PREVIOUS: Humiliation – Part 2
QUOTEs :“It’s a pervasive & all too destructive influence in the behavior of individuals, groups, organizations & nations.” ~ Donald Klein
✦ “Persistent humiliation robs you of the advantage of rebellion.” ~ M. Silver
✦ “The difference between how a person treats the powerless versus the powerful is as good a measure of human character as I know.” ~ Robert I. Sutton, Stanford prof
↗️ NOVEL: “The Insulted and Humiliated”~ Fyodor Dostoyevesky Review
Goodreads: “…. published soon after Dostoevsky’s political imprisonment, clearly foreshadows his later preoccupation with unconscious psychological drives & their external effects on the lives of his characters. Where his later works carry these drives to inevitably dramatic conclusions, this book confines them within the smaller boundaries of everyday events…..”
1. EXTERNAL Sources (Part 1)
2. INTERNAL : Self-humiliation (Part 2)
3. RESULTS of being humiliated
Donald C. Klein in “The Humiliation Dynamic,” points out that being disrespected can cause some people to become consumed by wounded pride, producing ‘humiliated fury’.
At the other extreme – if the disrespect exposes a person’s powerlessness & lack of control, it can also cause perpetual anxiety.
• Even if the humiliation is not intentional, as in a misunderstanding, the consequences can be severe, ranging from interpersonal conflict to international terrorism. 3x Nobel Peace Prize nominee & author of “From Humiliation to Dignity” Evelin Lindner calls it the “nuclear bomb of emotions.”
• In 2 studies (PubMed), students were subjected to shameful events every day for 2 weeks. They reported resulting feelings of anger, and made sure to point out class-mates who also got angry. Narcissism was treated as a potential factor in their reactions.
As predicted, shameful events made children angry – especially boys with high narcissism scores. These results validate clinical theory that shaming events can trigger that ‘humiliated fury’.
• When turned inward this rage most often results in depression & apathy. The accompanying S-H prevents the sufferer from meeting their own needs, much less having energy available to love & care for others
• When turned outward it can form paranoia & revenge fantasies, which can lead to sadistic behavior. Unfortunately this fury produces additional victims, often including innocent bystanders
People in power use humiliation as a form of social control & oppression. It’s effective because the fear of humiliation (attack on one’s pride) can be a powerful motivation for taking actions – sometimes positive (to prove ‘they’re wrong’), but more often negative (against one’s own needs)
• Humiliation (internal or external) has been linked to abusing oneself or others, academic failure, delinquency, depression, discrimination, learned helplessness, low self-esteem, marital conflict, social disruption, social isolation, under-achievement, torture – even death.
4. RECOVERY – Consider:
1. whether the humiliating comment or action does or does not – in reality – diminish your self-image, decrease your position, or tarnish your public face / reputation.
If NO, then stop obsessing about it & “let go”
2. if the event does harm you socially (a concrete result) – but not your self-esteem – consider your options. What can you do to correct or repair the situation? Use any positive help you can find.
3. Does the humiliation feel so familiar – that you believe it?
It’s IMP to identify why specific comments / actions hurt you:
• How does it echo your childhood?
• What loss (realistic or emotion-based) does it represent to you? (of self-esteem, of connection, of social opportunities, of financial benefit….)
• What do you need to do – if anything – to counter it?
Solutions to being humiliated :
• If possible, talk to the offender, from you Adult ego state, & ask for the behavior to stop
• If they will not respond favorably, leave the degrading environment & find a more appreciative one, as soon as possible
• If ‘trapped’, even temporarily, with an abuser (bully, controller, sadist, manipulator…) you can re-frame the painful experiences in some way that acknowledges your strength & ability to cope.
Most important – do not take it personally. This increases self-confidence & diminishes the damaging effects & fear of humiliation.
Being humiliated, by oneself or others, is NEVER justified!
NEXT: Arrogance (Part 1)