Shame is an extremely powerful emotion that gets people to avoid, withdraw, shut down, freeze up, and avoid eye contact. People that feel an immense amount of shame often experience themselves as grossly inadequate and avoid relationships at all costs.
Avoiding relationships can lead to several beliefs:
- I am incapable of having relationships
- Something is fundamentally wrong with me (that doesn’t appear to be wrong with anyone else)
- I am not likable
- The positive experiences that others seem to get from relationships isn’t available to me
- I don’t understand what sets me apart from other people
- Maintaining relationships is not possible
- I will never have the types of relationships that I want
One way of treating shame is to avoid avoiding relationships! Some people feel a great deal of shame for things that other people may not think of as shameful. Other people have done things that are very hurtful or harming to relationships and don’t know what to do about it.
Relationship repair work is a tricky business! How do you do it? The benefits of doing good repair work include reducing shame, building a sense of mastery and accomplishment when our human failings get in our way, realizing that we make mistakes, realizing that not everyone will like us, and empowering ourselves to keep trying to initiate and maintain relationships that can be potentially rewarding. Being good at repair work can help us to feel better about ourselves.
This is the first time that I am offering an online training series for people who are struggling with relationship repair. The best thing is that you don’t have to be anywhere near Boston to benefit from it! Just go to my website, click on the online training, and purchase the package. You will get three audio downloads taking you through the steps. Included is an example of relationship repair and some tips for when relationship repair doesn’t work.
Let me know how it goes!