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Shame & Blame! How to Play The Game And Not Be Played!

How many of us do not know how to play the game of shame and blame?  Many of us.  We can easily be used to feel at fault for somebody else’s action.  To them, it is a game to easily revert the responsibility for something that they could get caught for doing to you.  Or vice versus.  They could also make you feel bad for them when they have gotten caught doing something that they want you to perceive as really doing something good.

Blame is when the responsibility for doing something bad is attributed to someone and then because of this, they should feel ashamed for having done something.  This can be “tricky” when it involves you and you don’t know what is going on.  It is the “do-gooders” that can be easily be caused to feel ashamed.  The “bad people” often use this trick with “do-gooders” and they don’t even know it.  ” They are too busy apologizing and attempting to rectify their “mistake”.

When feeling ashamed whether they should or not, people try to forget the act related to having felt ashamed (which is sometimes called repression) or hide it (see or they get mad and attack the person making the claim mentally or physically or they accept the blame or some of the blame and “feel down” about what they did or did not do.  These are SHAME SHIELDS, presented by Brene Brown,  Ph.D. in a free continuing education seminar, “On The Armour, We Use To Protect Ourselves And Why It Doesn’t Serve Us”.

Children are not pawns.  Their needs are! more important than yours.  Unless you are prepared to give instead of receive, probably you should not have children.  You need to put their needs before yours, even if you are inconvenienced, have to make some sacrifices, and don’t immediately get reinforced.  Done right, it pays off in the long run with children who have good values shown by the ability in most situations to support themselves, raise good children (if they have them), and being able at some point in their lives be able to thank you for doing this.

On the one hand, she might have a good reason, on the other hand…

Often the first move of these people is to blame you or others instead of themselves for the thing they have done or for something you actually might think you have done in order to deflect responsibility for their own behavior.  This person can often get mad very quickly before you or their victim can have time to think and can be made to go on the defensive.  This deflects or reflects the responsibility from themselves to you or to someone else.  They are often very good at this so don’t be fools and see the blame as being on you or someone else instead of them.

Have you ever lost an argument this way?  Or have you ever won an argument this way?  This generally leads to mass confusion on somebody’s part and on the part of some people who hear about this agreement.  The feeling of shame usually immediately follows and can last for days, months, and even years.  I had a stepsister-in-law who was an alcoholic and called up her mother when drunk to blame her for all the things that had happened to her because of her own behavior, not really her mom’s behavior.

Sometimes she looked like this to me.

She browbeat this woman for things she couldn’t control like this woman’s husband deserting her with three kids to support and raise in the Depression.  This woman was so good at transferring the blame that she was lethal and our children were not left alone with her unless a responsible adult was also there.  Even then, they didn’t need to hear the things she had to say so they were kept away from her as much as possible.  She could also play the game of feeling “hurt” when this became obvious.  P.S. Occasionally she handmade some dolls for our children and they still have them so it wasn’t all negative

Shame can be an immediate feeling of feeling bad from one part of the brain, the amygdala

which responds quickly, without thinking, like this cat with road rage.

It is responsible for emergency bodily responses and probably responds before a person has time to reach the part of the brain that wonders why they feel bad (or good).  Remember the times that you thought you didn’t have time to think and just responded.  I am not chastising you for feeling immediate shock or grief in certain tragic situations.  Sometimes feelings are part of a bodily response that enables you to respond quickly in an emergency.

Have you ever been played like a piano in one of these situations where “shame” or “blame” comes into play?  Sometimes someone else does it and sometimes you do it to yourself often based on old scripts in your mind based on past experiences.  My script is that I have done something wrong that I didn’t know was wrong at the time.  It could be something “stupid” or “thoughtless” or something that a person got really mad about although I couldn’t have done anything about it at the time.

People can thoughtlessly ruin relationships in this way.  Maybe they think that they are in competition with someone like me for the desired person’s love or loyalty.  I can feel really guilty at the time and grieve for the loss of a crucial relationship apparently someone else coveted.  I can not help but think the person involved with my friend never knew and/or felt that she had done this and was to some part responsible for my loss and my friend’s loss too.  (This is also a form of drama and  I have written about this elsewhere in my blog.  See also a book by Doreen Virtue, Don’t Let Anything Dull Your Sparkle: How to Break Free of Negativity and Drama, ( A writer who writes about things like drama in a way that is easily understood and covers a lot of material about the subject.  (See also one she has written one eating disorders, The Yo-Yo Diet Syndrome:  How to Heal and Stabilize Your Appetite and Weight)  As with many good writers you may not be drawn to everything she writes but also she writes on other subjects that could be of personal interest to you.  See also, The Courage To Be Creative: How to Believe in Yourself, Your Dreams, and Ideas, and Your Creative Career Path by Doreen Virtue.  The content of which seems to parallel the origins of my interests in writing.  Both by Doreen Virtue at Hay House publishers.

Are You Lost And Alone And Easily Rejected?

Recently I took one of those FaceBooks quizzes that was supposed to diagnosis blocks in your life (Mind Movies).  Mine were surprising; but not surprising:  rejection and fear of being left alone.

My biggest fear is the loss of all support in my life.  That when it comes to some issue on which I and my family or friends disagree that I will be “thrown out in the street” so to speak.  If there is a choice between believing and supporting me and themselves or someone else, I will lose. I also strongly fear being rejected and deserted with no support (physical or emotional).

The origins of these fears are being raised with love withdrawal as a primary form of discipline by a mother who wanted to maintain strong control of the family members and it seemed, “It was Her Way or the Highway.”  My mother wasn’t the only one doing this.  My father found my behavior to be very exasperating and once in the middle of an argument, said that he was going to move out.  In those days, dads were the bread earners and child support and welfare didn’t exist or at least I had never heard of it.

On top of this, in this very controlling family, the things that I could do (and there were several) were (it seemed to me) not often praised and sometimes, I felt not even noticed.  In grade school, one of my parents’ desires when grade cards came out was that I didn’t have a messy desk.  Children are very susceptible to believing what they hear and experience while they are young especially when the parents’ motto seemed to be, My word is Law and no other perspective on life is available.

Soon I learned to hide and not share things with my parents.  The worst were any notes from my teacher asking them to come to school to talk about my behavior which the teachers had frequent trouble dealing with (except for my second-grade teacher who was the only woman teacher I had in grade school).

Can I help it that sometimes I am very secretive, that I don’t feel appreciated for things that I really like to do, and in the family competition, I don’t usually win and family members feel that I shouldn’t ask for help even when I think I need it?  And if there is a choice to be made over who stays or goes, I am the one who will get thrown out.

Top that off with at times, I can feel that I have a hard time making and keeping friends.  I feel rejected, left out, and unappreciated.  Sometimes when a sense of some competition with me is felt by others, it seems to turn into jealousy and meanness from and by them.  Yes, I am intelligent and educated as I can accomplish things on my own and stick with something even if it is difficult.

I feel like I have a hard time increasing my likeability and acceptance by others.  I can feel alone in a crowd (not that I like it that way).  My exploration of spirituality has given me some experiences where I did not feel left out.  P.S.:  my mom was shy and always took me long to women’s things like baby and wedding showers to keep her company even when I was very young.

I also feel that if my family read this that they would have it all upside down and backwards and only use it to hurt me.  I love my family and consider it the greatest gift in my life although I initially did not think I would have one.  The contributions they want from me is for me to do things they expect a reliable housewife and mother and breadwinner to be.  Hopefully, this is not followed by love withdrawal if I do not meet their standards.

Finally, my family would probably dismiss my thoughts as all something that got cooked up in the many different therapies I have had.  The real me is reflected in my writings (of which I doubt that they have read many) and if they read any, they would be more likely to give me editorial comments rather than any comments reflecting understanding and acceptance of any of my ideas or experiences portrayed.  When I feel I am in an atmosphere that is open to new ideas and experiences, I can be very free to be me.  How about you?

Are Opinions Based On Assumptions, Not Facts?

If you can not change a person’s assumptions with facts, then why argue with them.  I someone thinks you are a “hypochondriac” and a “surgery addict”, what can you show them from your actual medical history that will change their mind?  Nothing.  What hurts too is that they also think “hypochondriacs” and “surgery addicts” are bad people.

Assumptions are just that assumptions and they can be extremely harmful if they are erroneous and associated with bad qualities in other people.  “Oh, that’s just a woman for you” or “Oh, that’s just a man for you.”  Doing this allows people to make quick judgments of other people without wasting time getting more information.

A debate is an academic activity where each side takes turns arguing one side of an argument.  This can lead to a reasoned analysis of a situation both for and against.  Lawyers often do this for a living depending whether they are working for the defense or the prosecution in a criminal trial.

More to come as I think this over.  Most recent contribution from a friend.  “Many people think that their opinions are facts!”  This is why arguments and discussions can be so hard.  Also, people often form “tribes” and identify with them like “Trump Supporters” and are threatened when a belief contrary to their tribe’s beliefs is presented to them by someone.  They become anxious and even angry.  Do you see why people often don’t talk about sports, politics and religion at the table?


Hiding Shame Based Interactions

How often people use shame to get other people to do what they want them to do.  Shame is a gut-based reaction that can bypass the forebrain’s common sense and leave a person helpless to figure out what really caused it. You don’t just feel bad when this happens to you feel really bad and usually also guilty too.  “Shame on you.”

Shame is often how the victim of abuse feels.  This keeps them from getting angry at the abuser and why they often don’t talk about what happened either.  Shame doesn’t go away.  It stays.  The only way it can disappear is if the victim tries to forget it.

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

This is why abuse victims often say that they don’t want to talk about it because they have tried to forget it and talking about it might bring it back.  If there are witnesses, they might think they are crazy because they might remember something about what happened; but the victim won’t talk if they ask them what happened.

What if your memory is, “Don’t hit him; hit me.”?  You know who the likely abuser was because you were there too.  It makes you feel crazy as the witness as you are the only one who wants to or can remember it.  “I don’t like to think about things like that anymore” is his response.  “I try to forget things like that.”   “I don’t want to bring it back.”

Feelings of shame can do that to a person.  They might cause the person to feel the pain again both physical and emotional.  If a person feels that they might be made to feel shame about something; they won’t tell anyone who might do that to them.

Prevent Child Abuse With the Truth

The cases of sexual abuse by famous people that have come to light have brought it back out in the open.  I know I can now say that I am the victim of sexual abuse even though I might not elect to tell you the details because I didn’t do it.  The abuser is the one who ought to feel ashamed, not me or anyone in one in the same situation.  However, this still happens in countries or religions where they have things like Muslim Surhea law and the rape victim gets killed not the rapist.

It’s Their Drama, Not Yours

I learned a valuable lesson today:  “It’s Their Drama, Not Yours!  I’m a fixer-upper by nature and it doesn’t hurt that I am in a helping profession.  “Did I hurt your feelings”  Whose feelings are they?  “You should have known in the first place that I didn’t want to do it!”  “So why didn’t you let me off the hook?”  Am I a bad guy because I should have known that even though they said,”Yes,”  They really didn’t want to do it.and they felt it was an imposition.

Now whatever you do, they get mad because you couldn’t read minds.  They take that load off their shoulders and put it on yours.  Now you end up feeling bad instead of them.  It is like a sudden rainstorm landed right above your head and you get soaked.  They wind up feeling better and you have accepted a part in their drama that you really didn’t want and really didn’t earn.

What if you had a really good time and thought they had too.  Whose fault is it?  It’s not yours and why didn’t they “fess up earlier that they didn’t want to be there.  Imagine you cooked a really good meal from a recipe you found and wanted to try and felt you had successfully mastered a good meal.  Then someone tells you that there was something in the meal that caused an untoward reaction in them and you should have known it would, but they didn’t remind you and ate it anyway.

Another person who ate the meal smiled and said that they liked it but really they didn’t like casseroles as they were a meat and potatoes type of person.  What happened is that you fixed a nice meal for a couple of ingrates.  What a waste of time! and now you get mad when you didn’t feel bad before.  Is it catching?  Drama attracts drama.  Sometimes no one is happy unless no one else is happy.

Is drama a disease?  Sometimes it is not so bad when the contagion involves happiness and success.  How about learning that someone is going to have a baby.  Whoops there was one person in the crowd who is childless and unable to get pregnant or better yet did successfully have a baby by in vitro fertilization and then lost it to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).  This can be a wet blanket and the person with the news now feels bad that they even mentioned it in front of that person.

Some people even stage a situation so they can create drama.  This woman had a display of fragile glass perfume bottles on a coffee table and almost the first thing that she did was to call the toddlers present attention to it and if they would not have touched the perfume bottles in the first scenario; but they will now.  Possibly it will result in a broken bottle or two, maybe the most expensive ones.  The payoff in drama is superlative and the instigator is super comfortable in her innosence, but the others don’t know how she did it or even that she set it up.

See the previous post, “Leave the Drama to the Lama”.  Feelings can be catching; but often not in a good way.  Have you ever left a group when an argument became heated.  Some of these situations can leave you shell-shocked with PTSD  (post-traumatic stress syndrome).  This is what makes soap operas so exciting.  What will they stir up next?  Calm down.  Go listen to some soothing music, take walk in the park.  Make a quick exit back to where you are feeling good again.  If someone had a bad cold would you stand close to them, kiss them or maybe even drink out of their glass.  You wouldn’t expose yourself to that so don’t expose yourself to somebody’s drama.

Sometimes drama is fun like in movies or books; but you know it is not really happening in front of you.  You might get scared, laugh hysterically, or even shed a few tears but you know down deep that it isn’t real.  If you tend to take some things seriously, then you might avoid certain types of stories.  Me, I don’t like horror shows.  There are enough really scary things happening in real life.  Has anyone followed the news lately?


Are You Pineing For A Punk?

What First Attracts!

Are you pining for a punk?  You might be if your story is part of the content of a scandal sheet.  Being recently confined for illness, my friend gave me a buch of scandal sheets. Whether I knew them or not, I found a common theme, recent breakups and connections between famous people.  They have everything, shouldn’t their relationships work out?

How they treat each other is outrageous!  When under the influence of first Love, it appears that they can’t see straight!  Faults are glossed over and relationships are formed immediately without much time to get to know the other person, faults and all.  They have the ways and means with which to get over involved.  Common sense goes out the window.  When things come down crashing down (reality rears its ugly head),  there is surprise and obvious grieving for something that wasn’t to be in the first place.

Falling in love is not supposed to be a revolving door.  Test the waters and see if you want some more.  In these relations ships, it is just too easy to leave and find someone else eager to be the new LOVE.  Doing this seems to mean that the new person is some type of winner and not the loser they might be.  Just because you are choosy doesn’t mean you are a loser because someday you might pick the winner and avoid messy relationships with people that don’t go anywhere.


Fame, money are very attractive.  Yet somebody with a great talent may not have much to offer other than that.  It is hard to mix that kind of glamourise life with success in the real world.  Whatever attracted him or her to you might wear off and leave you high and dry.  Cheating proliferates in this type of world and is supposed to be tolerated complete with possible STD’s.

