RCC 60: How to Avoid Playing the Shame Game

As coaches, it is our job to hold space for our clients to grow into who they need to be without judging or shaming them. It’s disappointing to still see successful women in power tearing down other women, and we need to bring an end to this.

When it comes to being women, we need to encourage other women who have the courage to put themselves out there, and speak up when we see anyone making judgments or sexist comments. We can’t escape the feeling of shame forever, but today, I’m showing you how you can learn to rise above it and bring love to the table instead.

Join me on the podcast this week as I bring to light ways in which I’ve experienced sexism and attempts at shame, which were unconscious to the other person until I didn’t let it slide. We’ve been trained as women from a very young age to sit a certain way or not wear certain items of clothing – just to list a couple – and I call bullshit.

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why we can’t escape the feeling of shame as humans.
  • How to live in a way to protect yourself and rise above shameful feelings.
  • What the acronym of PRIDE means to me and how this is the answer to bringing love and light instead of shame.
  • The latest instance of women shaming other women on social media that I’ve seen.
  • Classic examples of women becoming targets of shame and how to end it.

Featured on the Show:

  • Sara Christensen of Kickass Masterminds published a public apology on Medium after the recording of this episode.
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  • Join my Facebook group exclusively for coaches here. When you do, you’ll get our new Money Magazine, with tons of features on how to make serious bank (while having fun along the way)!

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Welcome to the Rich Coach Club, the podcast that teaches you how to build your dream coaching practice and how to significantly increase your income. If you're a coach and you're determined to start making more money, this show is for you. I'm master certified life coach Susan Hyatt, and I'm psyched for you to join me on this journey.

Hello booberries. Guess what? Today we’re talking about shame. We’ve all felt it. I’m sure you’ve dealt with some of it yourself. It’s hard to admit it sometimes, but we’ve all looked at other people and judged them a little bit from time to time. It can be human nature, but it’s also something that we can decide to let go of by choice.

As a coach, you know that helping your clients release their shame is a crucial step in their personal and professional lives. But I like to tell people, hey listen, human beings judge. That’s just what they do. So if you’re trying to live in a way to escape shame, it’s never going to happen.

People are always going to judge you, count on it. So how can you live in a way that protects yourself and so that you can rise above any shameful feelings you’re having or any fear of being judged? So shame is defined as a painful emotion that’s caused by being conscious of guilt or some shortcoming.

But even though it sounds so terrible and why would you ever want to feel it, why would you ever want to dish that out on someone else, and do you even recognize when you’re thinking it or doing it? Case in point. Last week I was at the gym and my trainer was working with me on some knee rehab exercises.

So if you follow me, you know I’m a runner, I’m obsessed with my Peloton. I also lift weights. And proper form, as boring as that sounds, is really important. And what I didn’t realize is that when I’m cycling, my knees tend to pronate out and it’s created a little bit of a hip and knee issue. And you know I love my cycling.

So I’m working with my trainer who I lovingly call Mean Eli Green. He is diligently working with me at correcting my form and he’s showing me how to do it better and improve my wonkiness. Now, Eli, that’s really his specialty. He can observe how you’re running, how you’re cycling, how you’re lifting, and he knows exactly what’s happening.

I always joke like, if you’re looking for a cute Instagrammer to give you a booty workout, fine, but Eli goes so much deeper than that. You can say hey, I want a six pack or hey, I want to lift my booty, and he’ll get on it. But he’s more about looking at what’s happening with your central nervous system, your breathing, it’s a whole thing.

Anyway, he’s working with me on correcting my form. He was taking videos of me doing different things so that he could show me like, see how your legs are going out here? And somebody else in the gym was eavesdropping. Somebody I know pretty well. A guy. And he overheard the conversation and decided to jump in and insert himself.

I think he felt like he really needed to simplify it for me. Something called mansplaining. And he goes, “You know, like legs open, bad girl. Legs closed, good girl.” Okay. I could not believe what he was saying to me because you know me. I’m not just going to let that lie.

So I’m like, no, that’s sexist. I could tell he didn’t understand what I meant and he was like no, that’s how you explain the abductor machine. Open legs, bad girl, close legs, good girl. And he was holding his hands open and closing them as a demo.

And I’m like no, no, no, still sexist. Do you realize that you’re insinuating that if my legs are open, that’s an invitation for sex? Girls who have their legs open, it’s an invitation for sex, and that’s a bad girl. And if girls have their legs closed, that means they’re chased, that’s a good girl, that they don’t want to have sex.

And I’m looking at the realization washing over him. He really had never even thought about what he was saying. And he was using impropriety to shame women and didn’t even think twice about it. And I had a flashback to when I was in kindergarten. My kindergarten graduation you guys, my mom made me this pale yellow and white eyelet sundress.

So cute. And I had white knee socks on and saddle oxfords, and I remember sitting with my legs spread open and my teachers and everybody trying to get me to crisscross my legs at my ankles. And everybody just kind of giggling that I was sitting there with my legs open.

And when I look at that picture, I just love it because think about how we train girls to sit. Sit like a lady. Close your legs. That all comes from the belief that if you have open legs, you’re asking for it. Open legs, bad girl. Close legs, good girl.

I call bullshit on that and I call bullshit on it at the gym, and then later he sent me a text apologizing and like hey, when that came out of my mouth, it sounded like something my dad would say and I’m really sorry. It’s more common than people realize and it’s our job to step up and speak out when it’s not okay.

Here’s your two-minute pep talk for the week. This is the part of the show where I share encouragement and inspiration to get your week started off right. And I try to keep things to 120 seconds or less.

And our topic this week is how to avoid playing the shame game. So what can you do to bring love and light to brave women out there instead of shame? Well, the opposite of shame is pride. And I love to feel proud, oh yes I do.

So let’s take a look at what a little more pride can for you and your clients. So P equals praise. I love to praise girls and women for something other than how they look. We’re really trained to compliment a woman on how thin she looks, how beautiful she is, oh, what a little princess.

But instead, and if you need some pointers on this, I’ve got a whole e-book about it. Praise them on something else. Praise them on how kind they are, how empathetic, how smart, how creative, how resourceful. There are so many ways to praise girls and women instead of just on their appearance and also instead of tearing them down.

R equals respect. I love when people respect my boundaries. I love when people treat me with respect but it all starts with me. So think about how you walk through the world and can you be diligent about respecting other people? Respecting their views, respecting their boundaries, respecting them as people.

I equals inspire. One of the top feeling states I love to feel other than proud is inspired. So are you inspired by a courageous act you’ve seen or heard about? Speak up. Tell people about it. Tell other people how they’ve inspired you.

You know, tell your best friend how inspiring it is that she gets up and runs in the morning, or tell your mom how she inspired you to work hard because you saw her working so hard when you were a kid. Reach out online and tell someone that you see on Facebook who shows up every single day for their audience how much that inspires you.

D equals dishonor. So being honorable is all about taking responsibility for your words, thoughts, and actions. So don’t dishonor yourself or other women by playing the shame game.

And E equals esteem. Self-esteem is something that you give yourself. It’s not something that other people give you. It’s not something other people can take from you. It comes from within. And you create it feeling strong and being strong, that comes from thought.

So I want you to practice over and over and over again telling yourself things that build confidence, that build strength. Feel strong, be strong, you are worth it. So I’m inviting you to share these thoughts and ideas with your clients and you’ll find that pride will start to bloom and expand through them. They’ll feel the results and you’ll create happier, more successful clients as a result.

Now, we’re moving into the part of the show where I give shout-outs to you; shout-outs to listeners, clients, all the wonderful people in my business community. And today I want to give a shout-out to somebody on iTunes who calls themselves Falquin.

Falquin entitles this five-star review The Key. “Susan is an exceptional coach that gives you the key to unlock your superpower. Thought provoking, illuminating, stimulating, absolutely amazing. Just a few words to describe this podcast.”

