do stupid things, but that doesn’t mean they are bad people.

When you make a mistake, step up and claim the mistake as yours. That will help you shed the shame and rectify the problem with clear thinking and an outcome that helps you to maintain your self-respect.

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