Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Exploring and discussing a variety of relationship topics and issues for people in all kinds of relationships; including partnerships, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, roommates and more.

Jan 5, 2021

There are many moments in a couple’s life that shame and fear show up shrouded in subtlety. While men predominantly feel shame and inadequacy, women tend to go through fear and anxiety. Because of this experiential difference between men and women, it becomes a challenge for couples to understand and navigate the dynamics of shame and fear in relationships. As such, Juan Santos - the owner of Santos Counseling and author of Couple’s Workbook: Making Your Relationship Work - recommends that couples seek self-discovery and strive to cultivate an environment of safety where they both can open up to vulnerability in their relationship.

Today, Juan and I illustrate how shame and fear interact and feed off of each other. We discuss the underlying factors of the shame/fear dynamic and describe how societal expectations exacerbate men’s experience with shame in adulthood. We explain how childhood upbringing influences the way people navigate moments of shame in their lives. We also underscore the power of compassionate touch in soothing and calming moments of vulnerability between couples and highlight the role of compassion and kindness in the self-exploration of shame and fear.


“We have to do work on ourselves to be able to feel comfortable with witnessing shame, so we know how to make space for others” - Juan Santos


This week on Relationships! Let’s Talk About It:

  • Feeling shameful about feeling shame
  • Growing up in a culture of shame and men’s experience with shame and vulnerability
  • Compassion and empathy as antidotes to fear
  • Natural reactions to men’s expressions of shame and vulnerability
  • Soothing vulnerability through intentional and compassionate touch
  • Sexual shame and social expectations of sexual performance
  • Being ashamed of not understanding the emotional world
  • Providing for togetherness and understanding women’s experience with fear
  • Decreasing resentment through compassion and connection
  • The subtle ways couples shame each other
  • Understanding and creating “soft start-ups” to conversations
  • The power of visualization in cultivating the kind of people we want to be in relationships
  • Why we need self-compassion when we explore and work on our shame
  • Making space for others to share their shame and vulnerabilities


Related Content:


Connect with Juan Santos:


Sponsored by Still Point Wellness

Still Point Wellness is Asheville’s premier spa experience. Enjoy effortless relaxation and rejuvenate your body through Still Point’s world-class services including Esalen Massage®, Salt Water Floatation also known as sensory deprivation, Cranial Sacral Therapy, and Somatic Psychology. Experience the healing powers of deep relaxation like never before!

Schedule your first appointment by visiting or call (828) 348-5372.

Mention the code: Pripo to receive 10% off your first Salt Water Floatation or Esalen Massage®!


Let’s Talk About It!

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of Relationships! Let’s Talk About It - the show to help you forge deeper, more meaningful connections and relationships with those around you. If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe to the show, and leave us a rating and review.

You can check out the original songs I have sung in my podcast at Pripo’s Podcast Songs.

If you have a relationship question you’d love to have answered, contact us. Your question may be featured on a future episode!

Don’t forget to visit our website, like us on Facebook at HeartShare Counseling, join our Relationships! Let’s Talk About It Facebook group, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. Share your favorite episodes on social media to help others build better, more meaningful relationships.

And if our content has helped you forge deeper connections and more meaningful relationships, be sure to help support the show by visiting our Support the Podcast page!

Theme music “These Streets” provided by Adi the Monk