Toxic Shame – What It Is And How To Get Rid Of It - Social Anxiety Advice

Toxic Shame – What It Is And How To Get Rid Of It

I’m about to show you how to get rid of toxic shame that’s probably responsible for your excessive shyness and social anxiety. Why probably? Well, because not everyone’s anxiety stems from toxic shame.

However, after reading this article, you’ll see why it’s very likely that toxic shame actually is behind your social anxiety.

So, let’s get started…

What Is Toxic Shame?

Toxic shame is a belief about yourself that you’re not good enough. It’s a belief that you’re inherently bad, defective, different, unworthy, or unlovable.

It’s a deeply held core belief that you’re bad and flawed.

Unlike normal healthy shame that keeps you within healthy boundaries, toxic shame takes over your identity. You become someone who is ashamed of who you are and it usually happens on a subconscious level. So even if you think that you’ve got nothing to be ashamed about and that toxic shame hasn’t impacted your life, it could be that it’s very much present in your subconscious.

We usually experience toxic shame whenever there’s a chance that the part of us that we feel inadequate about is in danger of being exposed and we feel in danger of being rejected and humiliated by others.

That’s why toxic shame causes you to go into hiding.

You start hiding your emotions, your feelings, and your thoughts. You don’t want other people to find out what you’re thinking because you’re ashamed that it’s inappropriate and would result in you getting rejected.

The biggest problem is that you can feel shame inside for something that everyone else thinks is normal.

For example, when you have strong feelings for someone you like, you may feel shame and embarrassment, especially when you try to let that person know about your feelings.

Everyone else knows that it’s normal to have feelings for other people and this fact causes no concern for them.

However, people who are afflicted by toxic shame find it hard to accept that fact as real. Consciously they know that it’s all right to have feelings of affection, but subconsciously they feel shame inside and they don’t know why.

As you can see, toxic shame isn’t really logical and makes you feel embarrassed for things that other people find “normal”.

This “illogical” embarrassment causes you to experience the symptoms that are better known as the symptoms of social anxiety.

They are exactly the same because social anxiety has roots in toxic shame.

Toxic Shame Symptoms

People afflicted with toxic shame usually have social anxiety or at least a very severe case of shyness that very closely borders on social phobia.

Blushing, looking down or away from eye-contact, feeling hot, not being able to speak or think, are just a few toxic shame symptoms that we can easily identify as the social anxiety symptoms.

And there’s another very close connection between social anxiety and toxic shame. They both cause the same kind of defensive behaviors.

They make you avoid social situations and events where there’s a chance you’ll get embarrassed or ashamed. When you have to do something that could result in you being socially rejected, you try to come up with an excuse for not doing it.

And when there’s no way you could avoid that situation, you try to escape it as soon as possible.

I still remember very well what happened to me a few years ago when I had to make a presentation in front of a large audience and I still suffered from social anxiety.

My boss made me attend a workshop where everyone had to make a presentation at the end. I was so nervous that my hands got cold and clammy while my face got completely pale.

I waited for everyone else to finish their presentation before doing mine because deep inside I hoped that the workshop organizer wouldn’t notice that I haven’t yet made my presentation.

I was terrified of getting embarrassed in front of that huge audience.

However, I wasn’t the only one.

There was a guy that was so nervous that he had to leave. Before he was supposed to do his presentation he went to the toilet and never came back. He escaped the situation completely.

And that’s what social anxiety and toxic shame do to you. They make you want to avoid socially “dangerous” situations. And when that’s not possible, they make you want to escape it.

Now the good news is that toxic shame can be treated and I’m about to show you how.

Healing Toxic Shame

So how do you get rid of toxic shame?

The healing process begins with the basic understanding of toxic shame and what it does to you. It helps you realize that you are not a worthless person that needs to feel ashamed. It helps you realize that you are just a person that became afflicted with that crippling condition called toxic shame.

Once you realize that you are not your toxic shame, you can slowly detach it from your personality and you become free to develop your identity your own way.

You find it easier to believe that you’re just as worthy as anyone else and that no other person on this planet is intrinsically better or worse than you are.

We are all equal.

This allows you to proceed with the next step, which is accepting yourself for who you are.

You basically need to accept your feelings, your thoughts, your needs and wants, your sexuality and everything else about yourself that you feel ashamed for.

You need to choose to love yourself in spite of all your problems because this is the greatest enemy of toxic shame.

Every day remind yourself that you love and you deeply and completely accept yourself.

This whole process will slowly melt your toxic shame away.

However, if you want to do it faster, you will probably have to go deeper and uncover the shaming events that caused you to become an ashamed and embarrassed person.

You will have to work on neutralizing the negative emotions that you have about these events. In order to do that you will probably have to learn a bit about neuro-linguistic programming or emotional freedom techniques.

However, this article and the podcast I made for you should help you get started and you should experience some relief pretty soon. Just remember to keep reminding yourself that you love yourself and that you deeply and completely accept yourself.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 7 comments

I so agree with this. Last year, when I started to see my psychologist, I made the most important discovery about my social anxiety. I discovered that social anxiety and my fear of blushing aren’t my main problems. They are just symptoms that didn’t just start without a reason.

Now that I’m in therapy, I’ve slowly started to discover the causes behind my social phobia and to my great surprise I’ve discovered that I’ve been living in shame for almost all my life. I’ve always felt bad and unacceptable.

    Andre Sossi

    Hey Michelle. I hope you’re making good progress and you’ll soon see yourself as equal to other people because you are equal.


      Thanks Andre. I’m doing much better than last year and I’m no longer living in shame. I still have a long way to go but I’m moving forward.


I think this toxic shame theory pretty much sums up my life. The main reason why I feel anxious around people is because I’m ashamed of myself. I’m ashamed of my feelings and I’m ashamed of thoughts. And I feel like I’m a total loser compared to other people.

    Andre Sossi

    Hey Andy, you’re not a loser. You just have this problem and you can overcome it. Right now you just need to accept yourself and start loving yourself no matter how bad your situation is.


Hi Andre,

I wanna ask you something. How long did it take you get rid of your toxic shame or at least become comfortable with it, to not let it affect your life?

I’ve been fully aware of mine for 2, maybe 3 years now. It’s gone away somewhat but progress is rather slow and I’m not where I want to be. I’m way behind my peers, and the biggest areas that concern me are sexuality, career/employment and relationships. I’m 24 soon, so I really need to fix this as my life is going down the toilet.

    Andre Sossi

    Hi Ian,

    I suffered from social anxiety and toxic shame for many years and I tried so many things to beat these problems. But the real progress I made after I made a decision to find the solution. I knew that if I were to overcome my social anxiety I wouldn’t be the first. So if there were other people before me who were able to get rid of their anxiety, then there must be a way to do it, right?! So that was my frame of mind that allowed me to make progress.

    After I made that decision it took me about 7 months to get on top of my problems. But most of this time was spent looking for something that would work and trying out new things. Reading, learning and implementing.

    But once I found tapping, things started to change very quickly. So I would say that once I knew what to do, it took me about a month to deal with my toxic shame and negative limiting beliefs that were responsible for my social phobia.

    If you’re in a hurry you can read this article where I tell you a little bit more about tapping and how it’s used to combat social anxiety.


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