• Please read the thread in Forum News and Announcements pertaining to race related discussion on SF - thank you :)

Shame! What is the nature of it?

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#1
Is shame a selfish, self centered thing? Is the feeling of shame a state of thinking of "me" without regard to others? Is it regret that the one who is feeling it is somehow in a state of most importance as if others were insignificant in a mutual yet detached event?
 

Optimistic Goatman

The woolly enigmatic one
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#2
Well, i wouldn't say i agree there.
I feel like the answer can be found in the definitions of guilt and shame. Guilt is the feeling that we have gone against some kind of internally-held moral or ethic, and that this makes us a bad person.
Shame meanwhile is the feeling that we have transgressed some form of social more, and are being judged by others for it.
As a result, this makes shame an inherently extrinsic emotion. It's based entirely on our understanding and interpretation of others, and its strength is derived from how much we value others' opinions.

So, i'd argue that shame is actually the exact opposite of a selfish emotion, since it inspires acts of selflessness and punishes acts which harm or offend others. Often the most selfish people tend to be the most shameless about their bad behaviour.
Guilt however, i feel can be (not necessarily is though) a selfish emotion, since people can spiral with it, and become guilt addicts. They do things they know are wrong, that causes them to feel terrible about themselves, and that can actually push them further towards those guilt-provoking emotions. And that's a very self-obsessive process.
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#4
I think we as individuals experience ourselves to an extent through other people. Like they are the mirror through which we get to experience ourselves.
Maybe shame is the disconnect between that ideal selfimage we hold and the reactions (or expected reactions) we get from other people? Like how some can feel bad about themselves and their looks when they look in a mirror (without a mirror we would be less informed on how we actually look and might not even feel bad about it, simply from the lack of ever having seen it).

Sorry if that is a bit weird way to describe it. I hope it makes sense.
 

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#6
I'd say my shame comes from being paranoid about what others may think of me. So I agree that you become hyper-aware of yourself, which maybe could be considered selfish in a way? I guess it depends what you mean by selfish. Hm.

Anyway, interesting question.
my question stems from a diagnosis i received a couple years ago and have been feeling very bad about ever since. it mentions “shame” - my own feeling of shame. and i feel as if it is saying something against the meaning and purpose of the feeling of shame as if the doctor who wrote it, does not understand. that of course doesn’t make sense, but it is there and confuses me so that is why i have been troubled. i want to provide a quote from the report but i am still considering how much or little to quote. but i think it will explain what i am driving at with this thread. and i will get to it shortly.
 

Butterfly

Sim Addict
Safety & Support
SF Author
SF Supporter
#7
I think shame and guilt are two different things though similar. When I feel shame, it is usually about something I have done that I perceive as bad and thus I feel bad about it, or if someone did something to me that I am ashamed of. I think guilt can be a byproduct of shame though however.
 

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#8
have done that I perceive as bad and thus I feel bad about it
this is the point i want to make. i was being diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder. to me if in the same breath they talk about the shame i felt then i clearly was presenting with some kind of feeling which seems to be different from what might be going on with a person who has ASPD. I know that i am not but i am constantly haunted by it even now.
I think guilt can be a byproduct of shame though however.
and what you say about guilt takes the same thing a step further in the same direction. Thanks Butterfly for mentioning this.
 

sinking_ship

woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#9
I went to a presentation from NAMI one time and the speaker told us the following:
Guilt comes from the feeling you did something wrong and that shame comes from the feeling there is something wrong with YOU. By these definitions, guilt can help us as it might help us change our behavior, but shame serves no purpose in our lives whatsoever.
Huh.
This is really interesting.
I've always had trouble separating the two and this definition makes sense as to why, because it's always felt, to me, when I do anything wrong, it IS something wrong with me. I immediately go to shame if any guilt happens.
 

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#10
but shame serves no purpose in our lives whatsoever.
Now I'm sort of thinking that I don't agree with this. Isn't shame a reaction to something that is hurting the one feeling it - kind of like something originating with the self going out and then bouncing back at you! It seems like a legitimate reaction to hurting one's self and an acknowledgement of a possibly unsolvable problem. Or am I misunderstanding something?
 

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#11
what prompted me to posting this thread is having been haunted for nearly 3 and a half years - beginning at the time that i actually joined SF - by one particular diagnosis given to me that i believe to be completely wrong. i understand that i should not let a diagnosis define me, but it does hurt just the same. it hurts because it is taken as an accusation that appears to be inescapable - of being a cold uncaring person. yet this is not true and the doctors who arrived at this diagnosis i believe have not really considered necessary aspects of me.

what happened the other day is that i requested my medical records from the hospital so i was able to read the actual words they said. it now has me kind of writhing.

i was going to post the diagnosis, but i am not ready to do that yet. it only inspires more self hatred. it highlights hijacker and although i believe now what hijacker really is, and a very real reason for all the self harm and everything else that is a part of the mental illness and or personality disorder(s) that is what i am, my sense of self and feeling safe about being who i am is undermined. i don’t want to be someone who is hated for being someone who is uncaring when i am not an uncaring person. i wish i could feel safe about this yet when i see the words in an official document written about me by respected citizens, i just feel defeated. i wonder what to do to be who i am in all respects.
 

