Day 1921: It’s a shame

When you reach out to somebody clearly expressing a wish to connect and you consistently get nothing in return, it’s a shame.  I mean,  that’s not only an unfortunate and perplexing experience, it also triggers the shame response, which (according to Google) looks like this:


(image found here)

When I experience the shame response, I

  • feel the urge to withdraw and hide,
  • try to figure out why there’s been no reaction to my attempts to connect,
  • remember that experiencing shame in response to perceived devaluation or rejection is a universal human reaction and that there’s no shame in shame, and
  • resolve  to reconnect more effectively — if not to the same person then to others.

What do you do when you experience the shame response to perceived devaluation or rejection?

I think it’s a shame if I don’t share my photos from yesterday.










It’s a shame that the last image shows a color copy of a 20 dollar bill and not the real thing.

Here‘s “It’s a Shame” by The Spinners:



Knowing that your input is important to others helps dispel the shame response.  Questions?  Concerns?  Suggestions?

It’s a shame if I don’t remember to thank all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — YOU.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “Day 1921: It’s a shame

  1. It’s not you that should feel shame, Ann, it’s the person that does not reply to a reach-out.

  2. Over the years I’ve learned that it isn’t about me … and that helps a lot! I usually reach out to someone else who I can count on to give me a hug. I’m sending a hug to you Ann 🤗

  3. Yes, it’s definitely a shame when friendship isn’t reciprocated

  4. I learned a long time ago that when people don’t want to connect with me, it’s usually not about ME. People have a lot of their own stuff going on, and who knows what they’re dealing with that’s preventing them from making connections? I prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt rather than blame myself for their behaviour. Taking this attitude has helped me immensely!

  5. Several years ago when I was in therapy I learned that I can’t change others. I can only change how I respond to them. That’s made dealing with others much easier for me, and I feel no shame in admitting I was in therapy. In fact I hope sharing that can help others.

  6. It’s a shame I can’t remember the date you posted a picture of your notes “You are not responsible for other people’s feelings”. You don’t need to let that negative shame feeling bother you. Dance it off Sing it out. Chocolate! It’s not a shame to hug and get hugs back. Turn your face to the sun. Tomorrow will be better. It’s a shame I haven’t got a bigger soap box.

  7. THIS tapped me right on the shoulder and said “see, it isn’t just you that feels that shame and rejection”. One specific situation …. by gosh it’s not me. Thanks to all of the others who commented too.

  8. So interesting I remembered a particular incident when reading your blog. But really, people don’t connect for a whole boatload of reasons. Yup, just get a hug and move on…and it IS nice to hear about someone else–and recognize this human feeling…

  9. I share about it as a life lesson. By the time I do share about it I am able to laugh at my reactions and I can see the lesson learned. And sometimes my sharing helps others handle their own coping skills. Before I learned to share though, I looked just like that lady at the top of your post (only with teardrops).

  10. Once I struggled to find an explanation and put things right; now I have better things to do

  11. (((hug)))

    Sometimes, people just can’t respond.

  12. People are odd and we never know what is going on with them. One mom at my son’s school recently confided to me that she is getting a divorce and told me all the reasons why (and I barely know her). I sympathized with her and gave her a big hug. The next time I saw her at a school event she didn’t even look at me and acted like she didn’t know me. It was so weird. Yet I know I was kind to her so I didn’t take it personally. Maybe she was embarrassed that she spilled her guts to a near-stranger. Or maybe she was afraid if she acknowledged me I would cry out in front of everyone “So how’s the divorce going?” (Which I never would). Who knows? Whatever it was, it was about her and what was going on inside her. I think it’s best if we try not to internalizing these things, though admittedly it’s difficult sometimes.

  13. Pingback: Day 2319: Blame | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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