We Cannot Shame Someone Into Good Behaviour

As a child, I have always thought that certain feelings/emotions were good ones especially if they were there to stop us from doing naughty things. Feeling such as guilt, shame, fear, disappointment and so on…When I got into the area of personal development while battling my addictions, I realised that in fact these feelings/emotions were not helpful to me on my path to recovery. They kept me in a locked place within myself and did nothing to help me with my self-esteem, self-confidence or my self-worth. Through years of in-depth work on myself, I managed to free myself from the shackles of these debilitating feelings and emotions. And my personal radar is constantly turned on to make sure that they do not keep me in a place of smallness should they re-surface again.What is it about guilt, shame and fear? Why do we use them? Why do parents use them? Why do religions use them?From my experience and understanding, I realised that people/organizations/countries used emotions and feelings to control another person.


For parents, it is a way to manage control over their children for fear that they would fall into bad company, or get themselves into trouble. And parents use them because they do not know any better! Because they have been taught the same thing.Unconsciously, we use them because it has been so ingrained within us for generations. Society approves of it by and large, and only pockets of society are aware of the damage that these emotions and feelings can stimulate within our psyche. When mass consciousness is at play, it is almost an automatic response that we would all fall into the same behaviour unless we take a shot of mental vaccination to make ourselves immune to this destructive behaviour.Now with social media, the public has taken into their own hands their ability to ‘parent’ someone else through public shaming. Shaming someone into good behaviour has never worked, and social media shaming only exacerbates the situation, negatively impacting the individual in their social standing and it gives no room for anyone to learn and grow as a society.When we are locked in a space of shame, we feel guilty and we see no way out. Recently, one of my clients went into such a space of shame due to her mistakes that she completely cut herself off from her social circle. Too ashamed to admit her mistake, too guilty to make good, too fearful of rejection that she ejected herself from her group. Despite the efforts of those involved being graceful, she dug herself further into a deeper hole with hostile behaviour. What would you have done in this situation if you were her?For those of us not trained in any sort of personal development, the automatic response is to run! But in reality, we are not running away from other people or the situation, we are running away from ourselves. How far can we really run from ourselves?


As a society, we should do better, and we can do better. And it has to begin with ourselves.How have you allowed shame and guilt to lock you up to only shrivel within and eventually douse the fire of life within you?How many of us feel undeserving of the opportunities given to us? How many of us feel undeserving of the life we have?Words of encouragement instead of criticisms, lending a hand to help instead of pulling the rug from under, seeing the world through a wider lens instead of just your own personal lens… all of these can make a difference in how we interact with the world. It has to begin with you.To heal yourself from shame, guilt and fear, you need to give what the world needs — love, encouragement and support, only then can you receive them in return.