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Shame - where does it come from? Some people feel more ashamed of themselves because they are hypersensitive to how others perceive them. Shame can be in appearance, in contact with other people: some people do not speak at a meeting at work, and turn red when they meet a new person. The fear that they will fall out badly paralyzes their lives. Read about where shame comes from, and learn how to deal with shame.


  1. Shame: where does it come from?
  2. Shame: when does it appear?
  3. Shame: how to master it?

Shamehas many faces. It does not have to be the domain of children, and it happens that public people have a real problem with it.

However, not everyone experiences shame. During a family celebration, a small child can take out the potty without interrupting the conversation with the guest and empty himself out in public without any embarrassment. If such behavior was perpetrated by an adult, we would consider that person lacking reason, self-respect, honor, dignity or morality.

On the other hand, too much shame can be unhe althy - just like the complete lack of it.

Shame: where does it come from?

Experiencing shame is related to being watched. However, the auditorium does not have to be physically present - we just have to imagine it. That's why we hang curtains on the windows - to separate from the imagined audience and feel more at ease.

The fact that we are dealing here with an image is evidenced by the example of a woman who stays in bed until noon, and then, walking around the house in a bathrobe, draws the curtains "so that the neighbors do not see her lazing around". However, if she is sick, she does not feel compelled to draw the curtains, because "the sick person can stay in bed as long as he wants …".

The auditorium triggers shame because it triggers in us a specific state called objective self-awareness by psychologists - under the influence of the audience, we begin to judge ourselves and wonder: "Am I what I should? Do I behave as I should?" .

The trouble is, we never know what other people really think! After all, we cannot get into someone's head and see what is going on in it. That is why we can guess how others judge us using our own idea of ​​correct behavior.

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Shame: when does it appear?

It has been found that the more our private perception of "how to behave" deviates from "what I am" (real me), the more often and more intensely we experience shame. The discrepancy between these two beliefs is a personality trait, it doesn't depend on circumstances, you just have it.

Therefore, when this discrepancy is large, the shame is strong and frequent. And if it is small, a person is not ashamed of even a full room. Fortunately, we are not aware of this discrepancy on a daily basis. Only when we feel watched do we begin to feel ashamed. This awareness of oneself appears not only in front of the audience, but also when we look at our photo, when we look in the mirror …

We feel ashamed standing in front of the camera, hearing our own recorded voice, or in front of the camera. In all these situations we become the object of observation.

Shame: how to master it?

It is because of shame that we don't do stupid, immature or mean things. Sometimes, however, there is too much shame.

Methods of fighting excessive shame:

  • It is worth starting the fight against shame by ceasing to deny that someone is ashamed of something. Considering the situations in which and how shame manifests itself is the first step to helping yourself.
  • Shy people appear more easily in front of people who they think are not judging them (e.g. in front of children). So let's give it a try.
  • It also helps to confront shame, but done in small steps. There is a lot of truth in the saying "Training Makes Perfect" and it is not about throwing yourself into the deep end. If someone is afraid of public speaking, he can first speak to himself in the mirror, then to his family, then to a smaller group of friends - with time such speeches will no longer be associated with such a great shame.
  • Another way is to try to "overpower the opponent" - if someone is ashamed to speak in front of the boss, it will help to imagine him not as an almighty superior, but, for example, in a funny disguise or in a situation where he himself acts as a subordinate.
  • It also helps to distract yourself from yourself - focusing on the subject (e.g. on a paper) instead of on how others see us. You could say: "You want to be bolder - focus more on others, not yourself."
  • Mastering your shame also means accepting your weaknesses, not your trialsbecoming, acting like someone else. You can work on yourself without trying to be like others. Just because someone is calm or unlike Hollywood stars does not mean that they have greater reasons to be ashamed and that that shame must accompany them.
  • Being able to forgive yourself is also very important. Everyone stumbles, only the one who does nothing does not make mistakes. Spectacular blunders happen to such big stars as Jennifer Lawrence, who fell twice at the Oscars, and Paris Hilton, for example, who claims that her feet are too big, talks about her complexes. Not being dead serious about yourself will definitely help you overcome shame. It is worth not being the strictest judge for yourself.
  • Honesty towards loved ones is also a good idea. It's not easy to talk about what causes embarrassment, but confiding in someone you trust is a much better idea than keeping your doubts inside - this way, these negative emotions only accumulate. The more you talk about your needs, the more natural and … it comes without shame.
  • A visit to a psychologist / psychotherapist, which many people fear, is another method of fighting shame. A specialist can not only help you get to its source, but also successfully fight it. The problem is that some… are ashamed to take advantage of such help. However, it is better to try, give yourself a chance than to stay in place with your problem - psychologists and psychotherapists have heard many stories in their practice and nothing will surprise them.

Shame grows when we're watched

The research confirms this very well - when there is a mirror in the room and people see their reflection, they cheat less, steal less and do less "ugly" things (eg nose picking). When someone is alone in a room, solving tasks for which he can earn money, and the mirror is hanging behind his back, he often takes advantage of the possibility of cheating.

However, if he is sitting face down in front of the mirror, he does not cheat even if he could do so with impunity. For this reason, mirrors are hung in stores - the point is not only to let the seller see the customer, but most of all to let the customer see himself, then fewer things are lost in the store.

The text uses excerpts from Art. Marcin Florkowski, which appeared in the magazine "Zdrowie"

About the authorAnna SierantEditor in charge of the Psychology and Beauty sections, as well as the main page of As a journalist, she cooperated, among others. with "High Heels", websites: and,quarterly "G'RLS Room". She also co-founded the online magazine "PudOWY Róż". He runs a blog jakdzż

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