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I'm ashamed to say
May 05, 2014
Hello,

I had reason to ponder the meaning and experience of shame. I had always understood shame as one of our human emotions which are closely linked to our human need for human connection. I saw shame as a close cousin of the emotion of guilt. And of course in a sense they are close cousins – meaning that both are emotional responses that will have the effect (I assumed) to keep us behaving in a way that will keep us within our society and therefore safe and well functioning.

But might it be that shame is quite different from guilt? That shame (and unlike guilt) could have the effect of so personalising and generalizing the response that it threatens one’s sense of self. That the consequence might be that to feel ashamed puts oneself so far outside of society that all hope and purpose and capacity is lost?

best wishes
Andrew


Andrew Richardson
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