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Thread: The sense of shame & difficulty in connection

  1. #1
    Paragon Gone Wrong Array OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    4w5 sp/sx
    IEI Ni

    Default The sense of shame & difficulty in connection

    Interesting & probably relevant to most e4s, as the e4 fixation seems to embody this kind of shame:

    The cliff notes:

    The main difference between those who feel connected to other people & those who do not
    - Belief they are worthy of connection

    What fosters this sense of worth is:
    1. Sense of courage
    - "tell the story of who you are with your whole heart"
    - The courage to be imperfect
    - Compassion to be kind to themselves (can't practice compassion with others if you can't treat yourself kindly)
    - Connection as result of authenticity - willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were
    2. Fully embrace vulnerability (which has connection to the word "courage" - YES, a concept I've always known)
    - believe that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful
    - Vulnerability not given terms like "comfortable" or "excruciating", but simply "necessary"
    ie. willingness to say "I Love You" first, to do something without guarantees, to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out
    - Not needing to control/predict

    Why do most struggle with vulnerability?
    - Numb negative feelings & as a result, everything else too, such as joy & love etc.
    - Loss of meaning through numbing
    - Pretend that what we do does not have huge impact on others


    So we hear a lot about 4s and "authenticity", "compassion" and "vulnerability". Where do you see the disconnect between the outer personality reflecting these & the inner experience still fostering shame & alienation?

    I can think of the #1 (and 2 & 3) way e4s numb, which doesn't look/feel like numbing to most.....

    I have my ideas of course, but I'm interested in what other e4s have to say (or any other type).
    "Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself. But it's always with love - So much love it looks like everything else. Charlotte Sometimes - So far away, glass sealed and pretty." - The Cure

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx - 451| RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive

  2. #2
    Vaguely Precise Array Seymour's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    5w4 sx


    I really like Brené Brown and find her extremely challenging. However, she so directly addresses some of my defenses, that I find I have a kind of amnesia about what she says. I've read several of her books, but find it tough to hold onto her points. I feel like she's describing a destination, but not necessarily how to get there.

    In one her books, Brown mentions Kristin Neff's Self-Compassion, so I picked that book up and started reading it. While a few parts of it make me roll my eyes, it's been an extremely challenging book for me in many ways. I feel that a lack of self-compassion is part of what keeps me from being open and vulnerable (and having a deep sense of shame/defectiveness is the way in which I'm most 4-ish).

    I can honestly say working on self-compassion is one of the most emotionally challenging things that I've attempted in years. Kristin Neff has a talk on self-compassion, but she's not nearly as funny and charming a speaker as Brené Brown (plus there are some audio issues). Still, I think the content is very useful to people who have shame issues. I'm still in that "what? I can treat myself nicely? And that's a good idea?!?" stage, mostly. For me, tackling self-compassion brings up a lot of built up feelings of isolation and pain, so it means being kinder to myself is no fun at the outset.

    I've also been reading Emotional Alchemy (which combines Schema Therapy and meditation in an vaguely enneagram-ish kind of way) and picked up The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion but haven't started on it yet.

    Vulnerability is tough for me because I don't want to be seen; at at root I feel I'm unlovable and incompetent. So, anything I show to others must be carefully managed. This makes vulnerability a bit of a challenge. Instead of being vulnerable, I tend to hold back and remain detached until I've figured things out and can put out something considered.

  3. #3
    Level 8 Scumlord Array SpankyMcFly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    642 so/sx


    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    So we hear a lot about 4s and "authenticity", "compassion" and "vulnerability". Where do you see the disconnect between the outer personality reflecting these & the inner experience still fostering shame & alienation?
    I think authenticity and being "real" is very much a minority view and in this regards fuels the sense of alienation. You know your different but to be otherwise is antithetical. Being the "real" you though can create issues and conflicts when it comes to others expectations of how you should be, i.e. work, social situations etc. I think this has a lot to do with the shame. You've been fake, heck you're probably proficient at it, but it "feels" wrong. Which begs the question, why do I feel I have to be real? I look around, I don't see too many people being real... maybe I'm defective. I think this has led to the self pity/martyrdom that I've felt. Oh woe is me. That's alright I "know" I'm doing the right thing I tell myself. Pride in shame, to counter the shame.

    I've gotten over the hump I think. Started when I was 28. I've learned to modulate the value I place on others opinions of me, among other things. I accepted myself including all my defects. This has been very liberating. It's awesome being me and not really paying attention to (usually) what others think, within reason. I wear my "snowflakery" on my sleeve as it were.

    P.S. I think the avatar I selected years ago reflects this.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

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