A book about feeling shame, why it arises and what it does to us
Shame might make you feel uneasy, but keep in mind that shame is a universal state of mind, a natural part of being human. It is a positively useful feeling and it has been evolving over thousands of years, precisely because we have been able to make good use of it.
Everyone has experienced it. Shame is often reviled and the public discussion tends to focus on how to get rid of shame or to overcome it. Some people argue that shame is a symptom of mental illness, which might sometimes be true. But just as we don’t want to reject fear from our range of feelings, even though it can be deeply troubling, so we should accept that shame has its good side.
A very readable book explaining shame in terms of popular psychology: the writing is witty but founded on good research, with many examples of well-known as well as personal cases.
‘Aakvaag aims for a wide audience. She uses the experience of herself and others to illustrate academic points, and her voice is factual, warm and mildly humoristic. In this way the succeeds with writing the type of scientific but still easily read prose that the Americans do so well, but that we also lately have been seeing more of in Norway. Shaming is dangerously effective. And because of that a subject that anyone who is interested in social issues should know something about. This well written introduction by Aakvaag is a good place to start.’
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