Shame Resilience: Connection
So how do we even begin to open ourselves up to connection with others, when it feels like such an impossible task? We start small, slow, and with concrete goal setting strategies. It can be as simple as “go to the grocery store today,” if we’re deep in shame and have found ourselves completely isolated. It’s virtually impossible to make it out of the store without at least a “hello” to another person. Once we’ve accomplished this task and realized no one accosted us in the middle of the store for being such a garbage person, we move on to bigger fish.
This step in the theory really is just as simple as connecting with other people. We could have a coffee date with a friend, call a family member and catch up, or strike up a conversation with another owner at the dog park. The point is to prove to our brains that other people do not perceive us as a trash human, even if we think we are.
Perhaps this step feels like the hardest of any we’ve tried to tackle together—as someone who has found myself deeply mired in shame, I understand where you are right now. The truth is everyone is worthy, even the people you think are the worst people on the planet. Even you. All we have to do is take the next right step, and today, that step is to connect with another person and allow them to experience you as the not-garbage person you are.
Brown, B. (2013, January.) Shame v. guilt. Brené Brown. https://brenebrown.com/blog/2013/01/14/shame-v-guilt/
Selva, J. (2020, September.) Shame Resilience Theory: How to Respond to Shame. Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/shame-resilience-theory/