EP 0082 – Shame and Self Judgment

If you grew up in a family system that was shame-based, you may feel weighed down by shame. Shame shields us from pain and neglect, but it’s also a burden. Shame-based family systems are harsh and judgmental. As a child, you were exposed to criticism and verbal attacks because people didn’t do things the way your family did.

When you’re shame-based, you need to surround yourself with people who share your views. This can cause you to judge yourself harshly. Shame wants to stay hidden. We fear being judged, so we try to be perfect. Perfectionism often stems from shame. We feel like we’re being scrutinized, like a celebrity without the fame.

We are usually our harshest critics. As children, we internalize the negative feedback we hear and try to fit into a box that doesn’t feel right. We may develop self-hatred for not being like everyone else in our family. We try to conform to an ideal painted for us instead of living our own lives.

Some people live their entire lives not realizing they’re living a lie. They’ve bought into the system and think they’re defective, broken, or unhappy. But the truth is, being authentic is more important than fitting into someone else’s mold.

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