By Seth Meyers, Psy. D.
Shame is one of those issues that’s often discussed without ever really operationalizing what it is. So, what is shame? Shame, boiled down to its root, is the feeling you have that something about you is wrong or bad. Where do we get our shame from? You guessed it: other people! It’s typically parents, other family members, or kids at school who say or do things that criticize a particular part of a person (weight, race, etc.), causing the feeling that you are wrong as you are. Many adults carry some degree of shame, and people can be ashamed of all sorts of things. The shame that adults carry almost always stems from the shaming behavior they received in childhood. Sadly, a child’s identity gets formed very young, and changing this years later can be extremely difficult.