This blog is not for everyone. There are many types of people in the world with different personality traits. For the purposes of this blog, I will simplistically say there are two types of people in the world. There are shame-based people and there are non shame-based people. This blog is written for the shame-based. It is about my own shame journey and the strides I have made to free myself from the shame-based personality type. Although I have made strides, I still have a long way to go. Truthfully, I probably will never be completely free of shame in my lifetime. The programming I received as a child is too deeply ingrained. Learning to accept this reality is part of the journey.
So, what is a shame-based person? In my experience (because that is all this blog is based upon) a shame-based person lives his life in all aspects through the lens of shame. Shame is the negative emotional state, the hatred of the self, based upon the knowledge (both real and imagined) that the self has committed some offense or is flawed in some way. A shame-based person is heavily impacted emotionally by the criticism and judgment of others. Because of this the shame-based person attracts other judgmental people (who are often shame-based themselves) who see him as an easy target. This can make the shame-based person feel persecuted by the outside world. But often the criticism and judgment becomes internalized and then the shame-based person joins with the outside world and criticizes himself. He does this because he thinks that the outside world will accept him if he does what he perceives it wants. The criticism can take the form of an internal voice constantly pointing out flaws, mistakes and embarrassing situations both in the present but also the past. The criticism can also manifest itself by anticipating other people will tell him that he is not allowed to do something or he is doing it wrong or is generally “not good enough.” Sometimes it can manifest itself simply by a non-specific feeling of being judged in public or social situations. All this has the effect of keeping the shame-based person boxed in and stuck in life. He thinks the only way to avoid shame and humiliation is to never put himself out there and take risks. Consequently he never achieves mastery and insures failure (and probably more criticism, judgment and shame) in the future.
When I say this blog is not for everyone, I mean that the situations I describe will be foreign to a non shame-based person. Further, the advice I give will be inappropriate for a non shame-based person. For example I would not tell a narcissist that he needs to stand up to people but I would tell this to a shame-based person. Certain people need more humility. A shame-based person has too much humility. A shame-based person needs to be louder and not pay so much attention to that internal voice. He is the person to whom I write this blog.