Words have a dramatic effect on how we interact with people and the decisions we ultimately make. They can influence us, inspire us and just as easily bring us to tears, affect our confidence and self-esteem. Shame on you. These three simple words can temporarily — or, when used too often, permanently — destroy an individual’s sense of value and self-worth.
“In modernity, shame is the most obstructed and hidden emotion, and therefore the most destructive,” said Thomas Scheff, professor emeritus of sociology at UC Santa Barbara. “Emotions are like breathing — they cause trouble only when obstructed.”
In complex decisions of “right” and “wrong,” our emotions may get the last word, but the words we hear make us judge ourselves. Particular emotional centers in the brain charge up when the dilemmas involve insults from others.
When hidden, he continued, shame causes…
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