12 Signs of Shame In a Man
Shame is such a painful emotion, we humans often try to bury it. And we are so good at burying it, we don’t even know when we feel shame. And as I’ve discussed in a previous blog, you can’t tame what you can’t name!
The susceptibility to shame…
Feeling inadequate, undervalued, unloved, dispensable, and insignificant
during your childhood will likely have a lasting impact on you.
If you are a man with a challenging childhood, you will (likely) go to great lengths to…
avoid reliving the experience of feeling inadequate, undervalued, unloved, dispensable, and insignificant.
And for good reasons… those feelings feel terrible!
What are Signs of Shame in a Man?
As you matured, the shame you may not even know you feel becomes exquisitely attuned to the potential for humiliation.
Your response to perceived or actual offenses is to quickly anger, deflect responsibility, anticipate rejection, and interpret negativity in others.
While you really crave affection and approval...
… what you get instead is a cold shoulder from those you love most due to your strong reactions… which then causes you to feel even more rejected.
And cycle then goes on and on and on…
Until one day, your partner tells you she can’t take it anymore and they insist that you see a therapist…
Or you are so miserable you finally reach out for help.
How can you tell the signs of shame in a man?!?
Shame in men is often considered weak in American culture.
Outwardly sharing your feelings and emotional distress isn’t something many American men care to do.
Author William Pollack characterizes men’s anger as a form of “silent weeping”
Silent Weeping- A Sign of Shame in Men
“Silent weeping” is an outward expression of underlying pain that women might more readily convey through tears or explicit displays of sadness and grief.
In addition to anger, men "weep" by turning to:
- Adopting defensive postures
- Assigning blame
- Becoming irritable
- Displaying possessiveness
- Excessive work
- Heightened competition
- Experiencing physical ailments
- Engaging in extramarital affairs.
Does this sound familiar to you?
If so, know you aren’t alone! And there are many (many, many) counselors out there that work with men just like you!
I’d encourage you to reach out and ask for support. It won’t be nearly as bad as you think it could be!
Hopefully, if you are feeling down, you’re ready to give therapy a go!