shame Quotes

64 of the best book quotes about shame
“We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying.”
“O ye who trace through scattered verse the sound Of those long sighs wherewith I fed my heart Amid youth’s errors, when in greater part That man unlike this present man was found; For the mixed strain which here I do compound Of empty hopes and pains that vainly start, Whatever soul hath truly felt love’s smart, With pity and with pardon will abound. But now I see full well how long I earned All men’s reproof; and oftentimes my soul Lies crushed by its own grief; and it doth seem For such misdeed shame is the fruitage whole, And wild repentance and the knowledge learned That worldly joy is still a short, short dream.”
“My conscience told me to run, but some irrational and powerful force was resisting, like a weight pushing me toward the war. What it came down to, stupidly, was a sense of shame”
“By bringing shame to a person, how could one expect to make him a better man?”
“How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer, that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it.”
“People think that they are being kind by saying things that others find distasteful or difficult to say. But if it is not received well, they think that here is nothing more to be done. This is completely worthless. It is the same as bringing shame to a person by slandering him. It is nothing more than getting it off one’s chest.”
“The way of revenge lies simply in forcing one’s way into a place and being cut down. There is no shame in this. By thinking you must complete the job you will run out of time.”
“That was when Baba stood up. It was my turn to clamp a hand on his thigh, but Baba pried it loose, snatched his leg away. When he stood, he eclipsed the moonlight. ‘I want you to ask this man something,’ Baba said. He said it to Karim, but looked directly at the Russian officer. ‘Ask him where his shame is.’ They spoke. ‘He says this is war. There is no shame in war.’ ‘Tell him he’s wrong. War doesn’t negate decency. It demands it, even more than in times of peace.‘”
“When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors.”
“I saw clearly that so long as I was still a human being and not nothingness, I was alive and so could suffer, be angry and feel shame at my actions.”
“Shame is a terrible thing. Necessary, but terrible.”
“The queen, whom sense of honor could not move, No longer made a secret of her love, But call’d it marriage, by that specious name To veil the crime and sanctify the shame.”
“When agreements are made according to what is right, what is spoken can be made good. When respect is shown according to what is proper, one keeps far from shame and disgrace. When the parties upon whom a man leans are proper persons to be intimate with, he can make them his guides and masters.”
“If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments, they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. ‘If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of shame, and moreover will become good.”
“There is a beast in my gut, I can hear it scraping away at my ribs. Even if I dump the memory, it will stay with me, staining me.”
“We know this to be a primary autonomic response, the so-called ‘shame’ or ‘blushing’ reaction to a morally shocking stimulus. It can’t be controlled voluntarily, as can skin conductivity, respiration, and cardiac rate.”
“This was the only shame he felt. And this shame was so great in him that he wondered if all his life thereafter would be long enough to wash out of his brain and blood and the last pollution of its loathsome taint. And yet, he would have it thought that he was bitter.”
“Shame is the emotion which gives us permission to be human. Shame tells us of our limits. Shame keeps us in our human boundaries, letting us know we can and will make mistakes, and that we need help.”
“Toxic shame also wears the face of grandiosity. Grandiosity is a disorder of the will. It can appear as narcissistic self-enlargement or wormlike helplessness. Each extreme refuses to be human. Each exaggerates: one is more than human; the other is less than human.”
“This deep internalized shame gives rise to distorted thinking. The distorted thinking can be reduced to the belief that I’ll be okay if I drink, eat, have sex, get more money, work harder, etc.”
“Healthy shame is the psychological foundation of humility. It is the source of spirituality.”
“Neurotic shame is the root and fuel of all compulsive/addictive behaviors.”
“What our healthy feeling of shame does is let us know that we are limited. It tells us that to be human is to be limited.”
“Power is a cover-up for shame. Power is frequently hierarchical. Dad can yell at anyone. Mom can yell at anyone but Dad. The oldest can yell at anyone but Mom and Dad, etc. The youngest tortures the cat.”
“Children have an amazing ability to perceive this need in the parent(s). A child seems to know it unconsciously. By taking on the role of supplying his shame-based parents narcissistic gratification, the child secures love and a sense of being needed and not abandoned.”
“Dysfunctional families are frozen in a trancelike state. The shame-core keeps the system frozen. Everyone is in hiding. The roles cover up each person’s true and authentic self. ”
“All throughout Scripture and history, the principal suffering of the poor is not that they can’t pay their rent on time or that they are three dollars short of a package of Pampers . . . The principal suffering of the poor is shame and disgrace.”
“To reverence kith and kin can bring no shame.”
