Three useful exercises to overcome shame


“Oh my God, what a figure!” Shame is an emotion that we already begin to develop in the second year of life and is closely related, first, to the relationship with parents and then with the authoritative figures, teachers and coaches. “An extremely judgmental mother or father reinforces the sense of inadequacy“, he claims Patrizia Vaccaropsychotherapist in Milan.

“Each of us has internalized an image of his own ego that can be positive (I’m good, I’m worth) or negative (I’m bad, I’m incapable)”, continues the expert. “Those who carry a negative judgment inside will have more difficulty than others in managing relationships in a balanced way.” But is it possible to overcome shame? How to do? Of course, because this sense of inadequacy, growing and affirming itself, can change its sign. And become a way to accept your limits.

Here are 3 exercises recommended by Dr. Vaccaro to learn to love our “broken” parts and to overcome shame.

  • 1. Listen to the body

    The first thing to do is understand what happens to us on a body level. Look for the heat on your face, sweaty hands, and tachycardia. And after tracing this sensory mapping, she notices what happens: slowly the redness and sweating disappear and the heartbeat is regularized. Do you see it’s just a transitory state?

  • 2. Test yourself

    Expose yourself. Pick an easy situation where you can show off and see what happens. For example, start speaking in a meeting or put yourself in the center of attention in a party full of strangers. Once the ice is broken it will be easier to do it next time.

  • 3. Share the emotions

    Talking to a friend about an episode where you weren’t on top and being able to laugh at it helps you focus on the sense of shame and to let it go. Irony is a great ally in learning to manage emotions and sharing helps us realize that we all work the same way.

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