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How do you guys learn to feel less shame?

2941 Views 14 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Quernus
I ask this in regards to confronting emotions that you may be feeling at the moment, or attempt to resolve pent-up emotions associated with past events.

(I.e. guilt upon realization that you may have been acting in harmful ways towards specific people in your life, that rare time when you let yourself be angry over injustices committed against you instead of holding it in for the long-term, etc.)

Instead of habitually ignoring them or trying to avoid them do to the possible feelings of discomfort associated with the realization process, how does one let themselves be free of these burdens when they mostly aren't familiar with freeing themselves at all?
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It's not rare for me to feel anger over "injustices". I probably have to work to not nurse a grudge, and I easily feel initial anger. I think it helps me to simply decide to not take it personally and instead to move forward with a more productive approach. The less I dwell, the less it grows, and the easier it is to move on.

I don't know if I have guilt over how I've acted towards anyone...I tend to feel guilt over not meeting obligations of standards I feel I should meet. Sometimes this involves feeling selfish or feeling bad over not fitting some qualities attributed to the female gender role (ie. being warmly expressive), but it's still more about an ideal than a specific instance, and it often involves a lack more than an active offense. The best way for me to solve this is to do it (to change) or to reframe its significance (not make it so necessary). Often, I have tied my identity to something, and it's more a matter of shame over not being some ideal I wish to be. I have to give permission for myself to be human & flawed & idiosyncratic, as I do with other people. I stubble with feeling unlikable, which is hard for me to get over because it involves others' feelings, and I may not be balanced in reading their signals.

I don't habitually ignore or avoid feelings of discomfort (all of this sounds very 9-ish, by the way). Instead I over-identfy with those feelings. I cling to them as part of my "story". I don't let myself grow past them, but instead use them to frame myself, so that they are a constant air about me. Even when I intellectually confront their source, which I often know as I've spent time dwelling on them and exploring them, they don't seem to dissolve. Maybe I just have to give myself a new story? I don't know, because I definitely haven't figured this one out. The better question for me is how to move past awareness, because I get suffocated by my own hyper self-awareness.

It helps sometimes to get outside data points, which give a bigger picture, one which gives me control instead of feeling fated to some role. It also helps to create new data points & exercise that control - start making a new story, which lessens the grip of the feelings over my sense of self.
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No, I absolutely was not talking about you. When I realized that I that edited out so the post simply wasn't directed at anyone. I do think an inability to accept blame and seeing oneself in a way that's a bit out of touch with reality are real problems 4s have to face though.

Although I really see that happen more with younger 4s than more mature 4s.

And the only reason I'm even bringing this up is because a lot of people seem to give 4s a free pass when it comes to their shortcomings.
I don't experience it this way, nor do I think this is typical of the 4's inner experience. Rather, blame is internalized into shame, meaning, the person doesn't only accept responsibility for what happened, but they allow it to affect their sense of self. They didn't just make a mistake, but they are a BAD PERSON, someone less deserving of love, acceptance, happiness, etc, than other people. This is at the heart of the 4 fixation. It actually fuels envy.

A fair amount of 4s show a "counter shame" which may look like an "I don't care" attitude, but it's just a protective shell and a way of coping when the burden of shame is too great. I agree with the poster who said that self-acceptance and acceptance from a close, loved one are hugely important in getting past this.

As for others letting the 4 get away with stuff, well, we all cover over the flaws of others at times & may choose to focus on their strengths or else we'd have trouble getting along with anyone. Those people's decisions to do that are their decisions regarding their relationships with those 4s, and I'm not sure that rejecting someone or throwing something in their face is really the key to helping them.

I don't feel like I get a free pass in life when it comes to my shortcomings. I experience many repercussions, many of which feel harsher than those others experience for similar or worse grievances. 4 strengths are less celebrated also, unless you're an extremely rare one who has some genius - alas, most of us 4s are not famous artists. This leaves the feeling that we don't have much to contribute, so there is a withdrawing from life.

I guess what you suggest seems counter-productive when you know what's going on inside.

It would be like telling a 6 who is staunchly defending something that they need to question & doubt more....
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