Quotation by Barbara Mathias

Shame can make you so angry you can barely function. It is the rage you feel when someone slights you because of the color of your skin, your accent or the clothes you wear. The ultimate in shame, however, is the humiliation, self-blame you feel when someone has raped or abused you. In that instance, you turn your shame or rage on yourself, asking "What have I done wrong to be so abused?" With guilt we know what the wrong is, the car was stolen, the curfew was broken, the contract was bogus. Usually guilt is less intense and destructive an emotion than shame because it is less involved with the perception and evaluation of the whole self. With guilt there is a motivation to change, to make amends, and pay the dues.
Barbara Mathias, U.S. journalist. "And Then There's Guilt," The Washington Post (April 14, 1992).
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