Blaming someone for shaming you implies your emotions are out of control

September 12, 2015 by Joshua
in Awareness, Models, Nonjudgment

People blame others for shaming them. The media, which benefits from confrontation and conflict, amplifies their voice. The blame arises in various contexts—sex, size, etc.

I think they make themselves sound like children.

Someone can try to shame you but only you can allow yourself to feel it, for adults who have learned to manage their emotions, at least. Feeling shame when you don’t want it means your emotions are out of your control. Someone may be trying to influence you, but ultimately they don’t have control of your emotions. You do. Or you can if you’ve learned.

Let’s say someone tried to make me feel ashamed of something—say, for example, for being American. I’m sure people try to shame people for being American around the world.

Well, I’m not ashamed of being American. I won’t hesitate to describe problems with the country, but I don’t feel shame for them. The more openly I acknowledge them, the less personal they feel. I don’t see them as moral issues. I see them as problem-solving issues.

If someone says something like “You should be ashamed of being American,” I might say something like, “It sounds like we see things differently.” Or maybe I’d laugh or feel curious and ask them why they think I should feel emotions they want me to.

The same follows for any realm of trying to make someone feel ashamed. Blaming others for your emotions reinforces a belief that others can control your emotions, which undermines your ability to act for yourself. Maybe you can get others to sympathize with you, but at what cost to your well-being and ability to take responsibility yourself?

When someone accuses another person of trying to shame them, I feel like they’re announcing their immaturity and lack of emotional awareness and skills. Some people seem to make a show of their outrage, as if it empowers them. Like the poorly educated person who uses big words to try to sound more educated and ends up sounding less educated, they make themselves look infantile, at least to me.

People try to avoid people whose emotions are out of control because they are unpredictable and risky. Who wants someone like that around? They’re liable to turn on you.

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