Raw Shame; Ten More Ways We Manifest the Pain of Shame

 This is part four of a six part study on the book Healing the Hurts of Your Past. These are the notes I used to guide a radio interview in the spring of 2012.  I discussed Ten Ways Denial Numbs Our Shame but I took a little time to discuss my final list of shame “fruit”.

The first group of fruit  we looked at consists of control tactics; coping mechanisms to keep the pain of shame from surfacing. When these tactics don’t work we turn to the second group; denial. And when denial fails then we have raw manifestations of pain.

Ten Ways We Manifest the Pain of Shame

  1. Envy – you wish you had what others enjoy but are convinced you never will because you don’t deserve good things in life.
  2. Anger – when you don’t have what you want you are always mad at somebody. Mad at yourself. Mad at people who put you down. Mad at God for making you so inadequate.
  3. Rage – shame based people don’t feel like they deserve to express their anger so they often suppress it…until it builds up and they let it rip.
  4. Anxiety – you live in fear of being exposed for the poser that you are. Some day everyone will know the “real” you and they will kick you out.
  5. Mistreating Yourself – you don’t think you deserve anything good and it manifests by…
  • accepting the inferior – relationships, jobs, food at restaurants, etc. 
  • sabotage – when you DO  get something good you feel so uncomfortable that you undermine the relationship, job, etc. so you don’t have it long.
  • harming yourself
  • eating disorders
  • a reckless lifestyle. Not caring about consequences because you aren’t worth preserving.   

6. Demand or Need for Affirmation – you trail people around hoping that they will feel obligated to like you. When they don’t you use it as proof of how unworthy you are.

7. Devalue Yourself; apologizing all the time, not accepting gifts.

8. Powerlessness – you live convinced that life will never be good and you can’t do anything about it. You let others control your life.

9. Self-pity – you are happy to get whatever kind of attention you can get.

10. Suicide – you give  up on life because your pain is too great and you don’t see it ever-changing.

Let me repeat one last time…if you see yourself in this list it doesn’t mean you have ten MORE problems. You have ONE problem…shame. These are simply manifestations of shame. Deal with your shame and this list disappears.

My book goes into depth regarding this topic. Shame doesn’t have to control your life. With God’s help, you can overcome it!

Question: How else do you so the pain of shame manifest? Please take a second to leave a comment below.

  • Ten Ways Denial Numbs the Pain of Shame (readingremy.com)
  • Ten Ways Shame Manifests in Your Life – Study Guide 3 (readingremy.com)
  • Study Guide 1: What Does the Bible Say About Shame? (readingremy.com)

7 thoughts on “Raw Shame; Ten More Ways We Manifest the Pain of Shame

  1. Sue

    The “not accepting gifts” gave me some pause for thought. I have shame about “not being a better daughter” to my mother (who was always lovingly neglectful) and I had THOUGHT that I was ripping up her checks for special occasions because I wanted to save her money. I think, though, it is also a sense of feeling I don’t deserve it.

    1. F. Remy Diederich Post author

      Good insight. yeah…explore that thought. We often say, “Oh, you shouldn’t have done it” in regard to receiving a gift. If we are honest what we mean is…”I’m not worthy of kindness”. Yet, as you noted, we cover it with other thoughts that mask our shame. Thanks for sharing this. It helps others look deeper too.


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  5. kathleen

    Do you have any suggestions for people who have family members who are suffering from shame? I am tired of playing his mind games. It has really soured my relationship with him. I love him, but can’t stand to see him ruining what life he has left with the notion that he is not good enough. He thinks he doesn’t deserve anything nice, and therefore anyone who is living with him has to suffer with inadequate living arrangements (running water, etc) I would love to be able to get through to him, but feel that it is a lost cause. Believe me, so many people have tried getting through to him. I have been praying for him and hope it is enough, but if you have any suggestions, they will be gladly listened to. Thank you

    1. F. Remy Diederich

      There may not be any getting through to him at this point. If he is open to reading, my first book (Healing the Hurts of Your Past) addresses his issues. It will help you understand him better as well. If not, then it’s probably an issue of you implementing some healthy boundaries. If you search for “boundaries” in my posts you should find a few. You might also look in the margin of my blog to the book offers. Necessary Endings, Boundaries, and STUCK will all help you deal with this kind of personality.

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