The Compass of Shame was developed by Donald Nathanson as a means of showing how people react when they feel shame. Each of the poles of the compass is one way in which individuals deal with feeling shame. They are:
- Withdrawal: When individuals feel shame they might isolate themselves from others by running or hiding.
- Attack Self: When individuals feel shame they might attack themselves both physically or mentally. They might put themselves down or harm their bodies.
- Avoidance: When individuals feel shame they might deny the feeling of shame all together. Some might abuse drugs or distract themselves through thrill seeking to avoid this shame feeling.
- Attack Others: Individuals who feel shame might lash out on property or others. They might turn tables, verbally or physically assault others, or blame others for their feelings of shame.