web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Shame On Shame

Schonfeld-logo1

“I could never let someone else raise my children. I don’t think I would have had kids if I had to work.”

“I would go crazy if I had to spend all day with my kids. I don’t know how you do it.”

“I wish I could eat like you, Mindy. But, I just can’t.”

“If you made more time for exercise, you’d be happier with yourself. I’m just trying to help.”

“I wish I didn’t care about what I wore all the time, just like you. I always feel like I have to put on make up.”

“If only I had your time in the morning to get dressed.”

Above are typical comments that women make to each other, either intentionally or unintentionally shaming them about their decisions in parenting, weight loss or appearance. Brene Brown, Ph.d. and LMSW, recently wrote a book entitled I Thought It Was Just Me, (But, It Isn’t). In the book (and a previous book entitled Women and Shame), Brown deals with the ways that shame pervades our culture.

Dr. Brown 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, then 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 in regards to 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 deserve that 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 them as mothers, fashion figures and careerists. In fact, women often experience layered and conflicting societal expectations of how they are “supposed” to be. Many of these expectations are impossible to meet – ideals that no woman could ever represent. 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 else. 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 it with the right person. There are multiple ways 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 only wants to make it better without really listening. Instead, you need to look for a friend who will demonstrate compassion – someone who will answer, “Oh, man, that sounds terrible. I am so sorry. I’ve definitely been there. I can’t stand when I feel that way.”

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.

No Responses to “Shame On Shame”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Pro-ISIS Group Says ‘Use Ferguson Flames to Fuel Terror in America’
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Respler-112114

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

LBJ-112114

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Schonfeld-logo1

Do you love your children? Of course, who doesn’t? Maybe I should rephrase the question: Do your children feel that you love them?

“Without a high school diploma, you couldn’t work as a garbage collector in New York City; you couldn’t join the Air Force. Yet a quarter of our kids still walked out of high school and never came back.”
– Amanda Ridley

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/shame-on-shame/2013/08/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: