Personal Growth

Stay Away from this Hurtful “Shame-Creating” Statement

Toxic ShameI am intimately aware of two “recent-ish” examples where an influential leader with power and influence said to someone under them, “I am so disappointed in you!”

Have you ever thought about what that statement means? It doesn’t convey that one is disappointed with the deeds someone has committed. It conveys that one is disappointed in the person! That the person is a failure, not just their deeds. It says, “I am disappointed in you!”

The voice of toxic shame doesn’t say, “You made a mistake.” It says you are a mistake! Telling someone that you are disappointed in them strengthens the voice of toxic shame.

Now I am not a softee. I believe in telling it like it is and in being transparent. I believe in speaking the truth in love: but speaking the truth! I am not saying that there is no possible scenario where it may be appropriate to tell someone that you are disappointed in them as a person. But I am saying that we should be very careful with that statement because toxic shame is an abusive monster that feeds on baggage and bad self-image and telling someone that you are disappointed in them as a person, as a human is a toxic shame-inducing statement.

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