Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

What to Do When You’ve Been Humiliated

Is it possible that what separates the successful from the unsuccessful is not getting humiliated – that happens to everyone – but how they cope with humiliation? Here are 10 tips from one of the most celebrated psychologists, who admits to three big-time humiliations. Read More

One More Way: Find Out Who is at Fault!

An insult is certainly not tolerable but when it comes to you, it is wise to find out who is at fault before blaming. The person who is getting insulted always feel that the insulter is at fault. However, it can be so that that you may be at fault by taking him or her to be the one who is insulting you. It may be so that front person does not want to insult but is force to do so due to misunderstanding. After all, nobody wishes to insult anyone.

Therefore, there is a subtle (unseen) reason why somebody is insulting you. You just have to change your vision this much and insult will then never bother you no matter how many times it comes to you from different or same mediums (people). I got this vision from:

Sometimes insult can be a matter of social perspective

We singles deal with that all the time, from people who took the path more traveled and think there has to be something wrong with us, or we need to be fixed.
I was insulted at the Denver Airport a few years ago when I wore an intricately beaded necklace I made, of a sunburst symbol in blue, orange and white, a sacred symbol on the Indian reservation I lived adjacent to. The colors were part of the sacred motif. A bunch of people complimented my "Broncos necklace." To trivialize the necklace in this way was insulting, though nothing like the humiliating incidents this post is about. But I was in the Denver airport and people saw the symbol in their own context. It's okay, I live in Washington and we collectively wrought our revenge at the Super Bowl last night. >: )

Dealing with REAL humiliation

I've been there too many times, unfortunately. I was let go from the company I'd been with for 7 years, 5 years ago. It was a definite low point in my life.
More recently, I made a misstep in an organization I've volunteered for for years. The director's response was bitterly humiliating and I did exactly what he hoped I would, I licked my wounds in secret. Last week something similar happened to a friend of mine, who did not really do anything wrong, she just acted on her own in a way that would have earned praise from someone more secure. I reached out to my friend, knowing how alone she must feel. That's the key, talking to someone who has been through it. She and I are stronger now and able to bounce ideas off each other about her appropriate response. We are reaching out to others who have run afoul of this person. We do care for our director and don't want to "take him down," but we need to stand up for ourselves. We are trying to figure out how to do this with loving kindness and restore harmony to this place. The breaking of the silence was what brought down the house of cards. A manipulator can only work if his victims bear their shame in secret.
I learned this lesson by being stuck as an enabler to an alcoholic boss for years; she counted on me to keep her secret by making me a conspirator. When I broke the silence and stood up to her, everyone else who had been affected by her drinking rose to stand with me. I knew I was inflicting the same shame on her that she had on me all those years, and I felt bad about it because I'm a person who hates to inflict pain (thus I was her perfect patsy), but in that case it was her or me, and I'd had a life-and-death experience that clarified my feelings about all that, and it was a matter of identity by then. Was I a person who gave in, or was I a person who stood up? To prepare for the standoff, I talked to everyone in my life who would be truly disappointed in me if I did not take a stand; I set myself up for far worse humiliation if I didn't go through with what I needed to do. I have one friend who I had let down many times before. When she said, "I'm proud of you," it was all worth it.

Just have to mention this

I just got the class schedule from my local food co-op and there is a seminar on coping with humiliation! It's called "Embracing Shame."

embracing shame

It is interesting how success is described as this magical place where no wrong can happen to you. It is a common belief that if you are heralded by your peers for your work, your finances, your beauty, your morality.....(pick and choose) you are a success and therefore beyond shame and humiliation. It is probably one of the main reasons some fight so hard to be hover around out of reach.

well no. That s not how it works. If you feel a deep seated shame, and most of us do, you can run but you can t hide. And Mr Sternberg shows that noone is immune.

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Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.


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