• The best definition I've heard is that guilt is about what you've done, shame is about who you are. If something's out of my control, I don't feel shame about it, because what could I have done? If you're guilty, you can at least try to atone for it or make it better or not do it again. If it's who you are, you can't do much about it except change yourself, and that's pretty hard.

    Interview with Sheila Heti, February 1, 2009.