I really surprised this thread hasn't gotten much more views or responses than it has received so far. I'm also suprised only a handful of people have requested my documents concerning toxic shame. I would've thought if you had social anxiety then you would do anything to get rid of it. It seems as if many here at this forum are only interested in talking about how SA has ruined their lives, but they don't seem to care in taking the action that could help themselves. Maybe it's the title of my thread that is the problem. Maybe I should have titled it something like, "The Holy Grail of SA found" or "Possible cause of SA identified" or something like that.
I think a lot if it has to do with that most people don't understand what toxic shame is. The first time I seen a post about it (in another fourm) I did not think it pertained to me and I basically ignored it. But thankfully people kept posting about it and I finally looked into it. After researching it, I realized THAT was the source of my problem. Yes, I had SA, but toxic shame was the cause my SA. Everyone needs to understand that shame is, as John Bradshaw says, the master emotion. It is the master emotion because it binds all the other emotions. Why is this important? Because our emotions and our feelings are essentially our life. Without emotions and feelings we would not be human. When our thoughts, emotions, and feelings become toxic, then we basically cease to live as a normal human being.
Here is an excerpt from one of the documents I created. The document was created from a chapter in a book called "Without Embarrassment" by Michael Pilinski. Basically the entire chapter dealt with toxic shame. Here is the excerpt:
"...Knowing and understanding that your shame-bound emotions are something that was done to you, and is not really you (i.e. an unchangeable aspect of your personality) is an enormous revelation in itself that holds vast potential for jump starting your personal growth. No longer are you doomed to identify with an emotional characteristic…i.e., you aren’t shy – you were programmed with an emotional flaw that caused you to utilize shy behavior in order to correct the problem. You adopted shyness as a shield against your shame, to keep it boxed in where it couldn’t torment you. It was a pretty ingenious solution really. The drawback to using one type of emotion to fight another one is that the cure we create for ourselves produces its own unique set of problems that limit your ability to live life to its fullest expression. The cure ends up robbing you of the complete human experience. Not to mention the addictive behaviors they can lead to in our efforts to suppress them."
So, Pilinski talks in the above paragraph about how being "shy" is the result of toxic shame. And what is social anxiety? It is a very deep and acute case of SHYNESS. It is shyness taken to the extreme.
There are people here thinking, "This doesn't apply to me, I have nothing to be shameful for." Well, what you don't understand is that it is not necessarily about you being consciously shameful about anything in particular (though, it's certainly possible). Instead, it is about receiving shame - more on a subconscious level - from OTHER sources! For example: Your parents can shame you through their repeated words or actions of making you feel you are not quite smart enough, or attractive enough, or that you can't do things for yourself, etc. They might not do it on purpose and they probably don't realize they are doing it, but YOU realize it ... if only on a subconscious level. And all this usually happens at the most critical time in which you are forming your identity - as a young child.
Parents aren't the only ones that can cause you to get toxic shame. It can also be your peers (such as other children in school), or possibly society in general, or even a traumatic event. As Pilinski says in his book:
"Toxic shame can be insidious. It’s really a stealth form of abuse, so subtle that I suspect neither the abuser or “abusee” often know that it’s even happening! How could I have understood at the age of 4 that I was being programmed to feel ashamed of my most basic human emotional needs?"
I want to urge everyone here to get John Bradshaw's book, "Healing The Shame That Binds You". Pilinski's book is also excellent. However, the main theme of Pilinski's book is helping shy guys in their relationships with women. But that one chapter (chapter 4) that I made into a document is a great chapter in regards to toxic shame.
I will send both documents to anyone that requests them (PM me or email me). I highly suggest you read the Pilinski "Without Embarrassment" document FIRST before reading the Bradshaw document. I say this because the Pilinski document I created does a better job than the Bradshaw document in explaining what toxic shame is and how one gets toxic shame. Pilinski also gives better examples. The Bradshaw document has some "gaps" in explaining certain things about toxic shame. This is because I tried to make the document as condensed as possible, and I ended up leaving out some things. I originally made the Bradshaw document for my own use and therefore left out some things in order make it smaller. The Pilinski document fills in some of those "gaps". Also, the Pilinski document is only and 8 page document, so that means you can read it faster. This way, you will have a head start in knowing everything Bradshaw is talking about in the other document once you being reading it.
Whatever you do, don't assume toxic shame has nothing to do with you. Do your due dilligence research on it, and/or buy the Bradshaw book or the Pilinski book (though Pilinksi had only one chapter in his book devoted to toxic shame, it was very good). I will say right off-the-bat, my documents are good, but are not the best source. This is because I originally condensed them for my own use, and therefore left out info that others might need to know. To get full understanding and the total picture of toxic shame, you need to get Bradshaw's book!
Don't let toxic shame control the rest of your life. It has done enough to you already.
Last edited by TX boy; 05-28-2009 at 05:25 PM.
Reason: Corrected spelling.