Paisley

* * *
SF Artist
SF Supporter
#12
what prompted me to posting this thread is having been haunted for nearly 3 and a half years - beginning at the time that i actually joined SF - by one particular diagnosis given to me that i believe to be completely wrong. i understand that i should not let a diagnosis define me, but it does hurt just the same. it hurts because it is taken as an accusation that appears to be inescapable - of being a cold uncaring person. yet this is not true and the doctors who arrived at this diagnosis i believe have not really considered necessary aspects of me.

what happened the other day is that i requested my medical records from the hospital so i was able to read the actual words they said. it now has me kind of writhing.

i was going to post the diagnosis, but i am not ready to do that yet. it only inspires more self hatred. it highlights hijacker and although i believe now what hijacker really is, and a very real reason for all the self harm and everything else that is a part of the mental illness and or personality disorder(s) that is what i am, my sense of self and feeling safe about being who i am is undermined. i don’t want to be someone who is hated for being someone who is uncaring when i am not an uncaring person. i wish i could feel safe about this yet when i see the words in an official document written about me by respected citizens, i just feel defeated. i wonder what to do to be who i am in all respects.
What I'm getting from this is that you think shame relates to being inconsiderate of others? If that's what you're proposing, I definitely disagree. But, it's hard for me to form an opinion without having read the words in question for myself. I do respect that you don't feel ready to share that info, though. So... for now I will just say that it seems the diagnosis is more a reflection of hijacker than it is of you.
 

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#13
What I'm getting from this is that you think shame relates to being inconsiderate of others? If that's what you're proposing, I definitely disagree. But, it's hard for me to form an opinion without having read the words in question for myself. I do respect that you don't feel ready to share that info, though. So... for now I will just say that it seems the diagnosis is more a reflection of hijacker than it is of you.
you are right about what you say about hijacker. but i do not consider the actions of hijacker to be ASPD either. this i can further explain. but my present point is as follows.

how shame relates to being inconsiderate of others in the situation i am referring to, is that it was sited as being my first and most important feeling rather than understanding that i had been hurtful to someone else. in other words it is considered that a healthy person would consider how one’s actions affect another person first - over one’s own feelings. i was therefore considered to not be a healthy considerate person but something along the lines of a sociopath.

once with that diagnosis, it becomes impossible to be considered anything else should i attempt having my diagnosis be reconsidered because an attempt at being seen as something else, is simply the actions of a person with ASPD manipulating others for his own gain.

i have struggled with this situation ever since the diagnosis 3 years ago and i have also struggled with knowing what hijacker was up to in terms of destroying me all my life. i was literally like a untrained engineer in a runaway train. i had to figure out all the controls on my own with no appropriate guidance.

and it has been only recently - like in the past 2 or so months that i’ve figured out exactly what hijacker’s real mission is - though i still have some doubt that i need to resolve. it too involves shame that the young one could not process and thus had to have completely hidden regardless of the fact that it did away with who i believe i really am as well. and it was huge anger hiding me and huge anger trying to get me back out. literally a war inside that i kept hidden from the outside world. how could i be expected to process anything in this state except full self destruction?
 

Paisley

* * *
SF Artist
SF Supporter
#14
you are right about what you say about hijacker. but i do not consider the actions of hijacker to be ASPD either. this i can further explain.
I'd be curious to learn more. Admittedly I don't know too much about ASPD but hijacker seems very aggressive towards you in particular.
how shame relates to being inconsiderate of others in the situation i am referring to, is that it was sited as being my first and most important feeling rather than understanding that i had been hurtful to someone else. in other words it is considered that a healthy person would consider how one’s actions affect another person first - over one’s own feelings. i was therefore considered to not be a healthy considerate person but something along the lines of a sociopath.
Okay, now I think I'm understanding where you're coming from more clearly.

