Shame Resilience Theory: How to Recognize and Combat Shame

Shame Resilience Theory: How to Recognize and Combat Shame

Understanding Shame

Shame is a painful feeling that arises when we believe something is wrong with us as a person. It often stems from negative self-judgments and a sense that we have failed to meet expectations, standards or goals.

The Impact of Shame

Left unchecked, shame can deeply impact mental health and relationships. It is linked to conditions like depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Shame causes us to hide vulnerable parts of ourselves from others.

Brene Brown’s Shame Resilience Theory

Researcher Dr. Brene Brown studies shame and vulnerability. Her shame resilience theory examines the causes and cures for shame.

Recognizing Shame

Tuning into body sensations, thoughts and feelings can help reveal shame. Signals include feeling hot, wanting to hide, harsh self-criticism and believing you are defective.

Combating Shame

Strategies like speaking shame truths, practicing critical awareness about unrealistic expectations and sharing shame stories with trusted others can reduce shame.

Cultivating Compassion For Self and Others

Self-compassion, recognizing common humanity and showing compassion to others suffering from shame are antidotes. We all have vulnerabilities and make mistakes.


What is shame resilience theory?

A theory by researcher Dr. Brene Brown on recognizing, combating and preventing debilitating feelings of shame.

What causes feelings of shame?

The root is often the belief that there is something fundamentally wrong with us when we fail expectations. This causes extreme self-judgment.

How do you know if you are feeling shame?

Signals include feeling trapped, powerless, isolated and believing you are defective or will be rejected for showing your imperfections.

How can you overcome or prevent feelings of shame?

Strategies include practicing self-compassion, recognizing unrealistic expectations, sharing your story with someone you trust and speaking truths about your shame.

Why is shame resilience important?

Debilitating shame is linked to mental health issues and relationship problems. Resilience helps prevent shame from negatively impacting well-being.