Oh my goodness. Thank you so much. That made my day. And hey, if you have something you want to say about this show, send an email to my team at support@susanhyatt.co. Or post a five-star review on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, anywhere you listen to podcasts. Or you could post something on social media on tag me and you might hear your name on a future episode. I love giving shout-outs to people in my community so holler at me. Thank you for the love. I love you right back.

So throughout this episode, we’ve been talking about shame. And I want to offer you this; if you’re thinking that men shaming women is the only way it rolls, you’re wrong. Maybe men don’t face the same type of sexist remarks in everyday life as women do and as a result, they often don’t think before they speak.

That’s not excuse, but what about women shaming other women? We’re trained to do that too, y’all. We’re trained that manipulation and competition is how we should participate with other women. The latest in social media shaming however that I noticed came from the women of Kickass Masterminds.

So Kickass Masterminds, they were apparently hiring an intern and a young woman applied and on her application, she included links to her social media, including Instagram. And on her Instagram account, as one does if they go to the lake, I’m thinking of me too.

She had on a swimsuit. And they felt inclined to take it to social media and bikini shame this intern applicant. They posted a big deal, they cut off her face, but they included one of her photos of her in a swimsuit and basically said hey, PSA y’all, if you’re applying for a professional position, make sure that if you include your social media links, you take pictures like this off of it.

So first of all, there wasn’t anything wrong with this photo. Apparently, the intern had dared to bare her body in a swimsuit, and post that pic on her Instagram account. Now listen, if y’all have seen my account, you know that I dare to bare frequently and with pride.

And I encourage women to do the same if they want to with their own style of badassery. But this company decided that it was unprofessional to have this posted. This particular pic on her profile. And then link that profile to her resume while applying for a job.

What’s even more outrageous to me is that these same shamers on their own company social media account have pics of them as a company on a company trip in swimsuits. I mean, they’re in swimsuits on their Instagram account but an intern applying can’t do the same. I mean, I just thought it was really a classic example of women tearing down other women.

And it’s really disappointing that women of power and success still find the need to shame other women. It’s not right. In fact, Kickass Masterminds I think should feel ashamed, in my opinion. So if you get a bunch of applications and you go check out everybody’s Instagram, she didn’t have anything on this Instagram that was illegal.

There were no pictures of her like, intoxicated, whooping it up. They just didn’t like that she had swimsuit photos on her Instagram. And I’m like, okay, your company is called Kickass Masterminds. It’s not like she’s applying to IBM and their own social media account had them as a team in swimsuits.

So even if you get an applicant that has something inappropriate, this young woman did not in my opinion, but even if you did, move on. You don’t take a young person’s photo, post it on your social media and shame them publicly.

The media is full of these examples if you care to look. Girls losing medals in swim meets. Did you guys see that news report of a young woman who won a swim meet but they took her medal away because her swimsuit gave her a wedgie?

Women being shamed for wearing exercise tights in public because it stirs up desires in men. I’m using air quotes. Men, control your eyes. I can wear leggings to Target if I want. Women are becoming targets of shame everywhere you look and it’s time to put an end to this game.

Thank you for listening to today’s episode. Now it’s time for you to take on the world and be a shameless coach. Don’t forget to keep your judgments to yourself. That’s not our job. We’re here to hold space for our clients and allow them to be who they truly want and need to be.

And when it comes to being women, we should encourage other women who have the courage to put themselves out there in spite of all those who will look down on us for just being ourselves. And we should not be afraid to speak up when anyone makes a sexist comment.

So kick off those nasty labels, wear those bikinis girls, if you want, open your legs if you want. Y’all are going to be seeing pictures of me non-stop with my legs spread. This whole open legs bad girl thing has got me revved up. It’s your right and it’s anything but shameful.

Thank you for listening to Susan Hyatt's Rich Coach Club. If you enjoyed today's show, please head over to susanhyatt.co/cash where you'll find my brand-new money magazine. Now listen, we designed this magazine to be entertaining, educational, and help you make serious bank.

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