Pride, Shame, & Guilt

Pride, shame, and guilt are often referred to as the “self-conscious emotions.”

Pride feels better than shame or guilt, though, right? Not really.

All 3 emotions stimulate related neural circuits in our brain, namely in the brain’s reward center. This is why it can feel good to pile shame and guilt onto ourselves. The problem with this, however, is that being loaded down with shame and guilt for an extended period of time has been shown to be damaging to our physical and psychological health. So, while they might feel good (think John Mellencamp’s song, Hurts So Good) in the moment, it is important to address the feelings and not let them fester.


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