Shame says, “You are a bad person.” Guilt says, “You did something bad.”
Shame has us feel bad about WHO we are. Guilt has us feel bad about our actions.
Shame attacks our identity. Who we are. Our whole being. Something we have no control over.
Guilt focuses on our action. What we did. Something we have control over.
To overcome guilt, we confess or apologize and make amends.
To overcome shame, receive empathy and know the truth.
Guilt is constructive and can lead to us making good changes.
Shame is destructive and leads to feeling unworthy of love, flawed, not belonging, and unworthy of connection with others.
Go deeper, read Shame Versus Guilt: What’s the Big Difference?, post 7.
Shame versus quilt quiz to take: