Sex, Love, And Psych
Sex, Love, And Psych

Episode 1 · 5 months ago

Episode 32: Shame and Guilt Part 1


A dive into the important difference between shame and guilt. This episode looks at examples of shame, why it doesn't work, and some examples of what we can do to move past shame. 

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of Sex, love and psych I hope that if you are in an area where the weather is as crazy and unpredictable as it is where I am this week, I hope you are getting around safely and staying nice and cozy warm. Getting into this week's episode, topic, it's going to be shame and guilt. You may have noticed that this is a part one. I really just want to discuss what shame and guilt are in a more general sense, kind of compare and contrast the too this week and then next week I will kind of dig in more into how it can kind of affect us on an individual level in our interpersonal sex and relationships. But getting into this week, I wanted to start by referencing a few voices that I have heard speak on shame and guilt. They do all happen to be women. Take that as you will, but I want to start with Brune a brown. She does a lot of work around shame and guilt. It's kind of the focus of a lot of her study issue. References it in most of her talks and books. But one quote I found from her on this is that shame is a focus on self. Guilt is a focus on behavior. Here shame is I am bad. Guilt is I did something bad. She also talks about how empathy is the added antidote to shame, which I will get into kind of later in this episode. One important thing that she kind of points out is that shame needs three things to survive secrecy, silence and judgment. So this shame around I am bad, I am the bad things that I have done. That is what definds me. That's not going to go away because we keep it a secret, we silence those those people, and then we judge them. The next voice that I wanted to reference is Shana Shapiro. I watched one of her Ted talks, I believe. Yeah, it was a Ted talk in my psychology of well being course this past the master and I really took some notes on her. I knew I wanted to reference it in a podcast episode. She talks about mindfulness in general and this one I can't remember exactly what it's called, but I can link it or something. I want to make a website for this podcast, so only get there. Thoughts. A little sneak pick for you, but one thing that she talks about quite a bit in this talk is neuroplasticity and cortical thickening. So I'm not a neuropsychologist. Those classes aren't really what drew me in. I wasn't as good at them so I didn't take them as often. But basically neuroplasticity is how the neurons in your brain kind of shape and mold and grow, and cortical thickening is those neurons that are used more are become thicker and stronger. So one thing that she made a point of talking about is the phrase what you practice grow stronger. So she related to this, to saying practicing shame doesn't improve your life when when your brain is feeling that shame, it's not growing any of those learning things that will pull you out of that behavior. When shame is brought into your brain and your neurons, your system is flooded in the survival pathways. So it's flooding those areas of fight or flight and we have to figure out how to get over this danger kind of thing, and that pulls away focus from the learning areas of your brain. So instead of looking at the mistake you've made...

...or that shameful area in your life, and trying to figure out and learn how to kind of grow from it or move past it. The shame is actually flooding your survival pathways, so you don't have the chance to learn and grow. She kind of says that when we feel shame, we want to avoid that feeling so because it's tringing, triggering that fight or flight and shame is not like a happy feeling. So we've kind of trained ourselves to avoid that feeling as much as possible. So we make that mistake, we do that thing that makes causes us shame, we keep repeating it, but the only thing that's growing is the shame. We're not training away from the behavior, we're just growing shame. Shanna Shapiro says that instead of avoiding the shame, we need to give it some kind attention, we need to look at it, we need to empathize with it, and that will help us kind of grow that learning phase of our brain, will make that part stronger rather than the shame and disgusted and that survival instinct. That isn't going to help us at all. So the last woman that I would like to reference here is my old therapist in red ear. I've kind of referenced her before in my talks about boundaries and stuff that she really like reframed for me. That made a really big difference. But basically was the difference between guilt and shame was when setting boundaries, kind of in relation to what Berne Brown says. Guilt is about the behavior, shame is about the self. So when you set that boundary and feel bad, is it because you're doing something bad and therefore you feel like you're a bad person? So you're kind of like feeling ashamed for setting that boundary, or is it because you're just trying to be like this nice, perfect person? Shame is what comes into play here. If it was guilt, it would be based on if you had actually done something wrong. Setting boundaries is not doing something wrong inherently. Are there are some unhealthy, toxic behaviors that are passed off as boundaries, yes, but setting healthy boundaries is not something you feel guilty about. It's something you feel ashamed about because you feel like that makes you a bad person. You're not actually doing something bad, you feel like you're a bad person and you want to be this nice, perfect person who just gets walked over all the time. So those are the three voices I kind of wanted to implant here before I get into my own thoughts on it. I did also want to provide death definitions. So if you feel like Brennan and Shauna and Sherry's kind of interpretations of shame and guilt aren't something that really aligned with you, I have also looked into the dictionary definitions. So, after a quick Google I found definitions. Shame it's a pain or sorry, a painful feeling of humiliation or disc or distress caused by the conscience consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. And when it comes to guilt, guilt is the fact of having committed a specific or implied offense or crime. So, just to kind of reiterate here, shame is a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong...

