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Woman feeling ashamed
(xenia, Morguefile)

  • "Shame is... the fear of disconnection." (Brené Brown)
  • Shame arises from introspection rather than social cues.
  • Initial Physiological Function: Reduces and hides vulnerable body areas from potential attacks. (Wikipedia, accessed 27 October 2017)
  • Evolved Communicative Function: Decreased social status. Wish for appeasement. (Wikipedia, accessed 27 October 2017)
  • Question to self: What is it in me that - when known or seen by others - will make me feel unworthy of connection? Do I have the courage to be imperfect? Can I let myself be deeply seen? Have I really made a mistake - or instead - should society change?
  • Similar emotions: Embarrassment, Humiliation, Guilt, Vulnerability.
  • Opposite emotions: .
 Woman feeling ashamed
  • Bach Flower Remedies: Agrimony [cheery face masks deep shame], Crab Apple [body shame], Pine [transform self-blame to self-acceptance].
  • California Flower Essences: Scarlet Monkeyflower [ashamed of unpleasant emotions], Pink Monkeyflower [deep shame, may be from abuse/childhood], Basil [sexual shame], Calla Lily [gender shame].

Shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection. Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection? (Brené Brown, 4m42s, posted 3 January 2011, accessed 5 July 2020)

Shame has long been utilised to rebuke anyone who stepped outside an agreed moral code. In small communities, the incidents were isolated. But with the growth of cities and the mass media, information spread much faster. Scandal went mainstream.
However, today, the rise of ‘anti-shame’ explains how some emerge unscathed. Recent movements have attempted to redress the dynamic of scandal – by shaming those accused of abusing their power. Where scandal was once born out of a prurient mindset, it now often centres on abuse of power and anger over sexual exploitation.
(Adapted from
BBC, posted 21 November 2019, accessed 25 November 2019)
This is part of a series on Emotion

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