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Shame vs Guilt

Shame vs Guilt
December 20, 2021

Being able to identify and name our feelings is critical if we want to be able to resolve them. As Mr. Rogers often said, “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.” When we say we are feeling “bad”, that sometimes can be how the subconscious protects us from being in touch with deep, painful feelings like shame and guilt. But what is the difference between shame and guilt? Shame reflects how we feel about ourselves. Guilt is our awareness that our actions have injured someone else. In other words, shame relates to self and guilt relates to other people. Sometimes we will feel both in regards to a single situation. Shame and guilt are gifts, because they help us identify who we actually are on the inside by letting us know when we behaved in ways that are not true to ourselves. Shame and guilt can be remedied by making things right (if that is possible) and a recommitment to living within your core values.

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