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Shame

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Shame

Postby covertunsure » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:07 am

Shame is perhaps my biggest problem. I don't approach people I'm attracted to because I go crazy when I'm rejected (and I'm conditioned to think I'll always be rejected), and the shame and entitlement go off the charts. A crazy, bipolar mix of, "How dare they reject me? I'm really good looking (wait, aren't I???). Why aren't they into me? What's wrong with them? What's wrong with me? No wonder they don't like me. No one I like likes me. You're a piece of $#%^. You'll never meet anyone. I'm not as good looking as I thought. I'm not perfect. I can't stand myself." etc. etc. The thoughts are bad enough, but the feelings are even worse and more unbearable.

The shame I experience is incredibly toxic and painful. Among other things, shame causes me to further isolate myself and avoid people. It isn't just limited to romantic rejection, but that's perhaps the most prominent example.

How do you guys conquer or manage shame, assuming you have it, and assuming you are able to manage it? And perhaps relatedly, how do you deal with rejection?
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Re: Shame

Postby EllaBlack » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:37 am

covertunsure wrote:And perhaps relatedly, how do you deal with rejection?

Rejection is frustrating, but not a deterrent.

As for shame, I lack that.
you two are on my foe list
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Re: Shame

Postby flightrisk » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:16 pm

You're setting yourself up for failure with each interaction if you see others as accepting or rejecting you in such a binary way. People can genuinely like you and want to spend time with you even if they don't see you as the most attractive person they've ever encountered. Physical attraction and perceived beauty is subjective. For me, an average looking person can become gorgeous in my eyes if I like their personality, and the opposite is true as well.

Have you considered that perhaps your obsession with looks is a diversion you've created for yourself to avoid dealing with other issues?
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Re: Shame

Postby covertunsure » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:22 pm

EllaBlack wrote:
covertunsure wrote:And perhaps relatedly, how do you deal with rejection?

Rejection is frustrating, but not a deterrent.

As for shame, I lack that.


Interesting. Do you have NPD?

flightrisk wrote:You're setting yourself up for failure with each interaction if you see others as accepting or rejecting you in such a binary way. People can genuinely like you and want to spend time with you even if they don't see you as the most attractive person they've ever encountered. Physical attraction and perceived beauty is subjective. For me, an average looking person can become gorgeous in my eyes if I like their personality, and the opposite is true as well.

Have you considered that perhaps your obsession with looks is a diversion you've created for yourself to avoid dealing with other issues?


Well, I guess it's partly a projection, because I'm very picky and judgmental, and have high standards, so I guess I expect/project they do with me as well. And it is true to some degree, because other good-looking people can inherently afford to be (and seemingly usually are) picky.

In full honesty, I'm apparently so delusional and narcissistic that your "even if they don't see you as the most attractive person they've ever encountered" triggered the familiar panic and narcissistic rage in me at my false or at least desperately wished-for reality being questioned, even of course in your case inadvertently/unintentionally and even though I know intellectually that I'm not the most attractive person in the world.

But the idea of someone not *seeing* me as that enrages and panics me, maybe in part because my black and white mind isn't able to process grays and see myself as attractive "enough" so I need to be at one extreme or the other, otherwise I can't cope. I've realized this is an inability, not an unwillingness or character failing, at this point, so I try to be easier on myself about it. (Of course, who *wouldn't* want to be seen as the most attractive person in the world? It's flattering, but not a reality for almost anyone.)

Regarding your question, instinctively, I feel the answer is no, I never consciously constructed a diversion, just that I simply must feel good about myself before engaging in relationships. But you might be onto something, I'm just not sure how to tell; perhaps it's subconscious. How do you think I might go about finding that out?
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Re: Shame

Postby flightrisk » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:48 pm

covertunsure wrote:How do you think I might go about finding that out?

Mental health professional?

Your frequent experience with a 'panic' response and your intrusive thoughts suggest there may be more going on here than NPD.
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Re: Shame

Postby covertunsure » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:48 pm

flightrisk wrote:
covertunsure wrote:How do you think I might go about finding that out?

Mental health professional?

Your frequent experience with a 'panic' response and your intrusive thoughts suggest there may be more going on here than NPD.


Yes, I've seen a psychologist for the past couple months, using transference-focused therapy (made a thread about this narcissistic-personality/topic214483.html). I'm skeptical it will help. He doesn't think I have OCD or any other Axis I disorder, which makes me think he's a dumbass, even though he went to an Ivy League university and studied under (or, at least, I think he did) Otto Kernberg. This only leads him to then say that I'm in a cycle of idealizing and devaluing him. Which may be true, but it just makes me feel crazier than I already am.

He doesn't think I have OCD because he doesn't see the compulsion followed by the obsessions (intrusive thoughts). I feel like the very fact I have intrusive thoughts should clue him in. With pure "O" OCD, the compulsions are either completely absent or, I believe more likely, less visible to the outside world.

For example, I'll think, "I'm gorgeous," to which I'll cringe and think "I can't think that," and I have to think "I'm not gorgeous" to neutralize the inevitable disappointment of walking around thinking that and having it not be confirmed by the world.

My last psychiatrist, OTOH, thought I had OCD and NOT a true Axis II PD. It's all so befuddling.

What's obvious to me--and he agreed with this--is that whatever your training, specialty, orientation, religion, opinion, etc. is, biases you, kinda like the "when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail" phenomena. So he naturally lumps me into Axis 2 PD, whereas my last psychiatrist had more Axis 1 training (mood, anxiety, etc.), so he was more likely to think in those terms. This only further complicates the picture as it becomes impossible to get a clear and accurate diagnosis and, thus, treatment.
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Re: Shame

Postby flightrisk » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:03 pm

That's gotta be frustrating. Sorry you can't get a clear answer. The mental health profession isn't doing itself any favors here by having such wildly different interpretations of the same behavior.
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Re: Shame

Postby covertunsure » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:58 am

flightrisk wrote:That's gotta be frustrating. Sorry you can't get a clear answer. The mental health profession isn't doing itself any favors here by having such wildly different interpretations of the same behavior.


Yeah, well part of the problem is that medicine, and particularly psychiatry/psychology, often isn't clear-cut or empirically, physiologically, etc. provable. You can't (usually) point to an MRI of the brain and say, "a-ha! There's his OCD, NPD, etc." So much is subjective. Also, I can't really explain everything sufficiently. My mind is way too complicated. :lol:

It's interesting no one else has chimed in. I've read that shame is at the root of both BPD and NPD. Maybe most people with NPD aren't consciously aware of it as much?
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Re: Shame

Postby Akuma » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:22 am

Whats the difference between shame and embarrassment?
I feel some of my development-delays and stuff "normal" people kern in their teens or earlier and I have to work on them almost in my 40s now to be a bit embarrassing. But I'm not sure I am ashamed of it.
dx: dissociative disorder + npd
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Re: Shame

Postby justonemoreperson » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:31 am

Shame is a fear response with no resolution. Usually people react to fear by either running from the situation or fighting it. Shame exists after the event, where no more action can be taken.

It's a realisation that you've caused a social problem that cannot be fixed, and your flight / flight process has nothing to work with. With the behaviour comes a recognition that you've contravened some widely accepted principle and your status in your social group is threatened.
I'm not arguing; I'm explaining why I'm right.
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