Shame Can Be a Useful Tool


headshot of face hands superimposed, a thought for the day, Shame can be a useful tool

Much of society today says that you shouldn't ever feel ashamed. Shame is for the weak. If you feel shame, it’s wrong. People should be able to do what they want, regardless of what it is, without shame for their actions or the hurt it sometimes places on others.


Shame, just like fear, and anger, are seen as negative emotions, but I say they may have been given a bad reputation. In the right situations, shame is a very positive teaching tool. It’s a way to tell ourselves when we've done wrong and motivates us to want to do the right thing. The memory of that feeling is what keeps us from making those same mistakes again.


Shame is another way to describe suppressed morals and ethics struggling to surface in our consciousness. Instead of listening to others encourage us to live without them, maybe we should be paying heed to that feeling. Most of the time, you only feel wrong until you’ve made things right. Shame isn’t a nagging tormentor browbeating us into action so much as it is a friend encouraging us to make ourselves better when we’ve erred.


In our current world that says take pride in whatever you claim to be no matter who gets hurt, why not go another way? Maybe you can come to terms with that inner shame, listen to it, and make yourself proud for doing right by others. You’ll definitely feel better about yourself in the end.


- S Chavez