Shame, guilt, punishment, threat of exclusion from the tribe...all "worked" in primitive times to help us survive - so the genetic tendency evolved into being a part of us.  They served their purpose as the best we had at the time - the best to deal with the conditions of the time.

However, the conditions of the world have change and we have higher level thinking and greater knowledge available to us, so we do not have to rely on the primitive, unthinking lower brain. (See Understanding How The Primitive Brain Thoughts Work.)  We do not need the lightning fast, automatic operations to meet the deadly dangers of the primitive world.  We have time to think - and to come up with better solutions.  (Understand, of course, Evolution.)

We now have the ability to learn how things work and how to work them to produce what we want.  We are now capable of being in charge rather than being the passive and/or unknowing victim of these primitive tendencies. 

The only wise choice now is to do what is necessary to no longer let these primitive programs run our lives and have us experience their negative effects.

Read on...


Shame and guilt are under the umbrella of "make-wrong" and are based totally on things that were made up by our culture in an attempt to control (and often with a good intent to teach positive controls).

As a child we are dependent on approval/love so we quickly learn these two belief structures. 

Most of us simply have not re-looked at this nor reexamined it to see whether it makes sense or not - for it does not pass the reality test.  Yes, we may "feel" bad and that is a reality to us, but shame and guilt are not reality - they are just "mental constructs" (something we construct by using mental processes).

Shame and guilt line up with the thinking in our society where we think punishing (disapproving, criticizing, etc.) is needed to motivate people to do what one wants.  That is a sick, toxic belief. 

The belief you have about using shame and guilt to get what you want should be laid out and examined to see if it is true and if it works.

Some people use guilt or shame because they think it motivates them to "straighten up and fly right".  Here we would have ask if this practice (of using guilt or shame to motivate) actually works.  A typical belief, often not consciously addressed, is that "I better feel guilt or shame for doing something bad, as a good person would feel that and I better prove that I am a good person."  Or "I'll punish myself, so that they'll see I already did that, so they won't punish me." Or "I can't get myself to do anything unless I do a guilt trip on myself."

People who do the practices of guilt and/or shame typically believe that punishing another by inflicting pain on them will get a desired result - and they apply that thinking to themselves. See Inflicting Pain On Another To Get A Result.

Guilt and shame are both "rackets" where we get a constant bad result (feeling bad by imposing guilt and shame on ourselves) yet we keep doing it because we think it works - but does it.  Use one of the worksheets in the Rackets section.

Shame and guilt are both based on the overarching beliefs about Criticism and Blame
See Blame, Criticism, Resentment, Forgiveness.


There is no basis for blame, shame, regret, remorse IF we simply realize that each being is simply doing the best one knows how at the time and that it is totally ridiculous to expect more!!!!!  The expectation just results in wasted effort. 

If one wants to have something be different and if it is worth it, then the only rational action the person would take would be to help increase the others' (or one self's) knowledge, so that the person could then operate at that higher level.

Note that we are not criticizing one's feeling these, as one simply feels what is the result of their belief filter.  We are saying simply that the underlying beliefs of shame and guilt are all false and therefore shame and guilt are false belief systems.

Read!  Blame, Criticism, Resentment, Forgiveness - All The Same Source, All The Same Solution.


From Barksdale, "Building Self Esteem":

I have no cause for either pride or shame for my awareness, for it is but the automatic product of my heredity, Inner Knowing, and total life experience, none of which are factors I can change on demand.

RESOURCES - If this is something very important to you, you'd read all of these and carefully digest them and do what they recommend!

       A1   COMPLETE CONFIDENCE, Sheenah Hankin - Deals with how so many people are
              fooling themselves with old scripts, from shame, guilt, and self-pity to anger and blame.
              Scan read for essential ideas and what is applicable to you.  Outstanding.
       A1   Building Self Esteem, L.S. Barksdale - Solves the underlying problem that shame or guilt are
              based on.  Curative.
              WITHIN, Byron Brown.  An excellent and freeing explanation of giving up the child view of
              being subject to the judge and no longer having to be "motivated" by the critic. 
              Transforming Anxiety, Transcending Shame, by Rex Briggs, M.S.W.
              Shame And Guilt, Masters Of Disguise, by Jane Middelton-Moz - Dramatically impresses on
                   one what occurred and the light on the way out.

TO ADD LATER, FROM negative emotionswriteup


___ Feels guilty having done nothing wrong.
___ Feels guilty and apologizes when others are angry or upset.
___ Pleases and complies with others to avoid feeling guilty.
___ Induces guilt in others for one’s own ends.


___ Labels oneself as stupid, fat, old, ugly, and/or a loser.
___ Blames self when things go wrong.
___ Refuses to believe compliments or accept praise.
___ Compares self with others to “prove” self to be a loser.

Guilt Chronic. Precedes shame as warning for potential shame.  Not harm others, act inhumanely, fail to feel sorry for or assist the weak and helpless. Subject to manipulation by self-pitiers or shamers who attempt to get us to act by inducing guilt.  People pleasing to avoid feeling guilty.

Shame Chronic.  Note if not measuring up in acceptability, power, importance. Blame self, causes anxiety, depression.  Can cause anger.  Feel guilty if others are angry.  Can feel powerless, hopeless, negative predictions about future.

___ I mean well.
___ I mean evil to others.
___ Once in awhile I slip into being mean and unkind, but overall I want to do well to

___ I make mistakes.
___ I am human.

I feel guilty for

___  Not treating people right.
___  Not doing what I should’ve done.
___  Doing what I shouldn’t have done.
___  The bad thoughts I have had about people.
___  Not doing better or as well as I should have done.

I feel ashamed

___  For some of the nasty things I’ve done.
___  For some of the evil things I’ve done.
___  Of the mistakes I’ve made.
___  Of the bad thoughts I have had about people.
___  Of the bad thoughts I have.
___  Of sex-related thoughts.

Must read

Shame From Your Viewpoint
- Should You Change It?

A person "stuck" in life

I Have A Feeling Of Shame, Even Guilt - "It's Not Even A Thought, It's Pervasive" - Don't fail to see the actual cause - and it ain't no mysterious force or something that is not handleable.  This person was stuck...


The Negative Emotions - These evolved because they helped us survive, but they are activated nowadays when there is no real threat - and no need to feel bad or to act out the emotions.  Much of our negative emotions are based on faux threats, that we would not react to if we thought them out and looked at them with knowledge and wisdom.

Blame, Anger, Shame, Guilt, Remorse and Regret  - A questionnnaire to identify where we have these.