What I love about my job is the amount of training I can go on. Training lets me learn new things, develop new tools, listen to experiences, and of course, network with other professionals.
Since I have the attention span of a carrot, it’s rare to find a speaker who can grasp my attention for a full ten minutes – and I’m so glad this guy did.
“What letter do I need to change in the word ‘Shame’, which would make shame go away?”
Our speaker asked…
People started scratching their heads, throwing out answers (which did not involve actually changing a letter, but I guess it was quite late on a Tuesday afternoon … and after so many workshops, we were all too tired).
“Change the ‘m'”, I mumbled to myself, “change ‘m’ to ‘r’ and you get ‘share'”. Again, it was too late on a Tuesday afternoon for me to feel like engaging.
Finally, ,someone said it, they replied that the way to deal with shame is to speak about it. Our speaker was elated, replying that yes, sharing is how we can help clients deal with their issues of shame.
But isnt’t that counterproductive? If I have shame to speak about something, how can I possibly share it?
Well, that’s the trick in reality. We give power to certain things… and they really don’t deserve to have this power. Let me explain.
If I shame regarding an aspect of myself – such as my gender or sexual orientation (ie. something I have no control over, and cannot change). If I don’t talk about it, my shame gets worse. I will feel that if people knew, they would judge me (after all, isn’t this the reason for shame? feeling judged and unwanted for something?).
And what happens when we hide such fundamental parts of our personality, for fear of judgement? We end up hiding other things – things we like or enjoy, because we feel that our loved ones will ‘figure it out’.
But what happens when I do talk about it? When I feel so safe with someone, so close and intimate with them, that I can tell them about my genuine self?
Well, when the person acts so loving about what I have shared, so non-judgementally, then that is when my shame will go away. I will realise that I was being ignorant for assuming that my loved ones would hate me, and that it was something to be ashamed about.
So what is the antidote to shame? SHARE!