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Thread: shaming

  1. #21
    Senior Member Array hazelsees's Avatar
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    Feb 2013


    I read this thread the other day--I never thought so much about shame. I'm not sure I know what it means now.

    1. (I'm already distracted with another thread of thought--what was #1 gonna be???
    Oh yeah.
    When others make fun of me in an un-fun manner because I do not fit with them in some way, shape, or form. I feel like they are shaming me. The embarrassing kind of shame. For instance, even here at the forum, I do not know what y'all are talking about half the time. My intelligence level isn't equal nor is my knowledge of the subject equal. Y'all could shame me (thankfully you don't) by saying mean things about my lack of knowledge and intelligence or ability to write a sentence that makes sense. I'm usually able to fake "belonging" in real life enough to get me by...or through a social event, etc., but sometimes I can't. As I've gotten older, this type of shaming doesn't bother me much anymore.

    2. I've felt "a"shamed by things I've said to others. Not often because I'm usually extremely careful with how I treat others, but once or twice I've said something on purpose to shame them, and I was the one who lost sleep over it. I carried guilt and shame over one incident for years. Ran into this person about a year ago and apologized with what I had said to her. She didn't even remember it.

    3. This is the tricky one--the one that's hard to explain. We all have our deep beliefs about wrong and right--our moral codes. I hold pretty tight to mine. Twice I've acted against them. These actions were harmful to other people--and my shame was so overwhelming that I would not look it straight. And when confronted, I bucked it and fought it and denied it and manipulated and twisted my actions to make it look like the other person's fault. All because I can't tolerate that deep shame--it crushes me and I felt like it would destroy me. I'm still not sure I could openly admit to my wrongness in these situations (in real life). It would cause me to feel vulnerable--like the other people would have some sort of power to start stripping away my layers. I feel icky just writing about it here...

    Also, after thinking on this a bit, I realized that this could be the "thing" that people hate about INFJs, although, healthy INFJs wouldn't have this sort of behavior every day or even every year. This a rare thing...but maybe that makes it more devastating (to others). When we do it, we do it big.

    Hope this all makes sense and is helpful and is on topic.

  2. #22
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    5w4 sx/sp


    Quote Originally Posted by the state i am in View Post
    one thing that seems pertinent to ask, then, is what differentiates feedback from shaming? is shaming ultimately about more than the behavior itself and posited as a threat to one's own identity? does it reach all the way to the self? is it just a categorical no being imposed, simply reacting without listening to where the other is coming from (ultimately closing off from the other and refusing to fully relate to where they are coming from, instead only focusing on securing compliance)?

    i ask because i know fj types (and sometimes tp types) tend to be really good at this categorical no type of maneuvering. they know how to pejoratively mark you with low status meanings. but, at the same time, i feel like, as an action, people of all types know how to work with the emotional, self-concept based vulnerabilities of others to manipulate. so i don't feel like it's just the categorical no that i associate with FJ as much as digging in one's heels and rejecting something without listening.

    so, to elaborate on my third question, when is shaming shaming and not insensitivity? is it entirely rooted in controlling someone else's behavior? controlling the idea of someone else (who they are)? when is it helpful and beneficial feedback? is this just a product of the level of ego-centricity, of unconscious selfishness that still exists within a person even if they are not intending anything malicious? or does it require blame to also be involved?

    Maybe a good question to ask is (and I think it IS what you’re asking? and what @Eilonwy is asking too?): how responsible should we feel when our own insensitivity/obliviousness causes shame in someone else (stirs feelings of worthlessness in them), even though it was not our intention?

    It’s probably more clear cut with verbal admonitions- the “you” statements- whether or not something falls in the ‘shaming’ category. But going back to my example of someone getting up from a table and leaving the group whenever a certain individual comes along…..if it makes the individual feel bad, should the person doing it feel responsible for making that individual feel bad?

    It’s probably not productive to use the word ‘should’, since it posits the notion there’s one answer that will apply to everyone- and I think this is something that all people should get to answer for themselves….but people need to take responsibility for how that answer shapes the way others see them. If you don’t mind being perceived as somewhat selfish (or whatever more appropriate adjective), and it seems like too much work to always take responsibility every single ripple we create in the world around us (because let’s face it- sometimes when someone feels shame, it’s the product of their own issues more than because of you doing something inherently offensive), then I suppose the answer to that above question (e.g. “Is it ‘shaming’ if you accidentally do or say something to cause someone to experience feelings of worthlessness?”) would lay further along the “no” or ‘not responsible’ end of the spectrum.

    eta: The thing is, I've been the person who 'gets up and leaves when a certain person comes along' (i.e. doing the inadvertent shaming) AND I've been the person who feels bad because someone I otherwise respect 'gets up to leave whenever I show up'. When in the former category, I notice rationalizations going on in my head- I don't really feel empathy because I feel like the person brought it on themselves by being so annoying in the first place (thinking "if my attention/approval was important enough to them, they could stop doing ___ or ___"). Yet when I'm in the latter category, it does make me remember that it can cause feelings of worthless in someone else regardless- they may not understand 'why' they are annoying me, and I am creating feedback in their external world (by merely existing around them) which suggests they are not worth my time.

    I'm trying to think of more examples of how 'shaming' can happen inadvertently- like maybe in the scenario where there are two team captains picking people out of a line up to be on their 'team'. There is shame involved in always being the last guy picked. So the extent to which a team captain should take that into account is, I guess, the extent to which 'winning' means "beating the other team" vs. "everyone has a good time and everyone ends up feeling good about themselves". That answer is different for everyone.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  3. #23
    Senior Member Array the state i am in's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    shame involves the threat of abandonment. humiliation involves a kind of domination. at times, humiliation can lead to self-shaming. see e4.

    as for the thread, with either, when the categories of judgment overwhelm the ability to inhabit the other's reality in their own terms, empathy disappears. when we try to establish the facts about the other, when we try to prove violation of rights, or prove wrongness, it's not necessarily shaming, but it is a kind of violent act.

    we often do this when we simply lack the courage to express our own vulnerability, which would be to ask for empathy, rather than instead perpetuate our anger by demanding that we receive empathy and in turn refusing to offer any to the person who is to blame. it's a similar process of not owning our own feelings and, even more so, needs. our truth has to come out of an awareness of and respect for our own needs. not a condemnation of the other, as if they could be wrong absolutely rather than wrong for us.

  4. #24
    eating bugs out of hair. Array prplchknz's Avatar
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    Jun 2007


    apparently I carry a lot of shame didn't realize it til it was pointed out by one of my therapist. I guess at some point shame just becomes part of who you are?
    by @magpie

  5. #25
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    INFp None


    I used to reject all shaming, but have given into the temptation a few times when I see someone shaming. It feels like it's good to give them a taste of their own medicine. On another forum there was a lonely, little internet person asking about how to get a date and hookup because they hadn't been with someone for ten years. Some posters were saying the only reasons for that would be they are too picky, or they are smelly and dirty. I know so many lonely, socially backwards types that I got angry and told them to quit being judgmental little bastards. Technically that was shaming I suppose, but seemed worth it. I don't regret it because the "punishment" so to speak was pretty mild compared to what the people were doing to someone who was exposing a rather deep and sensitive part of their life. I think it is a mistake to protect the shamers too much. Who knows? Perhaps a taste of their own medicine will provide enlightenment or at least a momentary forced empathy.
    The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN

    If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY

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