Tag Archive: shame

When I shame you, I shame everyone

Hi! I’m sharing this blog I wrote with you because I believe shame is such an important topic. And in case you’re wondering, it’s difficult for me to talk about because I feel shame for having to talk about it.  But by doing so, I’m hoping that others will also begin to talk.

I was at an event a few weeks back. I’d been learning something new, and during the feedback period, the teacher shamed me publicly for failing to “get” something she had reminded me of previously. Her words were to the effect: “I’ve told you about this before and you did it again”.

I did what I always do when I get criticized in this way: I put on a brave face, swallow my pride, and take in what she is saying.  I also stuff down any feelings I might have of not being seen, and of being treated like a 12-year-old. It’s an old story for me – a seeming lack of justice. And I could have easily fallen into that particular self-pity hole.

There are 2 important things I learned from this experience:

Even while feeling the warmth of shame, I noticed that I wasn’t alone in feeling this. Everyone else in the room was feeling it too. The sudden silence and lowering of eyes indicated to me that we were all feeling the impact as shame.

That’s the first point: when I shame you in public, I shame everyone else in the room.
The person who shamed me is nice, good, smart, and caring. She’s someone I like and admire. Her intention wasn’t to shame me, but to give me honest feedback. Her mistake was in the way she delivered it.

I’ve done the same to others. And that’s the second point: I’ve unintentionally shamed another person in front of others, with the same effect – the room goes quiet, eyes turned down.

There are other better ways of delivering a critique. Asking what was going on for the person, providing feedback on how that impacted other participants, followed by a query on what that person believes they can do next time.

Public shaming is rarely justified. It’s painful and leaves people feeling under-empowered.  Far better to learn how to deliver criticism in a way that leaves the other person – and everyone else in the room – energized.

Listening to Shame

 Quote of the Week

We see ourselves as nonconformist, but I think all of this is creating a more conformist, conservative age.
― Jon Ronson, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

When I shame you, I shame everyone

I was at an event a few weeks back. I’d been learning something new, and during the feedback period, the teacher shamed me publicly for failing to “get” something she had reminded me of previously. Her words were to the effect: “I’ve told you about this before and you did it again”.

I did what I always do when I get criticized in this way: I put on a brave face, swallow my pride, and take in what she is saying.  I also stuff down any feelings I might have of not being seen, and of being treated like a 12-year-old. It’s an old story for me – a seeming lack of justice. And I could have easily fallen into that particular self-pity hole.

There are 2 important things I learned from this experience:

Even while feeling the warmth of shame, I noticed that I wasn’t alone in feeling this. Everyone else in the room was feeling it too. The sudden silence and lowering of eyes indicated to me that we were all feeling the impact as shame.

That’s the first point: when I shame you in public, I shame everyone else in the room.

The person who shamed me is nice, good, smart, and caring. She’s someone I like and admire. Her intention wasn’t to shame me, but to give me honest feedback. Her mistake was in the way she delivered it.

The second point is that I’ve done the same to others.  I’ve unintentionally shamed another person in front of others, with the same effect – the room goes quiet, eyes turned down.

There are other better ways of delivering a critique. Asking what was going on for the person, providing feedback on how that impacted other participants, followed by a query on what that person believes they can do next time.

Public shaming is rarely justified. It’s painful and leaves people feeling under-empowered.  Far better to learn how to deliver criticism in a way that leaves the other person – and everyone else in the room – energized.

 

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Maryanne

 

Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .

Grit – the key to Future success

Some fortunate people have loving and mature parents, go to great schools, and get initiated into the adult world with the support of amazing mentors.  Some – not all – of those lucky few make a terrific life for themselves and, hopefully, others.

The rest of us aren’t so fortunate. And yet, more of us end up succeeding in spite of the odds against us than anyone would expect.

But predictors of future success provide statistical odds only.  The real predictor is youYourcommitment to your own future, your self-regard, and your ability to see what’s real and possible.

Mostly though, it’s your conviction: your conviction that what you seek is possible for you to achieve, and worth staying with. In the end, it might not turn out the way you imagined, but it will happen.  That kind of stick-with-it-ness is sometimes called resilience, and sometimes called grit.

Angela Duckworth distinguishes resilience from grit (view the video below).  She’s discovered that a key predictor to future success is gritGrit is consistent effort, combined with passion, for a particular goal, that is strong enough to overcome obstacles or challenges that are in the way to the realization of that goal.

In other words, the goal has to be worthy to the person trying to achieve it. And the person trying to achieve it has to feel worthy of achieving that goal

A person with grit is in it for the long-term and knows that to achieve her goal involves a marathon, not a sprint.

So the bottom line is to hang in there, sometimes putting one foot in front of the other, and keep faith in yourself and your abilities.

The Power of Passion and Preservation

My online program begins Oct 8th, but you can still register until October 14th! It’s a program for addressing stress and anxiety with plenty of support …


Click here to register.

 
Quote of the Week

“…there are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time―longer than most people imagine….you’ve got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people….Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it…it’s doing what you love, but not just falling in love―staying in love.
― Angela Duckworth

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Crazy-Making

Imagine this: you’ve leant your best friend your cherished slow cooker; she knows how much you value it. Even so, it eventually comes back broken.  When confronted with the obvious, she either denies anything happened at her end, or swears it was already broken. If she’s really in a bad way, she might deny borrowing it altogether and that she happened to find it at her place.

Sadly, my mother was notorious for doing this. Happily, not my friends. Mom would go one step further: next time she asked to borrow something, and I said no because of what happened the time before, she would deny denying she’d done anything the first time.

It drove me crazy. Especially because I’d be like Charlie Brown with Lucy: I’d fall for it as any insane person would, believing in my heart that this time would be different.

Seth Godin calls this Kettle logic. He suggests that the person using it is really reacting emotionally instead of logically.

I can’t be sure of that, but I do know that it’s useless to try and reason with them.  Instead, what I really need to do is understand why I keep falling for it and do something about that!

You see, it is emotional on my side. And once I can come to terms with what’s going on with me, then I can deal with what’s going on with my friend.

With my Mom, I wanted her to be accountable in a way she couldn’t be. It wasn’t until I understood who she was that I was able to stop putting us both into that particular dance. You see, it wasn’t just her. It was both of us, playing out a familiar song that had, long ago, run its course.

Declaring someone else insane

It’s not your mind that’s letting you down. It’s your spirit …

Are you starting to feel you’re loosing it, that you’re alone in this. And the deeper you dig and the harder you try to get things right, it only makes things worse. Well, you aren’t alone. At least a third of us are with you.

You know you need to do something differently, and you’re on it. But the real problem isn’t what you do and don’t know – you’re pretty good at working through things intellectually.
It isn’t your brain that’s letting you down. It’s your spirit.

In my program Burning the Candle at Both Endswe go on a spiritual journey together, looking at what’s really at the heart of perfectionism and stress in your life, and discovering ways that truly help to turn it around for you.

Registration is now open for October. Register now!

 
Quote of the Week

“A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?” ― Albert Einstein

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

It’s so easy to keep us quiet

It’s so easy to keep us quiet – all we have to do is want something badly and believe that we aren’t worthy of it, somehow.

If you hurt someone and can’t forgive yourself. Or were sure of yourself until you made a big mistake. Or are afraid of letting your parents down by failing in some way.

This deep-down feeling of unworthiness might show up as perfectionism, or it might show up as hiding, or of being cowed down. I’ve felt it: I let a bully dictate terms to me for almost 9 years, after making a big mistake and having to start over.  I’d been so sure of myself before that, then had the bad luck of letting someone who didn’t respect me dictate terms. It cowed me.

Then, when I came to appreciate what happened, it took a while to come to terms with the loss – of years, and joy, and even health.

You might be a perfectionist, or in hiding, or even cowed.  It isn’t because you made a mistake – mistakes are part of learning. It’s because you learned to feel unworthy, deep-down. And that has to go.

It any of what I’ve written speaks to you, if it’s even a little familiar, then you might be feeling embarrassed and ashamed. That’s what kept me quiet. But it’s false. Here’s what you can do to shake off that false feeling – the feeling that’s been holding you hostage:

  • It’s a lie. It’s a lie that you’re unworthy, and anyone helping you feel that way is the one who is truly unworthy. Acknowledge the truth instead of the lie – that you are worthy and always have been.

 

  • Feel the rage. In shamanism I was taught that rage is the teacher of truth. Once you recognize the lie, and the truth, you will feel rage. And along with that rage, you will begin to reclaim your truth.

 

  • Question and confront. Question anyone who suggests, implies, or even acts like you are unworthy; anyone who demands something of you that isn’t actually worthy of you. Begin to know and appreciate your own worth, and from a stable and grounded place inside you, confront and challenge.  This might look something like: “Please don’t speak to me that way; find some other way to say what you mean”. Or: “This is the best I can do right now”, without apology.

 

  • Be ready to leave a situation or person that won’t acknowledge you as an equal. This can seem hard. But once you claim your own worthiness, it’ll be a lot easier than you think.

 

Shame loves perfectionists

Perfection and stress??

If you’re driven y perfection, then you’re likely also stressed a lot of your life. This kind of stress will lead to burnout. My online program BURNING THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS  can help you begin to change that.

 
Registration is now open for October. Register Now!
Quote of the Week

“Perfectionism is not the same thing has striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”

― Brené Brown – how do I do this again to tag the blue dot people?

Announcement

Blog: In case you missed it, here’s my latest blog.

Need more? At times we need more  – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us.  I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages.  For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at maryanne@thejoyofliving.co . Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist and Life Coach.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co.

Spread your wings

Spread your wings

I had a dream last night. In it a man is murdered. A second man is hounded and finally convicted of the murder – never any solid evidence but pretty sure he did it. He escapes with the help of his friends, and then I’m convicted (because they needed someone to pin this on). I begin many years of living under glass, in a house, constantly monitored, same regimen daily. No change. Until one day years later, when my hair has turned gray, he helps me escape back to normal life. We both end up in a community where we simply live out our lives, free of unwanted eyes.

I feel so sad and ashamed when I remember the dream.  I’ve always felt the outsider, convinced that I’d done something so terrible that I could never really belong.  For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be accepted. To belong.

If you know what I’m talking about, then you also know it isn’t true:  It isn’t true that you or I have done anything terrible, or that we in any way deserve to feel such shame. It’s something that was imposed on us by others who felt the same way. We know that. And yet, that feeling persists, causing unnecessary pain. It saps us of our life force energy, and our power.

This shame and pain makes us want to escape – through endless activity, or food, or drugs, alcohol … any thing or activity that numbs us to that unbearable feeling of pain and helplessness. Some of us never wake up to what we’re doing to ourselves. Those of you who are reading this – and who identify with it – you’re the lucky ones.  Because understanding what happened, and that you can free yourself of this fake myth, means that you can finally move on. You can take back that power you were born with.

Seth Godin’s blog Fake Wasabi  is a reminder of what we can miss if we buy into that fake myth. He notes that most sushi restaurants serve something that looks like wasabi, but is really a mixture of horse radish and other things. If you didn’t know this, and didn’t go in search of the real thing, you’d never know what you were missing.

Time to spread your wings!

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
 

-Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

 

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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .