There are many ways we feel shame, in Psychotherapist’s Joseph Burgo there are 4 subtypes of shame and I will list them here:
- Unrequited Love-this is not only the type of unreciprocated love between adults, the author explains that it happens in infancy and childhood when a parent is not able to respond to the child in a healthy way. In my opinion this explains those nasty situations where we run after unavailable people. This makes a lot of sense to me.
- Unwanted exposure-maybe you were called out on something and humiliated about it.
- Disappointed exception-perhaps you set out to do something and fail.
- Being left out-it happens everywhere, home, work, school. No one wants to feel alone and rejected.
Shame can be so mentally excruciating that we are stopped in our tracks or run away from the pain. And that is normal.
How to heal shame: very difficult without mindfulness. But certainly achievable by doing the important work of examining your mental health. There is Mr. Burgo’s book plus the classic book on shame by John Bradshaw. There are thousands of articles and books available plus it’s really helpful to have a therapist so you can work through the core emotion of shame.