“As shame-based people get entrenched in their cover-ups, they become more shameless. They hide their mistakes with perfectionism, control, blame, criticism, contempt, etc. To be shameless is to play God. This grandiose God-playing is a spiritual disaster. It is spiritual bankruptcy. Healthy shame is permission to be human…to be limited, finite, needy, and prone to mistakes.” – John Bradshaw
“I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.” ― Jonathan Swift
“[She] had heard it said that there was only one emotion which, in recollection, was capable of resurrecting the full immediacy and power of the original—one emotion that time could never fade, and that would drag you back any number of years into the pure, undiluted feeling, as if you were living it anew. It wasn’t love… and it wasn’t hate, or anger, or happiness, or even grief. Memories of those were but echoes of the true feeling. It was shame. Shame never faded.” – Laini Taylor
“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.” ― Brené Brown
“In my view, suicide is not really a wish for life to end. It is the only way a powerless person can find to make everybody else look away from his shame. The wish is not to die, but to hide.” ― Orson Scott Card
“Family are the people who must make you feel ashamed when you are deserving of shame.” – Jonathan Safran Foer
“If you can do nothing else, do whatever is in your power to make the people in your life feel completely unashamed of who they are.” – Sam Killermann
“I was still searching for someone to blame for my suffering. I really wanted someone to transfer my hate to, so that I could stop hating myself.” – Glenn Beck
“The most paradoxical aspect of neurotic shame is that it is the core motivator of the superachieved and the underachieved, the star and the scapegoat, the righteous and the wretched, the powerful and the pathetic.” – John Bradshaw
“Millions cheer the warrior
spilling blood across the ring
while the one who stands for peace
is ridiculed and shamed.
Must hearts forever suffer
from ignorance and greed?
Can bombs heal our souls
or set our spirits free?” – Aberjhani
“The world needs people who have survived mistakes, tragedies, and trials to help the rest of us through. …The world needs you to let go of self-pity and shame regarding your life experiences, too. The world needs you to use the things you have learned for good. Stop letting your past mistakes define you and affect your value. Let go of separation and victimhood and find meaning in what you have been through.” – Kimberly Giles
“Why are you drinking?” demanded the little prince.
“So that I may forget,” replied the tippler.
“Forget what?” inquired the little prince, who was already sorry for him.
“Forget that I am ashamed,” the tippler confessed, hanging his head.
“Ashamed of what?” insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him.
“Ashamed of drinking!” – Antoine de St.Exupéry
“Good…if you’ve done things you aren’t proud of. It means you have a conscience.” – Criss Jami
“Our need to be ‘greater than’ or ‘less than’ has been a defense against toxic shame. A shameful act was committed upon us. The perpetrator walked away, leaving us with the shame. We absorbed the notion that we are somehow defective. To cover for this we constructed a false self, a masked self. And it is this self that is the overachiever or the dunce, the tramp or the puritan, the powermonger or the pathetic loser.” – Maureen Brady
“To err is human; to seek penance is humankind’s unique act of salvation. Whenever a person fails, it is often their overwhelming sense of anguish that drives them forward to make a second attempt that is far more bighearted than they originally envisioned. …By working independently to better ourselves and struggling to fulfill our cherished values, we save ourselves while coincidentally uplifting all of humanity.”—Kilroy J. Oldster
“I had a chance to lay it all out on the table, and I didn’t. But that’s the problem with shame. Shame doesn’t like company. Shame’s not something that likes to be shared.” – Meghan Quinn
“Every man is sensitive. Some cover it up with brutality, others with cowardice and vanity, but a small few wear it bravely like armor.” – Solange Nicole
“Life is more than happiness, anyway. It’s okay to feel all the things we feel. It’s human. There’s no shame in wanting to be happy, of course. We all want to be happy. But rather than try to choose happiness, maybe we can choose being kinder and more loving. That we can do. We can work hard to take better care of ourselves, and better care of each other. If we do these things, and we remember that we are all connected, all brothers and sisters, all worthy of love, maybe then happiness will choose us a little more often.” – Scott Stabile
“We teach girls shame. Close your legs. Cover yourself. We make them feel as though by being born female, they are already guilty of something. And so girls grow up to be women who cannot say they have desire. Who silence themselves. Who cannot say what they truly think. Who have turned pretense into an art form.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Shame internalized can lead to agony. Whereas shame let out can lead to freedom, or at least a funny story, which is a sort of freedom too.” – Jon Ronson
“A divide underlies the actions and words of every native Southerner. And no, it ain’t ‘Ford versus Chevy.’ The internal conflict that has defined what it means to be from the South is that of ‘Pride versus Shame.’ For example, jean shorts. We invented ’em. They hit. They also somehow don’t hit. Proud. Also ashamed.” ― Trae Crowder
“Taking away your language is just another way of destroying you—of saying that who you are doesn’t matter—like slaughtering the buffalo, or outlawing our religion. It’s part of a strategy to destroy an individual and collective identity. When you don’t have an identity, a self, what have you got? Nothing! In fact, worse than nothing because you’ve got shame and guilt that you lost the things that were most important to you. So I covered my shame and guilt with anger and hatred. Most of my tribe is still angry—and they live among angry people so it seems normal. But it’s completely dysfunctional and works to continue the process of destruction set in motion 200 years ago.” ― Spencer Martin, Methow native
“If all of our sins, bad habits, and poor choices were permanently inked into our skin like tattoos, we would all dress quite modestly.” – Richelle E. Goodrich
“A bad day for the ego is a good day for the soul.” – Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith