In the era of the shaming culture, pointing out perceived flaws in people to have them conform to your views is incredibly dangerous. I read some of the news articles where famous people are shamed for different things that they do, these things, all of which the shamer is being petty and nit picky and am sure has done much worse, are relatively silly funny things. As I read these articles, I start to wonder why people try and shame someone? Is it because they are so devoid of a real life that the only way they can be happy is to try and belittle someone else? Or is it that they want to feel superior to someone that they truly want to be like? It could be that they were shamed all their lives and now they have found a way to let their frustrations out. While ironic that my thoughts seem to shame the shamers, I am actually looking for the root cause. One thing is for sure, shaming is a movement that has taken hold and won’t be going away any time soon.
In the old days, and not when I was a kid as my son would like to say “the old days when you had to dodge the dinosaurs” but when this country was in its infancy (I wasn’t around then either), people would create a village by building one house at a time. Everyone would come together and help build their neighbors house, then they would help build another house until all the neighbors had a home. This constructive team building, a term I’m sure you heard in your job, was something people aspired to. Neighbor always had a positive connotation and meant something good.
Now, in the days of social media, where you can be somewhat anonymous and don’t have to confront a person that you disagree with, people become emboldened and say things that they would not normally say. I’m sure that this was not the intention of social media when it was thought of but it is what it has become.
Psychology has taken a turn to using shaming as a technique to try and bring people into conformity and to teach humility. I believe that to be an ineffective method to teach a lesson and should only be used as a last resort, if at all. Praise used to be the preferred method to bring people together and to show unity in common beliefs, but those methods don’t seem to be relevant anymore or are not talked about or highlited the way they used to be.
The problem with shaming is that once you are done with one person, you are looking for the next person to shame and it becomes an addiction to humiliation. That’s disgusting, you’re sick, what a weirdo… blah, blah, blah. This ongoing and downward spiraling method of trying to bury people under your feet instead of picking people up on your shoulders seems to be contagious.
It used to be that if you didn’t like what someone did you expressed disappointment in private, had a conversation eye to eye, voiced you opinion, listened to theirs and then decided to either break off communication with the person (what people now a days call ghosting) or you would say that it was not important enough to end a friendship or relationship and forgive and forget.
Praising always seemed like a better method of communicating. Telling someone what they did right or what you found impressive about them to fortify that train of thought seemed to have a better result that would lead to better communities. I’m not saying that you can’t express disappointment when warranted, this isn’t Pleasantville, people do do stuff wrong, what I am saying is that shaming should be used sparingly and only in private.
While I understand that shaming is a type of psychological warfare used on battlegrounds, trying to shame, lets say a political figure, a congressman or congresswoman who have their constituents, is worthless and only seems like bullying. The people that voted for them and the people that will have a voice in their election are the only people that should have a say in their political ideology and that say will come in their next election. This also goes for regular people, famous people, basically all people. What good do you get from shaming someone, absolutely none. You get more from praising their good actions, as they will most likely repeat them.
Now, if you make money from shaming someone, if people are paying you to shame a person or group of people, then I can see…… that you are hard up for cash and should find a better job. In the end… In the end it is my solemn belief that God will judge you for you actions and telling him that shaming got you that brand new TV set with the Ultra High resolution that was 72 inches is not going to go over very well or that new white SUV even though you already have two cars, probably won’t work either.
This article is in response to the person at the gym that believes that shaming is how to shape politics. It wasn’t a great conversation.