web analytics
March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Overcoming Shame And Becoming Vulnerable: A Life Lesson

Schonfeld-logo1

Dr. Brene Brown spent over a decade studying shame and its effect on society. She explains that we often believe that shame is reserved for only the unfortunate few who have survived terrible traumas. But, this is not true. Shame is a universal emotion. It is something we all experience. She writes, “And, while it feels like shame hides in our darkest corners, it actually tends to lurk in all of the familiar places, including appearance and body image, motherhood, family, parenting, money and work, mental and physical health, addiction…”

Brown asserts that the less we understand about shame and its effect on our feelings, thoughts and behaviors, the more power it can have on our lives. Once we understand the way shame works, we can figure out how to talk about it and overcome it to live better, happier lives.

 

What Is Shame?

According to Brown, shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and, therefore, unworthy of acceptance and belonging. Shame is often confused with guilt and humiliation. While guilt focuses on what we’ve done (as opposed to what we would have liked to have done), shame focuses on who we are. You might feel guilty that you cheated on your diet, but you feel shame if you experience yourself as a cheater. Humiliation is another word that is often confused with shame. When you are publicly called out about an action you took, you feel humiliated if you believe that the person who rebuked you was inappropriate. Conversely, you feel ashamed if you believe that you deserved rebuke.

In other words, shame is an emotion that imprisons you – labels you as “bad,” “stupid,” “fat,” and traps you into believing that these are correct assessments of your worth.

 

Combating Shame

Women have a particularly difficult time with shame because there are different (often stricter) societal expectations for women as mothers, fashion figures and careerists. Therefore, it’s really important to recognize the negative effects of shame on your life and to transform yourself in an effort to control it.

Courage. Shame is an emotion that tunnels inside of us – it cannot survive being shared. The most damaging thing we can do when we experience shame is to bury the story and hide it from everyone around us. Instead, it’s important to have courage and share the story with someone you trust. The root of the word courage actually comes from the Latin word for heart (cor). In that sense, courage can be about sharing your heart with someone else.

Compassion. While it is important to share the story, it is equally (if not more) essential to share the shame story with the right person. There are multiple ways that well-intentioned friends can react that will not help assuage the shame. Some of those responses could be: anger at the person who did this to you, feeling bad for you, or wanting to make it better without really listening. Look for a friend who will say, “Oh, that sounds terrible. I am so sorry. I’ve definitely been there. I can’t stand when I feel that way.”

Connection. Through your courage in sharing and your friend’s compassion, you have created a powerful connection to somebody outside of your shame. You can now feel loved and accepted – which are the true antidotes to shameful thoughts. Remember, the definition of shame is “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.” Once you forge a connection, you feel you belong.

 

Vulnerability: The Flipside of Shame

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Overcoming Shame And Becoming Vulnerable: A Life Lesson”

  1. Lize Bartsch says:

    Muslims need to repent of all the false indoctrination of their children to hate others and hate Israel and then pretend they are innocent. Israel is just trying to defend their little country surrounded by Muslim haters who cannot just build up their own countries and leave Israel in peace to build theirs!!!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
A snow storm with freezing rain struck the New York area, turning the roads and runways into skating rinks.
Delta Plane Crash, Snowstorm Paralyze LaGuardia Airport in NYC
Latest Sections Stories
Yarden Merlot

Bottles of wine accompany the Pesach storytelling – each glass of wine represents the four expressions used by G-d in describing the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt.

Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Schonfeld-logo1

Tutor. Counselor. The doctor too,
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with you.

Pioneering authors Peg Dawson and Richard Guare, in their book Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, outline the ways that we employ executive skills regularly.

Because I get phone calls about this all the time, I have put together a quick “cheat sheet” with milestones for reading, writing, and math from first grade through high school.

The reason behind this is that when we ask our brains and bodies to make drastic changes, our fight or flight response kicks in and we become paralyzed.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

With so many new cases of ADHD reported each year, it is important to help children learn how to sit still.

While encouraging your child to take responsibility for bed-wetting (like asking him to change the sheets), remember that it is important not to get angry or make him feel guilty.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/overcoming-shame-and-becoming-vulnerable-a-life-lesson/2014/08/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: