In our care of others, we must be aware of our approach in relating to our patients that avoids shame. Shame encourages that feeling of being a “bad” person. Shame can happen with little awareness on our part. Shame can occur with the tone of our voice, the words we use as well as our non-verbal cues.
Bringing a conscious awareness of when we may be judging or assuming something about another is when we can move from a position of shame to one of acceptance. Shame can shut a person down and be destructive. Shame is a fear of disconnection.
When we disarm shame, we create an empathetic connection with others, we learn to relate, have compassion for ourselves and promote a culture that allows us to stay present and meet the needs and challenges of our patients and team members.
Think about at time when you felt shame? Try to identify the feeling behind it.
Think about a time when you saw another feel shame. What did that look like?
What common ways do we shame patients?
What are common ways we shame team members?
Exercise # 62: Identify ways we shame others and its impact.