The following questions highlight some of the common ways people who have been shamed relate to themselves and others. It is not an exhaustive list.
Do you have a harsh inner critic/voice that finds fault with everything you do? (for example, that you deserve to be treated harshly because you are lazy, undeserving, weak, lack self-discipline, constantly get thing wrong…or similar)
Do you feel undeserving of love, understanding or compassion?
Do you push people away?
Do you think there is something wrong with people who like you?
Do you neglect your physical and emotional needs?
Do you sabotage your own happiness? (At work, in relationships.)
Does your life lack pleasure, joy, spontaneity?
Do you feel numb and absent of feeling, like life is in neutral, or everything is black and white?
Do you tend to feel uncomfortable, not good enough around other people?
Do you swing between feelings of superiority and inferiority?
Do you find yourself disparaging or belittling the achievements of others (silently inside or in conversation)?
Do you find yourself disparaging or belittling your own achievements (silently or verbally)?
Do you put on a performance (not be you) so others will like you?
Do you constantly worry that you will be found out?
Do you constantly do things for others so they will like or approve of you?
Shame is experienced in different ways - some people are more in touch with their harsh internal critic and feel very socially debilitated (the victim). Others project their shame outward on to others and are more in touch with blame (the persecutor). Whilst others find their response in becoming the helper, the nice guy, the rescuer who compulsively takes care of other people and neglects themselves (the rescuer). We may inhabit one primary role or experience all aspects of this cycle at different times with different people.
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