...or foolish behavior. Guilt is the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime. So shame is that inkling feeling that kind of creeps up on us, humiliates us, just makes us feel distressed, and guilt is actually having committed a bad act. Shame is that feeling that you're bad person, you should be disgusted by yourself. Whatever it is, guilt is actually committing a crime or offense, and this isn't just something that we have to take personal credit for. We're not the only ones pushing shame and shame on ourselves in the place of guilt. Shame is being pushed on us from every direction. One example is canceled culture. However you see it, for or against, or good in some scenarios but bad in others. is about shame. It's about labeling a person as bad because they did a bad thing. Shaming someone and bringing attention in this way has some cut. Sometimes works. It makes people realize that they're doing shitty things, on a repeat offense kind of behavior, and it makes them feel bad for doing that. But a lot of the time, well, I'm not going to say a lot, some of the time, shame is just labeling them a bad person and shame is putting that putting them into that survival instinct, like that fight or flight, and it's shutting down their learning center. This is not to say that we have to come with come at everyone with compassion and empathy and we can't feel anger when someone's being racist or homophobic or sexist. Or misogynist and that there's no place for anger in all of this. But, and it's not everyone's job to teach every must soogynist these valuable lessons in a calm voice like that's not going to work for everybody either, but cancel. Culture we can agree is based on shame. Another big thing that I have kind of been made aware of. I think I saw it on in a ticktock comments section or something was tell me something that women aren't bullied or shamed for enjoying. So think really hard about that for a few seconds. Let's talk about makeup. If a woman wears too much makeup or does their makeup every single day, they are bullied for being fake or I don't even know what else. Fake is a big one, a catfish. Take a woman swimming on a first day. Like women can't enjoy makeup because that makes them fake. On the flip side, women are also bullied for not wearing makeup and not looking quote unquote, presentable for different things. I have kind of challenged myself in job interviews to stop wearing makeup to job interviews. I'm not going to wear makeup every day to job and I will look presentable I'll wash my hair whatever. I'm not going to go in stinking or wearing swebpants, but I'm not going to put on makeup because I don't expect men to wear makeup. Coming into a job of interview. I'm not going to wear it every day, so why would I wear it to a job interview? I will look Nice, but I'm not going to wear that makeup. Another saying women are, Beleiader, shamed for sports. If you don't understand sports, you're like a basic bitch here whatever. You just can't understand what men are doing. Blah, Blah Blah. But if you love sports, you're seen as some kind of pose or you're told, like, name five players on this team. Who was the coach in one thousand nine hundred and eighty four? Like there...

