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The Shame Lady's Blog

Anger vs. Shaming Anger

Kristina Eklund

There’s shame - feeling as though you’re not good enough (to belong).

There’s anger - the feeling of being wronged (unable to exercise a right).

And then there’s Shaming Anger!

You know when you feel Shaming Anger because you slip into the blame game. “You did something you shouldn’t have done!” There’s that “shame-producing should” - this time being lobbed onto someone else.

You know when Shaming Anger is coming at you - berating you not just for something you did or didn’t do, but also with an underlying message of “YOU are not worthy” (of belonging).

Anger can be a helpful emotion. After all - it helps us set boundaries, the most basic of which is “No!” But anger can get yucky when it’s unconsciously mingled with shame (as it so often is!). Let's look at the difference:

shaming anger image3.JPG

Sometimes anger becomes shaming anger with a scornful look or a shaming tone of voice - no added shaming words necessary.

But wait! There is a place for shaming anger. There are certainly things I would like others to feel too ashamed to do. But ultimately, when I OWN my anger, I’m thinking in terms of what rights I believe I have that I want to get better at asserting. I can do this more easily when I’m not focused on shaming someone else.

What do you think?

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