Imagine an invisible chain that wraps around your ankles tighter and tighter with every step, until you can’t move forward. That’s how toxic shame works. Deceptively and unnoticed, we only dream of hiding from the world and disappearing from other people’s sight.
Shame takes away our life
Life is only one, and it’s normal to feel ashamed of some of our behavior from time to time. Sometimes we realize that we reacted inappropriately under the influence of emotions, and that’s healthy shame related to the need for improvement and self-improvement. The world won’t collapse if we make a mistake. A lowered gaze shows that we are only human and make mistakes. However, there is a toxic variation of this feeling.
Shame as a Limitation
It’s normal for the feeling of shame to arise as a reaction to an event, but when it accompanies us permanently, it’s no longer just a feeling – it becomes a personality trait. It becomes our everyday life. We don’t always realize that this reluctance to spend time with people or to make the most of our abilities is toxic shame that has settled in our minds. It becomes a god that constantly reminds us of our inferiority.
How Do Children Learn to Feel Shame?
Many adults have trouble accepting their emotions. Each of us believes that there are certain situations that should not happen in society. Childish emotions, unrestrained by learned morality, can even overcome an adult. In a household where it’s forbidden to be angry or laugh out loud, expressions of sadness are viewed with contempt as weakness, and a young person learns to hide their emotions first and then ignore them.
Poor contact with our “self” forces us to stop trusting our instincts; we don’t understand our needs. People who are in such insecurity may tend to develop addiction or compulsion.
An interesting fact is that perfectionism is one of the masks of people suffering from toxic shame. The fear of their own weaknesses is so great that a perfectionist doesn’t allow themselves to make mistakes. They always have to be right. It’s not always the case that embarrassed people avoid responsibility. Sometimes they’re obsessed with control and want to ensure that things will be successful for them.