...isn't not a winning side for women, even in things that are supposed to be, quote unquote, Feminine and Women Things, and there's also no space for them when it comes to man things. It's like, just think about that. Try and come up with something that women aren't champed for enjoying. Another thing that a lot of women face is like the quote unquote, faulterless behavior or like daddy issues. I've seen this count lend countless times on social media. If a girl is doing a tick, to suggestive dance and like a bikini, it's followerless behavior. So you're shaming that woman for something that you assume a man did to her. What, where is the logic in that? Why? is at her fault for not having a father? And she might like who knows? Or they'll be like, oh, but your parents are really proud of you. Like, she's not hurting anyone. So why are you trying to shame her into feeling like a bad person for wanting to enjoy her body, wanting to take a video of her in a bikini when she's hot and young? Like, get over it. The body shaming, racism, phobia, homophobia, all the phobias and ISMs those are tied up in a lot of shaming. Minority people. People are shamed over what they wear, how loud they are, how quiet they are. Shame is a huge, huge factor. And how we treat people who are fact, who are affected by addiction, mental illness, housing issues, all of that. Like we try to shame people for being being in a bad time of their life or being mentally ill. Shame isn't going to help them out of those things. Shaming someone for not having a home and being on the street is not teaching them how to get out of that position. It's not showing them empathy. It's pushing them further into that fight or flight it's pushing them further into that shame where they're thinking that they're a bad person who deserves to be there because of how they were raised, a broken family, addiction and mental illness. All of that, and I know I talked about a lot of the things that women are shamed for, but I'm not going to ignore the men here either. Don't worry, men face a lot of shame to the whole toxic masculinity. Men can't cry, men are pussies. If simps, Sims is a huge one which I don't even understand. Why are we shaming men for being nice to women? I swear some men out there who claimed to be heterosexual don't like women because they shame every man who is trying to be nice to women. What is the logic in that? We can't just move past this? We can't be nice to women now who we are said to be attracted to? Back to the toxic masculinity. Thing was showing your emotions. Women are more likely to, I'm not going to say attempt to Uside, because that's the wrong language, face suicide. Women are more likely to start an action that might end their life. Men are a lot more likely to complete that action and lose their life to suicide. And why is that? Because women generally choose less violent, less immediate pathways to try and end their life by suicide. And women are more likely to reach out...

...for help. They're more likely to reach out to their friends, their family, a therapist. They aren't ashamed for seeing a therapist, as a man would be, unless is fucked up. The higher rate of death by suicide and men is because men choose guns more often. They choose more violent and to end their life. So that is why they more often lose their life to suicide. And they reach this point because they're told to their silence, as Berne Brown talked about, the shame comes in with secretcy and silence and judgment. They are told to stay silent, they are told to take it like a man and just be quiet about it. They are told that they are judged if they are trying to go out and get help, they're told their week, they're weak minded, all of this stuff, and then they try to choose a manly method of death, like a gun, they're told that violence is the answer. They're told that anger is the only acceptable emotion out for men. I was going to say except for joy, but a man who's too joyous is also called a feminine. So really like all this shame is coming on both sides and we really need to move past it. HMM. So how do we move past this shame and shaming everyone for everything, basically because it's ruining all of our lives, honestly, in that silence, secrecy and judgment. So how can we do this? I'm going to recommend two different ways. I'm sure there's more. If you want to talk about this sometimes, always reach out to me. I'm fully willing to talk about any of it. But the two ways I want to talk about our modeling, and modeling and empathy. So when it comes to modeling, we can teach others by beginning to practice going against shame and our own lives, practicing selfforgiveness, but also practicing not defining ourselves by mistakes we may make. One small way that I have started doing this in my self talk that people probably haven't even noticed is when I make a dumb mistake, as we do, or have a brain fart, instead of saying like wow, I'm such an idiot, like why would I think that? Why would I do that, I have started consciously changing it. This is a practice that has felt very awkward for me, replacing Wow, I'm so dumb with wow, that wasn't the smartest thing I've done. Wow, that was kind of a dumb move. So I'm taking that mistake, misspoken, word, action, whatever it is, and I'm not letting that define me as a person anymore. I'm not taking that label and placing it on myself as a human. I'm saying it was still a dumb thing to do, but that doesn't define me as a dumb person. I'm an incredibly intelligent person. So that's one small way that I have learned to kind of correct my own language, and I'm still working on it. I'll still say I'm so dumb sometimes, but I I've been working on catching it and it's actually kind of caused a nice little shift and has engaged that neural plasticity and cortical thinking or thickening sorry in my brain in those learning areas, so I don't get us down on myself over those stupid little embarrassing things as often. Another example of modeling is living life unabashedly doing things we aren't amazing at just for the fun of it. That's one that I kind of struggle with as someone who, growing up, was always really good at pretty much everything I did. That's not a break at...

