Shame shuts down the growth and learning centres in our brains.
This is something that parents, teachers, instructors, and trainers must know. We use shame mixed with all kinds of insults…You are not good enough…You can never learn this…You spend too much time on the net…You are wasting away your life…Your room is a mess.
The reason behind these reprimands is that maybe these will motivate the learner to work harder and show some improvement.
Not just with the others, we often use shame on our own selves. Are there things in your past that you feel you should have done differently? How many of us feel that we are not living our lives as perfectly as we planned them?
Brain scans have shown that the feeling of shame releases hormones that can shut down the learning centres in our brains. Our minds go numb and blank. We are more likely to give up rather than focus our attention on the task in front of us.
Shame never works.
So, what works?
Kindness works. Kindness floods the brain with dopamine which can turn on those learning centres again helping the learners to show better results.
We also need to be kind to ourselves. Only kindness to our own selves can give us the courage to look back at things in our past that we are not very proud of. Also, with kindness, we can accept our present as the best versions of ourselves.
So when parents and teachers try to make children feel ashamed for their under-achievements, it is just for their own satisfaction. It serves to release their own anger and disappointment. It does absolutely nothing for the receiver.
Try giving kind attention to see the positive changes.