Helping Supporters Understand Shame
- Feel responsible for things that aren’t your fault.
- Feel like there is something fundamentally wrong with you.
- Feel like you can’t change.
- Feel alone even when you’re surrounded by loving people.
Explaining how you feel is a great first step, but then you might want to keep discussing your experiences. Here are some follow-up questions you can ask to start a conversation.
- How can I clarify anything that I’ve told you?
- In what ways do any of my experiences or feelings resonate with you?
- When have you experienced any feelings like this that you want to share with me?
- What questions do you have for me?
What other questions do you think would lead to a productive conversation?
Your loved one might struggle to know how they can be most helpful. Give them some ideas for things they can do to support you in your efforts to overcome shame. You might suggest things like:
- Be willing to listen and validate feelings.
- Help find professional resources like a therapist that can help with shame.
- Give sincere compliments.
Spend some time thinking about what would be most helpful to you and write down a couple of your ideas.
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