...all, by the way. I have a really hard time doing things that I'm not amazing at because I feel embarrassed that I'm not perfect at them. But they're still fun things to do. So I'm really trying to work this into my own life and just doing shit. I think it's cool, even though I'm bad at it, because it brings me joy. Another one is asking for help when we need that completely fights the silence, secrecy and secrecy surrounding shame if we are willing to look at ourselves and say, wow, I don't know if I can handle this myself. I know, maybe I should be able to handle that this myself. Maybe that's what kind of what are we're telling ourselves. It is still totally fine to reach out for help, like Hey, I know you're more knowledgeable in this area than I am. I wonder if you could help me out. Or Hey, I'm even having a little brain fart. Can you reach out to me? Can you help me out with this? Maybe I'll remember better next time. Owning up to mistakes we've made and not letting them define us. That can be apologizing for losing your temper with someone. That can be owning up at work like hey, yeah, I shouldn't have let that happen. I'm sorry, that's my bad. I will I'm that was that was all me, but that's not who I am. That was a mistake I've made. Being open to criticism is another big one that we can kind of remove that shame. This is constructive criticism. We don't have to be open to every single person who's criticizing us. If it's someone that we look up to and we have asked for help and they are giving us some constructive criticism on how we can do better, let's accept that. Let's be open to that. One other quick note that just popped into my head. I didn't even write this one down, but it's been replaying in my mind for months and I actually came from one of my instructors at a radio when I was doing pole silks. Her name is mal she's absolutely amazing. She's on the show Park area. But I think she saw me getting really frustrated with myself one day because I'm so, so hard at myself that I am not doing these amazing things constantly and I get mad at me knee and angle sometimes because they still aren't where I want to be two years later. But she said it's really easy, when we are surrounded by people that are in the same field, that is as us and doing amazing things in our field, to forget that we are doing some cool shit that the average person isn't really doing. She she said specifically to pull silks, but I've kind of expanded it to a lot of my life. She's like, yeah, like other people might be doing more advanced tricks than you, but to the average person, flipping upside down, doing an invert, doing a cool spin looks amazing and you are doing incredible things. Just because you're surrounded by people in your field doing things that you think are better or more advanced doesn't mean you're also doing those amazing things. So basically, stop shaming yourself for not being further because you are already doing things, but the average person would think is amazing, and I'm probably going to message her after this because that phrase is just like change my entire way of thinking. I thought about it a lot at school and stuff when I was surrounded by other students who are doing amazing things. I can kind of forget that getting a paper published, getting two papers published, is fucking amazing to the average person. Just because some one of my classmates published a book or something doesn't mean me getting my papers published is less of an accomplishment. It just means they're also doing amazing things and that doesn't take away from what I'm doing. I shouldn't feel ashamed because I'm not where other people are at in... field. We've come on different paths, we have different obstacles that we've overcome, so just really giving yourself credit for what you do is another way to go against the shame cycle. Finally, I want to talk about empathy. So we can have been belief empathy for ourselves, but we can also so kind of take this empathy and understand that people have faced different struggles and realize that shaming them doesn't work. It's not going to help them learn or grow. Shaming them doesn't work. It can't work, as Shawn a Shapiro says. It doesn't. It's not going to change them because it forces them into that survival instinct. It doesn't help them learn or grow. It just shows them that you aren't a safe person to do this around it you're not a safe person to make mistakes around. So I'd really challenge all of us to kind of take that line of thinking a little more often. Obviously you can have the things that you're passionate about and you don't have to come at every single person with empathy. But some people, I challenge you to teach them that you're a safe person to mess up around sometimes and that you will be there to help correct them, but you're not going to do it in a way that forces them into shame. So thank you so much for tuning in this week. I am super appreciative of all of you and I hope that this kind of gives you some stuff to think about. I'm very excited to bring in next week a little bit more on shaming, guilt and how it can affect sex and relationships. Thank you so much again. Right.

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