Sunday, February 24, 2013

Self Awareness, Emotional Development, and The Ignorance of Shame

::Talk Back :: Back Talk::

I am looking for evidence of people whose moral maturity is delayed or stuck in the teenage years, and yet they aren't defensive or ignorant about the fact.  Is it possible for someone to be stuck, and yet still be working or open toward development?  For instance, I often find that regardless of how caring I may be toward someone who is stuck and may need counseling or some sort of development in a specific area of life, they are usually willfully ignorant, stuck in denial, or just extremely defensive about the issue.  I don't consider myself someone who is making these judgment calls in the spirit of self-aggrandizement, or ego protection.  In reality, nine times out of ten, the individual contacts me months or years later and apologizes for their behavior and agrees with my assessment.
Additionally, I posit that cultures with substantial components of machismo tend to have more people (yes, including women, like Snookie) unwilling to acknowledge their developmental state, most likely as a function of what BrenĂ© Brown discusses in her work on vulnerability and courage.  The macho tends to view emotional vulnerability as a weakness, rather than employing such openness as a perceptive and creative advantage.

While on the topic of machismo and Dr. Brown's research:
I  wonder why so many transformational methods such as The Secret or Landmark seem to pole vault over the issue of shame.  It seems to be a case of the proverbial icing over the cow pie.  It is so difficult to positively alter your life's trajectory when the deep feeling of shame is not handled, and so many people are stopped by it -- and I believe most aren't even aware that they have shame.  I wasn't until I had a set of epiphanies.  I have come to read and observe, as does BrenĂ© Brown, that many cultures pervasively ingrain shame as a part of child rearing.  As a result, many adults are stuck at the often unconscious level of self distrust or disgust that they learned as children.  This perpetuates the cycle of shaming and hiding shame in adult relationships -- in the form of codependency or emotionally manipulative or degrading parenting.

I'd love to hear your observations!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

I Pique You! Neat Stuff from the Last 4 Months.


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