Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dissertation on shame. Chapter 26.2 Exclusion and negative self-evaluation

26.2 Exclusion and negative self-evaluation

Shame seems to influence a large range of emotions, in my opinion because shame engulfs the whole self, including both body and mind. Being a social-self-conscious emotion, shame seems to influence other emotions such as guilt and pride. Many of the participants who feel shame also say that they feel guilt and that these two emotions are difficult to keep apart, they seem to be conceived as the same emotion by some. It seems common to define shame as relating to oneself, while guilt relates to something one has done. Participants who believe to be responsible for wrongdoings, such as the abuse they have suffered as children, seem to show a high degree of both guilt and shame. Pride seems to be negatively correlated to shame, meaning that several of the participants who feel shame also say that they are not proud of who they are or what they have done. Figure 2 illustrates how shame is rooted in the process of creating ones identity as a social-self, which is created by oneself and others. Participants in this study who tell that they feel a lack of respect seem to say that they feel excluded and this creates a negative self-evaluation. This may lead to shame in both being ones self as sexually abused and not being ones self when one tries hide who one really is and instead tries to live up to some form if ideal representation. If this shame is not acknowledged, the person will try to conceal the shame by repressing ones emotions in general.

Several of the participants tell of their difficulties in not only showing their emotions to others, but in being aware of having emotions in general. Some say that they have lost contact with their emotions; some say that they have never cried or been angry, never felt happiness or grief, never felt love, pain, or hate, and so forth. In my opinion, shame seems to be the prime emotion which obstructs the experience of sharing ones true emotions both with oneself and others.

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