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Does this happen to you? I am always afraid that I will do something stupid or to embarrass myself. Normally, I am very happy go lucky and often his has led to a lot of trouble for me. I either say or do the wrong thing or I make a mistake and can't live it down. I find myself constantly replaying it in my head and it causes me to clam up and not want to leave my house. I had a very sever episode of panic attacks some years ago and I suffered agoraphobia for a year. Now I feel like going back and I still avoid places where I feel I may be shamed. Does anybody else experience this? It makes me so afraid to live my life and be free. I am so sensitive and so sared of what other think. What about you?

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Comment by ShellyBelly on September 29, 2013 at 6:30pm

Thanks to all of you guys. I agree Thomas. Whenever I think of people who have hurt my feelings or bullied me, I always look back in forgiveness and I take no pleasure in their living with shame if they are really sorry. It's forgiving myself that I struggle with.

Comment by Aseel on September 29, 2013 at 11:46am

I do experience these a lot,so I tend to avoid people  at school and at home but I always end up daydreaming and sometimes I keep replaying all the embarrassing situation I've through and then I start to have a panic attack.

Comment by Vanessa on September 28, 2013 at 3:00pm

Hi I'm Vanessa and I am new to this site, and I have to tell you I feel the same way constant embarrassment saying and doing things that most people consider stupid, un-lady like, or just lacking in common sense I realize that's probably not what you meant but still I just want it to stop and feel and be perceived as a normal person to be able to accomplish things without feeling a sense of inadequacy, feeling like I'm destined to fail before I even start. I'm so afraid of being looked down on that I wind up doing or saying  something that's stupid and wind up being looked down at any way  its a vicious cycle I just want it to stop to be able to go through life like a regular human being. I'm sorry I don't mean to come off as if I'm whining I just want it to stop for everything to be okay for me to be okay.  

Comment by Water Lily on September 27, 2013 at 4:13pm

Wow. Thank you Thomas. "I and no one deserves to feel shame".  What a great motto - I am borrowing that!

Something else I do whenever I start reliving intense shame from past or current events is think "how would the heroine of my DD's react to this?" I think it helps me step outside the situation a bit, gives me another way of reacting to an embarrassing situation, and puts things in perspective. It doesn't work always...but it does sometimes. 

Comment by taffle on September 27, 2013 at 11:24am

Me too. I avoid visiting certain places because of what happened in the past. I particularly don't like visiting public schools because that's where I used to be bullied. I also avoid visiting certain cities that I don't like.

Comment by Thomas Truxal on September 25, 2013 at 7:47pm

I can relate to this post and would like to share an opinion. The first is that I don't believe in shame. It's counter-productive, it's wallowing, it's hurtful, and often embarrassing. I've had a motto that I have been very vocal to my friends, family, and coworkers about for the last couple of years which is- I refuse to experience shame.

My life has truly been transforming since I adopted this motto. I think I spent over 20 years feeling embarrassed and ashamed of who I was and some of the choices I made. Call me crazy, but sometimes my face will get bright red when I relive playing a baseball game when I was 10 and how I messed up. It's crazy that I can sometimes feel shame about thinks that happened 18 years ago.

What has been working for me (might not for everyone) is I frequently remind myself "I and no one deserves to feel shame." The baseball story that I use to relive in my mind is now comical dinner conversation I share with people to get a laugh. I also use to feel shame when going to the gym.

I coined the term gymphobia- where I was constantly comparing myself down to everyone. I use to think to myself, "you're not welcome here. You're never going to get in shape.  You're in everyone's way." It was a pretty negative voice and as a result, I started going to the gym at 1:00 A.M. when no one was there so I could avoid shame and blame.

However, I've been working really really hard at embracing my differences and building my self-confidence up since then (Vegas 4 years ago). When that negative voice creeps in and tells me to feel stupid or unworthy I have to literally talk to myself out loud to get through it. I have found good music that helps too. Also, doing random acts of kindness also makes that voice and shame go away. As far as the gymphobia goes, I do push ups on my dreaded 21 hour flight from LAX to Singapore that I fly a few times a year. It's funny how I use to be afraid of what people think of me, and now I'm like "Hi, this is going to sound weird, but I need to do push ups for a minute- could you please move your tray table and seat to the full upright position?" It's funny because after I do push ups someone else starts doing them and then somehow we all start talking on the plane and making fb connections. It's crazy to think that 4 years ago, I felt so much shame for using my body for exercise I had to hide and work out and now I could care less what people think of me.

The hardest part of my advice for dealing with shame is that it is super easy to say "Stop caring what other people think." The truth is that is really really really really hard to do. However, there is a great freedom to life when you can let it go. Which I'm starting to fully embrace. I hope you can too. :-)

Comment by S K on September 25, 2013 at 5:29pm

oh god yes!it never ceases to amaze me how much I relate to the experiences and people on this site. The feeling is almost perpetual-permanent for me.Since I am no happy go lucky gal it's a constant struggle to keep those memories at bay.I have tried giving in to those feelings and letting it all out, ignoring it and going about my day and writing it down.Neither seem to help.But I wish I wasn't programmed to have those feelings.It's like a heightened conciousness or self-awareness but in a negative way.

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