Shame and Relationships

The closer we get to our family of origin the younger we feel. Old family dynamics and memories of past gatherings layer our experience and can poison the best of occasions. In these circumstances, isolation, loneliness, resentment and past shames can be pointers towards understanding, compassion and genuine healing.

Episode 4 Part 1

Shame as part of the currency of the family.  When parents love a version that is not really her, that is shame inducing.  We may walk through the door of our parent’s home as a child, not as an adult. I have heard of ‘physician heal thyself’ but I haven’t heard of ‘psychotherapist heal thy family’.

Episode 4 Part 2

How to react to presents you don’t like. Rules and Christmas rituals in different families.   Passing the shame on. The sadness of not being seen.   Puberty as a threat to the parents.  Words around shame that people can accept more readily: degraded, diminished, demeaned, disrespected.

Episode 4 Part 3

How the family history affects our predisposition to shame.  Different tribes, prejudices, and values.  The 80:20 rule. That 80% of the time when you are angry you are responding to something historical not something in the present.   Mis-attunement.  

Episode 4 Part 4

The gender divide.  We flip into anger or tears instead of feeling shame. Chores: he likes to rest and then do chores, she liked to do chores and then rest.  I make a request, he hears it as a demand.  Demand anxiety.  When you are consciousness you are triggered you can acknowledge it.   Learning how to communicate with your partner in a way that your partner can take on board. 

Episode 4 Part 5

Humour as an antidote to shame.   No longer making negative assumptions about his behaviour.    Asking someone to change and when they do, losing respect for them.  Respecting that we are different.  The romantic notion that we are one, means ‘we have to be me!’   Shyness as a way into shame.  A parent who sees in a way that penetrates and strips you.  Shame invoked by a lack of privacy.  Shyness shuts down spontaneity.  Being exposed.  The artists dilemma.  Celebrity shamelessness.    

Episode 4 Part 6

We are the only one who determines our own self worth.   Even if you don’t believe it, you still are worthy and valuable.  Examples of how to appreciate and blessNew  relationships.  When do I tell someone about this shameful part of my history.  Telling too much too soon. Shame by association.  

Episode 4 Part 7

The shame of ageing.  Feeling like too much for your partner.  Being less able as we age.  Shame rules that operate in dysfunctional families.  Secrecy, Perfectionism.  Blame.   

Episode 4 Part 8

Virginia Satir and the 5 Freedoms.  Don’t talk.  Don't make mistakes.  Shame passed down the generations.   Don’t say sorry. Don’t trust.  

Episode 4 Part 9

Shame bound families are poor at manging  conflict.   A genuine heartfelt apology can often dissipate tension. Compliments can trigger shame.  Poem “Two ways of looking at the world.”  

 Episode 4 Part 10

What to do when being shamed.  Old roles and our families of origin.  Wait until you feel strong before you stand up to your family of origin. Shame is not a life sentence.  Self soothe and self-regulate.  Imagine seeing yourself through shining eyes of different parents.  

Episode 4 Part 11

When dealing with own children don’t put forward a face of perfection.  Make mistakes, it gives permission.  Terry Real’s model: How to give feedback to your partner.  

Episode 4 Part 12

Breakout discussion groups.  Normal is not normal – my family is not normal.  A heart breaking in a family that cannot express grief.   Question: sharing feedback with someone who experiences that as criticism. Pendulation.  Using the 4 realms.  Love ‘em up good.  Attachment theory.  Being grounded our body as therapists.  Naming and blessing. 

Episode 4 Part 13

Under anger is a wound  and inside the blame is shame.  Wrapping shame in anger. Shame thrives in the dark.  Naming shame gives dimension so it is not so overwhelming.   Moving from shame to vulnerability.  Anger begets anger, softness can beget softness.   Poem: ‘It turns and softly speaks’  

What people say about Shame and Relationship

  • 5 star review

    So engaging. I totally loved your sharing, which brought this workshop alive for me. I am blown away by you both. You’ve helped me to realise why, when I drive to visit my Mum, the growing proximity makes me increasingly anxious, the closer I get. William, I am going to give your poetry books as presents!

  • Lucy Baker - Medical Doctor

    I loved all of it!! Learnt lots. In particular: The 5 freedoms. Reactions to shame (attack self/other, withdraw, deny). Asking for clarification when being shamed "what do you mean?" Four step feedback. Pendulation. Blessing. Loved it.

More things that people say about the Shame and Relationships talk

5 star rating

Shame and Relationships

M.E. Jenkins

A very open and comfortable exploration of this difficult topic.

A very open and comfortable exploration of this difficult topic.

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Juliet Grayson & William Ayot

JULIET GRAYSON has worked as a psychotherapist since 1991. She specialises in working with couples and sexual problems. As a psychotherapist she is UKCP registered, NLPtCA accredited, COSRT accredited, and a PBSP accredited Trainer. WILLIAM AYOT is an award-winning poet, author, teacher and ritualist. Over three decades he has hosted and led, men’s and mixed personal development events and rites of passage. He uses poetry and the arts to teach leadership in boardrooms and business schools around the world, currently teaching on the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD. William designs and leads bespoke rituals for individuals. He is available for one-to-one coaching online.

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