″‘But you should have told me where you were, love!’ Sophie knew she should have. She had taken Martha’s view of Fanny, whole and entire, when she should have known Fanny better. She was ashamed.”
“Guilt, of course, is feeling bad about one’s actions, but shame is feeling bad about oneself.”
″... but comfortable as her life had been there she could not go back. The anti-climax would be too intolerable; and her return might bring reproach upon her idolized husband.”
“When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.”
“Humans have long used shaming as a weapon to preserve social order and cohesion; indeed our brains are hardwired to register shame.”
“You’re not weak because you can’t read. You’re weak because you’re afraid of people seeing your weakness. You’re letting shame decide who you are.”
“Is it really such a big deal for a boy to look like his father? Which is typical butthead thinking, because of course it’s a big deal, if your father happens to be in prison.”
“O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See How I convey my shame out of thine eyes, By looking back what I have left behind ‘Stroyed in dishonor.”
″‘That stuff about my father was true,’ Freak says, studying his fingernails and acting real cool again. ‘... I know he ran away because of me.‘”
“It’s such a shame to waste time. We always think we have so much of it.”
“I never learn. I wake with a crushing sensation of wrongness, of shame, and I know immediately that I’ve done something stupid.”
“For what you have said to shame my daughters and my good name in front of those men, I will see you dead!”
“I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.”
“A warrior will sooner die than live a life of shame.”
“I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing. You may win in the end, you may ensorcell me and hurt me and humiliate me, but I will make sure you lose everything I can take from you on the way down. I promise you this is the least of what I can do.”
“Mine has been a life of much shame. I can’t even guess what it must be to live the life of a human being.”
“Lord Jesus, You know the struggle that Tony has. You know the indecision, the shame, the pain of his choices. I pray You would remind him right now of whose child he is. And that when You look at him, You see the perfection of Your Son, Jesus. Thank You that You have conquered sin. Thank You that the evil one is not in control. Give Tony the courage to do what You’re asking him to do, in Your timing.”
“She stares awkwardly down at the kitchen counter. Then, quietly, she tells me about four other children I never knew existed.”
“Pain is not wrong. Reacting to pain as wrong initiates the trance of unworthiness. The moment we believe something is wrong, our world shrinks and we lose ourselves in the effort to combat the pain.”
“Those events that once made me feel ashamed and disgraced now allow me to share with others how to become a useful member of the human race.”
“Would it be possible to find a more ungrateful boy, or one with less heart than I have!”
“With a tangled up middle and glue on his face, Slinky Malinki was deep in disgrace.”
“If I see anything tonight why I should not marry her, tomorrow in the congregation where I intended to wed her, there will I shame her.”
“Mine has been a life of much shame. I can’t even guess myself what it must be to live the life of a human being.”
“My face was burned with shame. Sitting there and not answering was like begging. And why should I beg? I had done nothing to anybody.”
“For so many years my insignificance and invisibility have been a mask I can hide behind. And in the process I have avoided raking up the past. Raking up the shame.”
“And Tom, for the first time in his life, found out that he was dirty; and burst into tears with shame and anger; and turned to sneak up the chimney and hide; and upset the fender and threw the fire-irons down with a noise of ten thousand tin kettles tied to ten thousand mad dogs tails.”
“Find you, love you, marry you, and live without shame.”
″‘What characterizes the human race more?‘, Karla once asked me, ‘cruelty, or the capacity to feel shame for it?‘”
“I’m lonelier and wiser now, and I know it isn’t cruelty or shame that characterizes the human race. It’s forgiveness that makes us what we are.”
“Shame on you, you know I cannot love a coward, by my faith! Haven’t you a man’s heart and haven’t you a beard? Be merry husband. Do not fear dreams.”
″‘My brother Kay must have a sword,’ he thought, as he rode slowly back. ‘It will be a shame and a matter for unkind jests if so young a knight comes to the jousts without a sword. But where can I find him one? I know! I saw one sticking in an anvil in the churchyard, I’ll fetch that: it’s doing no good there!‘”
“He knew it was shameful not to be able to control one’s feelings. Tears, tender words, unruly gestures, common familiarities, all seemed to him weaknesses unworthy of man. We, who were so fond of each other, never exchanged an affectionate word.”
“I make no excuse for that. I will wear that shame all my life. I cannot undo it, but I will spend my days wishing I could.”
“The feeling of shame and dislike is the principle of righteousness.”
“There’s no secret fold within my feeling, no pleat where I force myself to stow a slip of paper that says ‘shame’ on one side and ‘weakness’ on another.”

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