Today I want to talk about the narcissist’s greatest shame and how they try to escape it. Shame is something that everyone has to deal with at one point or another. And I am hoping that everyone gains a better understanding of shame in general. But of course, the emphasis is on narcissists, as SHAME plays such a major role in their lives. So, what are the most ashamed of?
Well, in order to answer this, we need to understand what shame is. Because shame is usually confused with guilt, I came across an amazing definition the other day, by Brene Brown in a Ted Talk where she said that guilt focuses on behavior. It is that feeling we get when we have done something wrong. Shame, on the other hand, is a feeling we have when we realize we are bad or the source of the problem. So, guilt is I have done something bad, whereas shame is I am bad or I am the problem. I found her way of breaking it down very interesting, to say the least. Because basically, with that understanding, guilt would be more related to our external acts, whereas shame is based on who we are.
Shame is also something that can be kept secret. So, the only person who knows that shame exists is the person carrying it.
Narcissists surely do not feel guilt when they lie, cheat, and manipulate us. They actually enjoy it. But what they do have is a deep-seated shame. And to put it plainly, the narcissist’s greatest shame is that they are ashamed of who they really are. which is a dark, miserable shell of a human being. That is what they are ashamed of. And that is another reason why they work so hard to create a false image and a false persona. It is because they themselves do not feel like their true self is loveable or acceptable. But the narcissist’s pride usually stops them from addressing that shame.
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