CHARACTERISTICS OF SHAME BASED PEOPLE (CONTD.)

  • Rage. Some people suppress the rage that stems from being shamed to the core. This can easily turn to depression. Shame contaminates all feelings, except rage. Rage is the most powerful of all feelings. Rage is internalised and makes the person bitter, sarcastic, and negative. If the raging person has power, it can breed violence, revenge, and vindictiveness.  Rage protects the shamed person by keeping others at arms length, or by spraying them with shame.
  • Arrogance.  Bradshaw defines this as exaggerating one’s own importance. It hides the burning core of shame.  It is the ultimate cloak to hide the real self.
  • Being critical and blaming others. Blaming and criticising others decreases the feeling of shame that the toxically shamed person feels. It makes others seem smaller and failures, and the shamed person correspondingly feels superior and feels better. The parents who blame and brand their children with negative criticism shame them to the core, because the child is too young to make a proper judgement on the criticism.
  • Being judgemental and moralising.  This is related to perfectionism and to being critical and blaming others. It is a strong way to plant one’s own shame in one’s children. It also affects how children may experience God, and from my experience breeds an unfounded sense of sin. It is an example of spiritual abuse, of which there was much when I was a child in the 1950s.
  • Contempt. By holding another in contempt the shamed person shows disrespect for a person’s humanity. It a rejection of another person. For example, the teacher, who is shamed to the core, is in great danger of showing contempt for his pupils (who have less knowledge, and less experience that the teacher). I deeply regret any negative comments I ever made to any of my students, although I was always conscious of the importance of praising them. Nevertheless, this minimises how I was. One negative comment to a vulnerable student is too many. A child who is subject to much condemnation by teachers will in turn learn how to show contempt for others.
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