How To Overcome Shame: 5 Useful Tips

How to overcome shame

Much of who we are as individuals has to do with the way others perceive us. This means that, although we may not realize it, a facet of our identity is related to the image we project, the way others react when seeing us or interacting with us.

Shame is a relevant psychological phenomenon which has to do with the above. Thanks to its existence, we worry about what others will think of us, so in many situations we will be less likely to become socially isolated. However, in certain contexts, shame stops being a help and becomes an obstacle, something that distances us from what we would like to achieve and leads us to an extreme form of shyness.

In this article we will see some keys to lose shame and dare to take a step towards what we have proposed, even though that means having a social exposure that initially causes respect.

How to overcome shame

The steps to follow below must be adapted to the particular circumstances in which you live, but, furthermore, it is not enough to read and keep these ideas in mind. We must combine the change of beliefs with the change of actions since if we only stick with the first, probably no change will occur.

1. Get used to exposing your imperfections

It is impossible to maintain a perfect image or have others constantly idealize us. Everyone makes little mistakes, falls into misinterpretations, and exposes himself to uncomfortable situations. The tension generated by trying to maintain that illusion can generate a very high sense of ridicule and a great fear of feeling shame.

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So, you have to learn to take ownership of your own imperfections and show them to others without fear. In this way, the paradox arises that their importance is downplayed while their existence is recognized.

2. Set goals and force yourself

If you spend a lot of time thinking about whether or not you should do something that makes you nervous about the possibility of making a fool of yourself, you will automatically create excuses that will allow you to throw in the towel and give up at the slightest opportunity, even if it is not reasonable to change your mind that way. .

So, make commitments to yourself and, if possible, to others. In these cases, setting limits helps expand the margins of one’s freedom since it makes it easier to take the step and do something that was a challenge and that, once done, will not cost us so much to repeat.

3. Surround yourself with uninhibited people

The social context matters a lot. For example, anyone who has ever gone through an acting class knows that in the first few days, seeing others losing their shame makes one loosen up much more in a matter of minutes, doing things they have never done before. .

This same principle can be applied to the small daily habits, outside of the acting profession. If we get used to being surrounded by people who are not obsessed with the public image they give and express themselves spontaneously, we will tend to imitate those patterns of behavior and thought, even though our personality continues to exert its influence on us

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4. Work on your self-esteem

If we believe that we are worth less than the rest, it is easy for us to end up assuming that there is something wrong with us that should be hidden from others, since in a matter of seconds it can expose us.

So, you have to work on your own beliefs to make these conform to a more fair and realistic view of oneself Taking into account that those who have low self-esteem tend to take the blame for things that happen to them by accident or due to the influence of others, the focus should be on learning to see one’s own limitations as a product of the circumstances in which one lives (and has been lived in the past) and the decisions one makes.

5. Distance yourself

Many times it is beneficial to take a step back and distance yourself from what you are experiencing in the present; that is, see as it would be seen by a third person who is not directly involved in what is happening This way it is easier to stop thinking about what they will say and lose shame.

Stop obsessing about what others are thinking and focus on what is objectively happening, as happens when we watch a movie or play a video game, usually helps. Of course, only on occasions when shame is close, since in other situations, this has negative effects, depersonalizing others and making empathy more complicated.