Understanding Shame

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When was the last time you felt ashamed? Did you feel inclined to talk to someone about how you were feeling, or did you keep it to yourself? As you think back, were you feeling ashamed about something you actually had control over or were you accepting shame for something outside of your direct control?  

Does shame ever play a role in influencing your behavior when you realize that you’ve changed your mind on a belief you once strongly held? Do you ever feel shame toward other people when they seem to “flip-flop” on important issues?  

What about at a societal level? Do you see the influence of shame in any of our core institutions? The legal system, perhaps? Or the school system?  

These are all of the questions we’re addressing during this week’s episode, which is an in-depth conversation with Nick Jawarski, the host of the podcast “Shame Rules!” 

Nick became fascinated by the complex ways in which shame impacts us at both an individual and a societal level. He attempted to cover it in an episode of a podcast, but he quickly realized it deserved its own show.  

In our conversation, we begin by diving into what shame and guilt are and how they impact us individually. We talk about the role they play in keeping us from growing and learning new things, particularly in the age of social media.  

Then, we take an interesting turn to talk about the near-universal role that shame plays in our broader institutions in society. We’re talking about things as fundamental as the legal system and our public school system.  

The experience of shame is one of our conscious emotions, and that sense of shame is deep-seated when people feel guilt. How we respond to shame can add to destructive behaviors with personal and social anxiety and the creation of further negative beliefs.

Not only will you leave this episode with a more in-depth understanding of the ways in which shame might impact you on a day-to-day basis, but you’ll begin to see it everywhere in society. I know I did! 

I can’t wait for you to meet Nick Jawarski and to check out his new podcast, Shame Rules!