15 deep questions to ask yourself when you feel shame

  1. Who was hurt? Who was harmed?
  2. Where is this shame coming from?
  3. What images or thoughts come to mind that make me feel shame?
  4. What do I believe about myself because of shameful thoughts, images, and memories?
  5. What am I feeling ashamed of?
  6. Do I want to let myself feel this feeling and let it go without running away or trying to distract myself from it in any way?
  7. Do I feel different from others? If so, how do I feel different?
  8. What would help me to move past the shame to a more sustainable place this day (e.g., meditate, call a friend)?
  9. What thoughts do I have that make me feel shame?
  10. What is this feeling of shame telling me about myself?
  11. What does this feeling make me want to do with my body or appearance when I have it?
  12. Is my body feeling uncomfortable lately?
  13. Do I feel nervous in social situations?
  14. Do I feel like my thoughts and feelings are not consistent with the people around me? What makes these thoughts or feelings shameful to me?
  15. Are my thoughts and feelings weird or different from other people's thoughts and feelings?

8 tips on how to deal with shame

  1. Work on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
  2. Practice selfcompassion. It is a way to treat yourself with the same kindness and acceptance that others would if they saw your most embarrassing moments, mistakes, or flaws.
  3. Practice humor and laughter.
  4. Make connections with others who struggle with shame so that you have a support system for when you are struggling with shame.
  5. Learn to accept it as your own fault. Try to forgive yourself for what happened and try to focus on the things in your life that you have control over.
  6. Find an outlet where you feel safe to express yourself (writing, art, exercise, etc.).
  7. Build a sense of self. A healthy sense of self is built when you accept and appreciate who you are in the world, as well as what you have to offer others. It is also easier when you can see your own worthiness and know that shame will not change who you are or what you've accomplished in life; it just makes things feel worse.
  8. Acceptance and forgiveness are gifts you can give to yourself.

How shame affects you

A person feels shame when they believe they have done or said something that will make them be looked down on by others. People feel shame when they do something embarrassing, or when someone tells them how they should correct themselves in the future and makes them feel foolish about their embarrassment. People are able to correct themselves, which is why a person will not feel shame about that small thing again.