Bright Side

8 Things We’ve Been Wrongfully Shamed for Our Entire Lives

Almost everyone has heard the phrase “Shame on you!” and we all follow some unwritten rules when it comes to subjecting ourselves to these feelings. But in fact, it totally okay to live in a messy house, wear the same shoes for 10 years if you like them, and even read some silly book instead of classic literature.

We at Bright Side were really interested in reading articles by psychologists and other experts about the things that people shame us for really often.

1. Living in a messy house

Some people still think that if a man is not married, it’s okay for him to have a messy apartment but if there’s a woman in this apartment, it just has to be clean. The thing is, for some people washing the floors and doing the dishes is a sort of meditation, whereas for others — it’s torture.

Sometimes, it gets absurd. When we are going to hire someone to clean our house, we try to clean it first so that the person doesn’t see the mess we live in. Or when someone is coming to visit, we spend 2-3 hours cleaning up.

In Great Britain, there was a study that concluded that more than 50% of the respondents were very embarrassed about the state of their living spaces. And 1/3 of the people don’t like having guests for this reason.

This means that there is no reason to be ashamed of the state of your home when most other people also feel the same way about their homes.

2. Crying in public

The stereotypes about crying women being drama queens, and crying men being weak should just cease to exist. Not everyone is able to keep their emotions in check 24/7, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Remember, there are always people that can help you when you need it.

3. Seeing a therapist

In some countries, the topic of psychological help is still considered taboo. If a person sees a therapist, they are thought to be crazy, so many people have to hide this fact even from their closest family and friends. When you open up to someone, you find out that many other people feel the same way but they don’t see therapists because they are ashamed.

4. Not being well-read

In a world where the classic arts are respected (literature, art, cinema), it’s hard to be the person who is only interested in modern masters. Try telling someone that you don’t want to read Tolstoy, Hugo, Dumas, and other classic writers. But literature today is not a source of knowledge, it’s a way to entertain yourself. Many people don’t actually read anything at all.

But in reality, it’s a question of your own taste: if you are crazy about rap music and short detective stories, that’s your choice. Of course, classic art is good for general knowledge but you don’t have to love it.

5. Forgetting or confusing names

When you are at a big party and someone introduces you to a group of people, you are very likely to forget their names after a second or 2. This is perfectly normal because our brain doesn’t want to waste its energy on memorizing people’s names — there’s nothing really important about that. In other words, forgetting names is perfectly okay for anyone.

6. Saying something silly when you’re nervous

From time to time, everyone has trouble speaking: we confuse words, we don’t pronounce the endings, and so on. Of course, it’s not nice when something like this happens at an important job interview, but there’s nothing terrible about it. And the best way to fight your embarrassment is to actually say that you’re nervous and laugh at your own mistakes. This is a way to lighten the mood and make things easier for everyone.

7. Gossiping

Gossiping for many people is unacceptable. But in fact, there is a different take on it. Social scientists, for example, think that wanting to gossip is a useful social skill that helped people share information with each other to know who had certain resources, contacts, and so on.

So, gossiping is not something shameful but more so a way to maintain contact with other members of society and a way to express your own attitude toward someone or something.

8. Wearing shoes or clothes that are old or no longer trendy

At any point in history, clothes were a sign of how successful a person was. And this is still true. Imagine: you go to the theater wearing jeans, and everyone else is dressed in dresses and tuxedos. Your natural reaction is to be embarrassed. But not dressing according to etiquette or wearing second-hand clothes is perfectly normal. Wearing the same shoes for several seasons is okay, too. Nobody should be ashamed of not being able to afford brand new clothes or just not wanting to spend money on them.

Are there people you know who shame others?