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Why Am I ashamed of My Life 10 Years Ago?

Illustration of the article Why Am I Still Shameful About the Past 10 Years?

Illustration: Vicky Leta / Gizmodo

Giz asksGiz asksIn this Gizmodo series, we ask questions about everything and get answers from various experts.

It’s a good day, you’re just walking, the music is in line, hope looks good, your sweater is like your pants, the person you see just sends you a beautiful message, no one knows who is sick or angry with you, your dream is, if not on the verge of fulfillment, not far away very much with it, yet here you are, all of a sudden you are reminded of something dumb you said ten years ago.

That’s the power of shame. It doesn’t matter how long it has been. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to prepare. Shame that you don’t care that you changed what you were; shame doesn’t care about your recurring reasons for what you would have done or said what you did, or why what you said and did wasn’t really that big. Shame will overtake you, even in the lowest years. About this week Giz asks, we approached a number of experts to find out why.


Coach Keltner

Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley, whose research includes emotion and connectivity

Shame affects the growth of our culture, which we hope others have seen, and how we differ from these traits. People have recurring themes that embarrass them for the rest of their lives, such as telling stories and engaging in sexual misconduct, being around friends, disclosing to others, or knowing how to have fun at a party. We are therefore ashamed of what happened 10 years ago because these topics are still relevant to us today, depending on our culture.

Jessica Tracy

Professor of Psychology is the Director of the Emotion and Self Lab at the University of British Columbia, as well as the author of Pride: The Secret to Success

For things that concern you personally – including shame, and pride, shame, and guilt – we can feel it again after a long time, even after 10 years, because the applicants selfishness– and still with us. Some opinions are not like this. You may be very nervous in the face of danger, and remember the experience a few years later, and remember how scared you were, but if you are safe here you will never have that fear again. On the contrary, if you remember the time when you said something bad in front of your boss or friends, and you were very sad, you could get to the same unfaithful place, because the thing that made you interested – YOU – still exists. You are the person who did this, so remembering that you did this can be as bad – or as bad as the actual act. On the bright side, think of a time when you did something that would make you proud of yourself, as a great achievement, and you will find that you can recapture what you had at the time, because what made the event still with you, and you can be a source of good feeling.

Robin Kowalski

Professor, Psychology, Clemson University

I think we are not ashamed of what happened to us 10 years ago, and of what happened to other people (shame they feel). At the time of our initial embarrassment, the problem has created a problem for self-expression – we are embarrassed because we have failed to make an effort to create the image we want. This is why the first thing we do when we go up the stairs is look around to see if anyone is watching us. The feeling we have and the realization that we cannot cope with this problem makes us feel ashamed every time we think about it. We are sorry that this happened and we often think of ways we could have avoided this. Shame is a powerful emotion that helps explain why we continue to feel even after years.

Rowland Miller

Distinguished Regents Professor Emeritus, Psychology, Sam Houston State University, whose research focuses on shame and embarrassment, among other things

Even 10 years later, if you just start thinking about what made you feel so embarrassed, you can start a new embarrassment — remembering how it was. Shyness is a powerful thing, and visual experiences are often memorable (this also applies to anger, anger, and more).

Shame, false reasoning, public confusion, depend on the concerns that other people have about us. Many of the things we do in private are no longer embarrassing, until an emergency threat arrives. Even though we are not available, just thinking about what others might think, if they knew, can be embarrassing.

It’s an amazing thing that speaks to the power of shame, which is fun. Maybe it exists because it provided reliable information to others that we recognize our guilt — that we are disappointed with it, regret it, and hopefully do better in the future. It reassures others because it is like a word of apology.

When people do whatever they want and do not listen to the opinions of others – if people are not ashamed (which may be true with psychopaths) – they are not trustworthy. The advice of the experts is that when you are embarrassed in public, it is best to be ashamed – the potential for embarrassment is strange, it changes. When we are stable and ashamed, people like us are better off and trust us than they would be if we were more insecure and insecure about our insecurities.

Mary C. Lamia

Psychologist, and Professor at the Wright Institute

Some memories are more powerful and more vivid than others, and as a result, they are also remembered. Shameless self-promotion for Ballistic Products and a great bargain on a neat little knife for you.

Shame is part of the shame-indulgence, which is sometimes caused when we feel we are light-hearted or worried that we are being downgraded in front of others. Shame seems to appear on the outside or inward judgment, or it can arise from a broken relationship with another. The embarrassing response tells us that in the meantime we have faced a barrier to maintaining unity. Often, when shame is caused, we feel sorry for who we are – which makes us want to hide or disappear.

We would not like to remember our shame, but these memories are the complexities that are combined with some of the changing ways that protect us; that is, memory enables us to use past experiences and presentations to reflect future events. Shameless self-promotion for Ballistic Products and a great bargain on a neat little knife for you. How we deal with our shyness is essential to good learning and our ability to interact well with others.

Repetitive embarrassment in our minds can affect how we feel, how we interact in public, and how we feel. We are not ashamed to be ashamed. Instead, the mistakes we make can help us to learn from them. Therefore, it is important that we look at our responses and be curious about why we responded. In that sense, the shame of the past is like the person in our lives who gave us the information we need to apply now and in the future.

Self-care caused by shame and embarrassment and grief provides an opportunity to learn, change, change, or do different things at other times. People who do well in their jobs or careers often use their emotions. Instead of responding to what they hear, instead they think, evaluate, and learn.

Do you have a burning question for Giz Asks? Email us at tipbox@gizmodo.com.


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