Why Feeling Shameful Is Probs Ruining Your Life
Feeling embarrassed sucks, feeling guilty sucks, and feeling self-conscious in general sucks. But even when it feels hard, you’ve got to try to see the end of the shame tunnel, and work your way through it.
First of all, shame affects your sex life, which then, in turn affects daily life. Feeling guilty about your sexual decisions can mean regretting acting a certain way, like admitting you want something specific while hooking up with someone, or even just regretting saying yes to sex in general. I’m a big proponent of this one. I have sex with people I don’t care about, probably as part of some twisted cycle that I use to make myself feel guilty later on.
“Many women engage in this endless shame spiral because they don’t feel like it’s OK to be themselves sexually,” Carol Queen, Ph.D. and staff sexologist for Good Vibrations told Women’s Health.
Shame makes it much harder to enjoy sexual experiences while you’re having them.
“Women are more prone to distracting thoughts because they often have numerous roles in their lives and feel more guilt about sex,” another expert, Karen Stewart said.
Shame also affects your career. I wrote an article last month about how Google has recently changed its infamous hiring policy to include questions that ask for women to rate themselves positively. What they didn’t consider, is that this is something that us girls have a lot of trouble doing.
“Our hypothesis there was because there is so much societal pressure on women to be self-effacing and humble and hang back and be modest, and wait till they’re certain rather than raising their hand at the first opportunity like men, on average, do,” Lazslo Bock, Google’s head of human resources said, “If a woman says she’s a five [out of five], first of all, she’s probably going to have higher EQ and social perceptiveness on average. And second — she’s gonna be amazing! And, indeed, that’s what we see.”
Women have a hard time not being humble because studies show that society doesn’t often reward us when we’re proud of ourselves.
And in order to be all the things that society asks of us, unfortunately, we have to let go of the same ideas that bring us down. Feeling shame — and especially bodily shame — only perpetuates the cycles and characteristics that you want to change within yourself. A Shape article titled “Fat Shaming Could Be Destroying Your Body” detailed how feeling negatively towards your own body gives you more health issues, and makes you even more fat.
In a study on the effects of body shaming, researchers found that “people who were shamed for their weight gained about three and a half more pounds than people who said their weight received no attention.”
As women, we’re all pretty prone to feeling these things quite often, usually without identifying those thoughts. This might be a feeling that you don’t even want to identify with, but there’s no shame in admitting shame. At the very least, you can know you’re not alone with that feeling.