self shame


I was having a conversation with my friend, Paula, telling her about an exchange I had with another woman. The woman started throwing these insults my way that I just could not understand why, or what she was trying to tell me. Paula made the remark that she sounded like she had a lot of self shame. I had never heard this term before, so I asked questions and then set about my own investigation into this new and intriguing behavior.

What exactly is self shame?

Self shame is just like self esteem. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Both are based on your feelings for yourself and both are based on the perception and opinions that others have of us. Self shame is obviously a negative connotation, but self esteem can also be negative if it’s considered low.  

Both are your own manifestations of self, based on what other people think of you.

How freeing it must be not to care what someone else thinks of you?!

How about to not care what anyone thinks of you?!


That’s a movement I can get behind, within reason. I would like to reach that goal, but with decency and decorum foremost in mind. In other words, it might not be a great idea to go shouting, “SCREW YOU!” to the world while you go your merry way, not caring what anyone thinks of your newly found carefree attitude. I’m pretty sure you can make it to Nirvana without pissing everyone off along the way.

Here’s where I tell you, “It’s easy! Just do this!” Except I maybe don’t have those easy answers this morning. I am even considering that it may even be a hard path for me to traverse, but I am willing to give it a try.


Based on what I have written in my blog over the last eight or so years, you would think I had evolved past that caring stage, right? You’d be wrong. I am not so bad as I used to be though! When I first started writing about the trials in my life that were deeply embedded under my skin, what people thought about me was the biggest one. I was so butthurt over so many incidents I felt I was suffering through and they were all about gossip I was told or insults I perceived as directed towards me. If I were as evolved then as I think I am now, I could have saved myself a whole lot of time!

Here’s the real thing…all of those perceptions broken down into truths were simply that person’s own insecurities and fears about themselves. What did any of that have to do with me? Was any of that really my business?

Recent gossip about my mother-in-law hating me, found me confronting the woman that said it, only to find out her mother-in-law hated her too. Naturally it felt good to her to find someone else in the same boat, except I wasn’t keen on the whole gossip/deflection/humiliation side of that conversation. It made me feel ashamed to have to explain that to someone that didn’t know me, didn’t know my situation and probably didn’t give a crap to find out either, considering it came to me as gossip anyway.

Self shame.

There it is, folks.

I read quite a few articles on this topic and the one thing they keep coming back to is the difference between perception and truth. Perception is not always the truth of a situation. What someone thinks is not always a fact, however they have the right to think it and even to tell other people what they think. You have no control over that.


Let’s face it. A huge segment of your world are people and many of them are small-minded, Gladys-at-the-window-peeping jerks. They are always going to be looking for that one crack in your armor they can exploit in order to make themselves feel better about their own cracks.

Do you really want to know how you can stop caring what they think?

Stop looking out your own window.

If you’d like to follow an incredible soul to learn more about how you can have a happier and more fulfilled life, consider checking out my friend Paula. She is the angel that sits on my shoulder. Love. Life. Om

Thanks for stopping by today to have a look at what’s going on in my world. If you read anything here that sounds worth remembering, consider clicking the Follow button, right here on the front page. You’ll get a reminder every time I decide to bang on my keyboard and share my thoughts. Cheers!!


About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice, Personal Boundaries Primer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to self shame

  1. Lynn Thaler says:

    Great advice and I needed to be reminded that “looking out my own window” is a waste

    Liked by 1 person

    • Today I will start taking my own advice. I am so weary of looking out my own window, not so much as to find other’s faults, but to see what others are finding faulting with me. I am so done explaining it to them. I am so over listening to the untrue, the mistaken, and the uninformed try to tell me what the world thinks of me. The sad fact is the world rarely thinks about me. The world is too busy thinking of itself. 🙂

      Happy holidays, Lynn! Sending you joy and love this season! ❤


  2. Paula says:

    I learn from you with every beautiful post you write and have the courage to post. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ashish says:

    Love this one too. How i did not thought about this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I swear, you really ought to think about having a blog. You are awesome with the words!


  5. I may care about the negative opinions of other people but I always reach the same conclusion: most of it is driven by their shame and their envy and is not my problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You make me a stronger person, one word at a time…
    My heart still hurts from people/friends that have moved on, and I try to understand “why?”…Did I unknowingly do or not do something? Being the quiet , fly on the wall that I often am…I miss Love

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow…time to start looking through my own window. Always been so important to me what other people think of me and I have never quite understood why. Over the years though and mostly with the help of people like yourself, I have learned that I cannot fix, change what other people think of me, what their perception is and bit by bit it is sinking in that it really does not matter what they think of me. As long as those that I love, adore and have close to me in my life accept me for who I AM, as long as I know I like myself – that is all that really matters, is it not? Thank you, Madeline Scribes and please, please keep them coming ❤ Merry Christmas to you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • The people that love you will always think the best of you. that’s what I wish for everyone I love. ❤ Thank you for being one of those friends, Marianne. I can always count on the softest and most wonderful words from you. Merry Christmas!! ❤


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