How To Overcome Shame: 5 Tips

Several keys to step up and overcome the sense of ridicule when necessary.

How to overcome embarrassment

Much of who we are as individuals has to do with how others perceive us. This means that, although we may not realize it, a facet of our identity is related to the image we project, the way in which others react to seeing us or interacting with us.

Shame is a relevant psychological phenomenon that has to do with the above. Thanks to their existence, we care about what others will think of us, so that in many situations we will be less likely to become socially isolated. However, in certain contexts shame ceases to be a help and becomes an obstacle, something that takes us away from what we would like to achieve and that leads us to an extreme form of shyness.

In this article we will see some keys to lose shame and dare to take a step towards what we have proposed, despite the fact that this means having a social exposure that initially causes respect.

How to overcome embarrassment

The steps to follow below must be adapted to the particular circumstances in which you live but, furthermore, it is not enough to read and keep these ideas in mind. We must combine the change of beliefs with the change of actions, since if we only stay with the former, probably no change will occur.

1. Get used to exposing your imperfections

It is impossible to maintain a perfect image or to have others constantly idealize us. Everyone makes little mistakes, falls into misinterpretations, and exposes themselves to uncomfortable situations. The tension generated by trying to maintain that illusion can generate a very high sense of ridicule and a great fear of feeling ashamed.

So, you have to learn to own your own imperfections and show them to others without fear. In this way there is the paradox that they are downplayed by acknowledging their existence.

2. Set goals and force yourself

If you stop a lot thinking about whether or not you should do what makes you nervous about the possibility of making a fool of yourself, you will automatically create excuses that allow you to throw in the towel and give up at the slightest opportunity, even if it is not reasonable to change your mind that way. .

So, make commitments to yourself and, if possible, to others. In these cases, setting limits helps to expand the margins of one’s own freedom, since it makes it easier to take the step and do something that was a challenge and that, once done, it will not cost us so much to repeat it.

3. Surround yourself with uninhibited people

The social context matters a lot. For example, anyone who has been through an acting class knows that the first few days, seeing others lose their shame makes oneself much more loose in a matter of minutes, getting to do things that they have never done before. .

This same principle can be applied to small day-to-day habits outside the acting profession. If we get used to being surrounded by people who are not obsessed with the public image they give and express themselves spontaneously, we will tend to imitate these patterns of behavior and thinking, even though our personality continues to exert its influence on us.

4. Work your self-esteem

If we believe that we are worth less than the rest, it is easy for us to end up assuming that there is something wrong with us that must be hidden from others, since in a matter of seconds it can leave us in evidence.

Thus, you have to work on your own beliefs to make them conform to a more just and realistic vision of yourself. Taking into account that those who have low self-esteem tend to blame themselves for things that happen to them by accident or through the influence of others, the focus should be on learning to see their own limitations as a product of the circumstances in which they live (and has lived in the past) and the decisions one makes.

5. Distance yourself

Many times it is beneficial to step back and distance yourself from what you are experiencing in the present; that is, to see it as it would be seen by a third person who is not directly involved in what is happening. This way it is easier to stop thinking about what they will say and lose the shame.

Stopping obsessing over what others are thinking and concentrating on what is objectively happening, as happens when we watch a movie or play a video game, is often helpful. Of course, only on those occasions when shame is close, since in other situations, this has negative effects, by depersonalizing others and making empathy more complicated.

Bibliographic references:

  • Broucek, Francis (1991), Shame and the Self, Guilford Press, New York, p. 5.
  • Fossum, Merle A .; Mason, Marilyn J. (1986), Facing Shame: Families in Recovery, WW Norton, p. 5.

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