When I was learning to be a psychologist I had lots of training. One training was on the topic of shame. Our professor talked about shame as being one of human being’s most frequently experienced (and least favorite) emotions. She taught us that the acronym for “shame” (S.H.A.M.E.) stands for “Secretly Hiding All My Emotions.” I also learned that shame can be either healthy or unhealthy. For example, if you steal someone’s wallet and now they can’t buy groceries, you cheat on your wife, or manipulate others so that you take advantage of them, then you should experience shame. It is healthy to feel shame when we do something bad, wrong, sneaky, or under-handed. If you don’t feel shame under those circumstances, then something is probably wrong with the way you feel about yourself and others. Sadly, people who don’t feel shame about mistreating others either land up in jail, can’t find healthy relationships…or end up as somebody’s boss! Some examples of experiencing unhealthy shame, however, would include shame around the fact that you are single, overweight, don’t have money, can’t find a job, see a therapist, or have contracted some type of sexually transmitted disease.