How to Overcome the Shame of Wanting More

As an empath, you need more self-care than others in order to nurture your gift of sensitivity and many people will not get it. Some people will seem confused by your need for solitude or special requests, while others will get downright nasty. No matter what others’ reactions are, it is essential that you take care of yourself. It is not your job to make others understand you, it is your job to protect and rejuvenate your energies. The good news is other people do not need to understand your need for more, but you do!

Why do people shame others?

People who shame, were shamed and are doing to you what they were taught. They were fed big ol’ shame sandwiches most likely by their parents and did not question or have awareness of this destructive emotion. Shame stunts personal growth by halting self-development. You cannot grow bigger under a cloud of shame.

People who shame others do not take responsibility for their feelings. When they feel insecure or uncomfortable, they will project that negativity onto you. Remember when this happens, it is not personal and take steps to protect your energies.

A personal story

I kept myself small because of shame. As a child, I was shamed for wanting more out of life and as an adult for taking care of my own needs. The message I received from my step father was;”You want too much.” Today, I wonder why wanting more caused so much fear in this man? I can only surmise that he felt unworthy of having more himself.

As a psychotherapist, I have spent a lot of time analyzing this man’s behavior to understand myself. According to people like him, I want a lot. I learned to say; so what? People who are on the path of self-development require a richer life. I accept my need for more without apology or shame.

To be crystal clear, when I talk about more it is not necessarily in the form of stuff because that has never brought me happiness. I am pretty low maintenance on most things yet I don’t budge on certain aspects of comfort/self-care. When traveling with others besides my husband, I need my own room because I require space by myself to relax and unwind. I know I can absorb a lot of energy from other travelers, people and places, therefore I take the necessary steps to care for myself.

 5 Steps to Overcome Shame & Shine

  • Know your real self– Do you identify as an empath or highly sensitive person? If yes, what does that mean for you?
  • Know what you need– What are your self- care requirements (regardless of how other people respond to them)?
  • Know that you deserve it– You are worthy of having what you want and need. Yes, it is okay to want more!
  • Assert yourself and hold those boundaries– Speak up about what you need without stepping on other’s boundaries and stand in your power.
  • Learn the signs and feelings of shame- Put shame squarely in its place by recognizing it and not absorbing it into your body. Look at it as an outdated emotion that no longer has a purpose in your life.

Lisa Hutchison LMHC works for empathic healers who want to recharge and replenish their depleted energies in order to heal themselves and others. Lisa is an intuitive psychotherapist who offers counseling, certified angel card readings and writing coaching sessions to compassionate helpers by phone and in person. Help yourself to her FREE 10 page E-book 8 Simple Things that Release Chaos from Your Life Now! at  


23 thoughts on “How to Overcome the Shame of Wanting More

  1. Amen, sistah, “Assert yourself and hold those boundaries– Speak up about what you need without stepping on other’s boundaries and stand in your power.” I have two incidents happen recently where I froze when the other person’s words and behaviors showed up. They both crossed boundaries. I’m now seeking to be able to move more quickly when I know and feel this is happening. Thanks, Lisa, as always for your word wisdom. xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lore! I don’t know if you know this; it is not uncommon for empaths to freeze up around another’s inauthentic energy. I find when that happens to me, the next time I am prepared to speak up when a boundary is crossed with that person. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, I didn’t know this, Lisa. And yes, I am better prepared if there is a next time. Though what one woman did was off the hook inappropriate in a group setting I just hosted. She was so out there that it made the group feel unsafe and that IS NOT OKAY with me. I know this as some women experiencing this “inauthentic energy” as you say, sent me messages. So the boundary crosser is not invited back. That simple. I don’t choose to spend precious energy teaching them. Make sense?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ughh Lore. I had a similar situation with my writing group. This person threw me off guard in the moment that I was practically speechless, I did utter out some phrases. Afterwards, I could process and it made more sense to me what happened. This experience helped me value myself more and set stronger boundaries. The person in question never returned and I don’t expect her back. As a group leader, it is important that the group feel safe and enforce the boundaries to do that. Sounds like you did what is best for the group.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I stopped explaining myself and wanting what I want. My sister doesn’t like the paint color I chose for my kitchen. So? I do and that’s all that matters 🙂 I’m with you this Lisa – I will not be shamed for wanting what I want. xxoo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This year has been about unintentionally purging negative people from my life. Since I asked for it, I saw it coming so I made a choice to focus on myself and the emotions I control only. People react the way they want based on their own understanding. It is their choice to be angry or resentful so I decided to no longer absorb that and to no longer adjust my behavior to please them. I now just accept, understand and move on. It has very liberating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So much shame in my life! Shame for saying what I felt – and for feeling it, too! Time to let go shame and that ‘frozen’ feeling we get around others’ inauthenticity, as you wrote in the convo, above. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post! Shame and blame really don’t help, anything. “Unapologetically” is one of my favorite words. Of course, in cases where I cause hurt for another person, I don’t hesitate to express my sincere apology and make efforts to remedy the situation. But – in terms of the energy with which I set out to do something – the more unapologetically I do it, the clearer my energy is, and the better the outcomes generally are too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tara. As empaths, we take care to notice other’s emotions and not intrude upon their boundaries because we know how bad it feels when others’ do that to us. There are the occasional misunderstandings, most empaths are self aware enough to apologize for any transgressions. Thanks for your comment and visiting my blog!


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