Even if you do feel your own feelings first and foremost, that doesn't mean you aren't also considering others... it's not like caring about your own reality leaves you somehow unable to care about the reality of those around you. I'm not a psychologist but to me if you're considering the wellbeing of others whatsoever then you don't fit the only criteria it takes to be classed as a sociopath. I hope someone more knowledgeable than me on this topic comes along to give some insight because I'm finding this hierarchy-of-priorities concept these doctors used here to be really strange.
once with that diagnosis, it becomes impossible to be considered anything else should i attempt having my diagnosis be reconsidered because an attempt at being seen as something else, is simply the actions of a person with ASPD manipulating others for his own gain.

i have struggled with this situation ever since the diagnosis 3 years ago and i have also struggled with knowing what hijacker was up to in terms of destroying me all my life. i was literally like a untrained engineer in a runaway train. i had to figure out all the controls on my own with no appropriate guidance.

and it has been only recently - like in the past 2 or so months that i’ve figured out exactly what hijacker’s real mission is - though i still have some doubt that i need to resolve. it too involves shame that the young one could not process and thus had to have completely hidden regardless of the fact that it did away with who i believe i really am as well. and it was huge anger hiding me and huge anger trying to get me back out. literally a war inside that i kept hidden from the outside world. how could i be expected to process anything in this state except full self destruction?
Not much to say to the quote above other than I hear you and you have my sympathy. Hoping you can find some peace.
 

Dark111

SF Supporter
#15
what prompted me to posting this thread is having been haunted for nearly 3 and a half years - beginning at the time that i actually joined SF - by one particular diagnosis given to me that i believe to be completely wrong. i understand that i should not let a diagnosis define me, but it does hurt just the same. it hurts because it is taken as an accusation that appears to be inescapable - of being a cold uncaring person. yet this is not true and the doctors who arrived at this diagnosis i believe have not really considered necessary aspects of me.

what happened the other day is that i requested my medical records from the hospital so i was able to read the actual words they said. it now has me kind of writhing.

i was going to post the diagnosis, but i am not ready to do that yet. it only inspires more self hatred. it highlights hijacker and although i believe now what hijacker really is, and a very real reason for all the self harm and everything else that is a part of the mental illness and or personality disorder(s) that is what i am, my sense of self and feeling safe about being who i am is undermined. i don’t want to be someone who is hated for being someone who is uncaring when i am not an uncaring person. i wish i could feel safe about this yet when i see the words in an official document written about me by respected citizens, i just feel defeated. i wonder what to do to be who i am in all respects.
I requested my medical records a little while back re: that same diagnosis. It is indeed interesting to have a read of how they came to their conclusions. There are things I would certainly argue with but others I could agree with. I still have my own doubts & questions. The guilt/shame dichotomy has never really been a thing for me, but from what I've read Ineluki pretty much nails it above: guilt is I have DONE something wrong; shame is I AM wrong.
 

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#16
I requested my medical records a little while back re: that same diagnosis. It is indeed interesting to have a read of how they came to their conclusions. There are things I would certainly argue with but others I could agree with. I still have my own doubts & questions. The guilt/shame dichotomy has never really been a thing for me, but from what I've read Ineluki pretty much nails it above: guilt is I have DONE something wrong; shame is I AM wrong.
Been thinking about this. Still processing. There's much to say and much I'm still uncomfortable to say as well. I don't think I agree with the shame part though and I am still having difficulty figuring out how to express that.
 

MisterBGone

Well-Known Member
#17
Been thinking about this. Still processing. There's much to say and much I'm still uncomfortable to say as well. I don't think I agree with the shame part though and I am still having difficulty figuring out how to express that.
Only trouble, where I’m at: (is that they can withhold anything that they feel, or deem is necessary as might be considered “harmful,” to you. . . & your cause! : ) _which more or less means - whatever they want!)_ this is why I never did this; not because I am a ‘perfectionist,’ but because I did not want to read a “redacted,” version. :D ...but that is just me!!! ;)
Good luck! 👍 : ) 🍀
 

MisterBGone

Well-Known Member
#18
It doesn’t so much matter (to me) what you call it—it all means more or less the same things, to different people, for different reasons. So, whether you “label,” it one-thing, or another, the terminology—again, for me, anyway (isn’t so important; or the issue). It’s what to be done of, or about the processing of said emotions, and such! :^)
 

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#20
Only trouble, where I’m at: (is that they can withhold anything that they feel, or deem is necessary as might be considered “harmful,” to you. . . & your cause! : ) _which more or less means - whatever they want!)_ this is why I never did this; not because I am a ‘perfectionist,’ but because I did not want to read a “redacted,” version. :D ...but that is just me!!! ;)
Good luck! 👍 : ) 🍀
my report is 200 pages long. i did not look at much of it. i actually went for the diagnoses i was concerned about and that to me was the part most likely to be censored. but there was no evidence about that. it was pretty straight forward as it had been spoken to me at the time. more and more i want to elaborate about this and i am still struggling with how i can express things and not simply appear as a person who is trying to worm his way out of an ASPD diagnosis.

i feel kind of trapped. how can one express that he does care about other people when haveing been told that he does not and that to try and discuss and mention things that show the opposite are merely the manipulations executed by one who has the diagnosis?
 

Please Donate to Help Keep SF Running

Total amount
$600.00
Goal
$255.00
Top