Shame vs. Guilt

Shame is a very powerful emotion in the human experience. The intense quality of  shame can be seen in your wish to disappear or become invisible in the face of it. 

What is the experience of shame?  It is the fear that your basic flaws will be exposed to the world (or the small part of the world you care about).  You can see how this is different from guilt which is the sense of having done something wrong.  Shame is not a behavior; it is the feeling of being shown to the world united pharmacy canada as an inadequate person.  Shame is not measuring up. Shame usually results from your failure to attain an ego ideal, a standard you believe that you should live up to.

Guilt is more active, implying bad actions or impulses. Shame is more passive implying deficits in being.

Shame has the potential to make you feel unlovable; the defects are so awful that imaginary ‘others’ on whom you depend would reject you.  Usually, this imagined ‘other’ is also you; the idealized you that wanted to be more/better/perfect.  Therefore, with shame, you reject you.



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