The Missing Link

Relationships turn into a kind of a game with one-up-manships proliforating.  Security does not exist and when a crisis occurs, the sufferer is usually left high and dry.  What do you want a glamourse red carpet evening dress that you have to be sewn into or a practical comfortable attractive outfit that you can  wear over and over?  Relationships are that way too.  Even though he or she is not to your taste and you are not his or her taste, doesn’t mean you are a failure.  You both just avoided a big mistake.

Shame The Great Manipulator, The Great Trap Of Unworthness

I was raised on shame.   It was my claim to fame.  I was not recognised for what I did well, but for those things I did not do so well.  I was also convinced over time that I could not do them well and when that happened that people would give up on me.  I thought there were only so many things in life that other people would approve of and that I was not capable of doing them well enough to make other people proud of me.  I was recognised for what or where I could not meet up to other people’s standards and I felt like I was a great disappointment to my family so much so my relatives did not want other people to know that I was related to them.

I was so easily made to feel shameful that I was bullied, I was suicidal, and I was made to feel that I could never meet up to other people’s standards (of which there was only one set) and I would ultimately be rejected and thrown out on the street if that was possible.  There was only one person to blame and that was me and I didn’t know any different.

Appropriate or Inappropriate? Wanted Or Unwanted?

Worse yet I realized that in sexually inappropriate situations the victim (that was me) was always the one who should feel ashamed and had something to hide instead of the reverse.  Getting caught in a sexually compromising situation was something I should cover up, sneak out of, and pretend didn’t happen even though I now know it qualified as sexual abuse.   It was something to be covered up and forgotten if possible.

Brene Brown with her doctorate in Social Work found that we have three shields that we can use as shields against shame.  We can forget or not talk about what we see as a shameful situation.  Men will tell you that they are not comfortable talking about certain things that happened to them as they were growing up or even later in life such as post-traumatic stress syndrome and even had pushed these things so far out of mind that they did not remember them.

Another shield against shame mentioned by Dr. Brown was appeasement.  If someone is dissatisfied with you or something you have done, you try to make it up to them or make them so happy or satisfied in another way that they will forget that you did not or might not make them happy.  Another word for this might be “brown nosing”.

Another possibility would be going towards or against the person or situation that makes you feel shameful and take it out aggressively toward them or it.  This is the third shame shield mentioned by Dr. Brown.  Could the liberal Democrats’ behaviour after the election of President Donald Trump be an example of this?  Are they ashamed that their candidate did not win over such an unlikely candidate?

Sometimes our entire life can be motivated by shame and others can get what they want us to do by shaming us and can feel better about themselves by winning over us in this way.  I have often felt that being a woman, especially a woman professional, made me a target for this sort of thing.  If a woman can do it (what I did) it must be something easy to obtain and therefore not worth much.  The step between someone with a Masters degree and a Ph.D. must be pretty easy if she can do it.  I did not attend the graduation ceremonies when I received my doctorate (because it was not such a big deal)?

Things That Children Absolutely Need (Which Usually Cost Nothing)

Children are like African violets.  (A type of small very ticklish house plant which housewives of my mother’s generation raised.)  They are very sensitive in terms of their response to the environment in which they are planted.  Children were known to die in orphanages when they were physically taken care of but not emotionally taken care of.  Yet some people give more attention to the African violets in their life than to their children.

As each African violet is individual in its needs for light and air and moisture so is each child individual in his or her needs for attention, love, and support.  When this is neglected, the plant or child withers and dies inside if not outside like the plant.  The payoff of proper care can be great in either case.

Perhaps one can afford to lose many African violets in this process but not even one child.  Children can be resilient but still, can be greatly damaged and become of little use to themselves and furthermore to the society that child dwells in.

Moisture, light, and soil and the addition of fertiliser is needed for a violet to grow; but what is needed for a child to grow in the right direction?  Love, support, attention, and unconditional love appear to be necessary for this to happen.

Caregivers can not neglect one child while caring for another,  This has been shown to happen when a child has a seriously ill sibling.  This child needs attention and care too especially if this child gets neglected while the ill child gets urgently needed care.

The sibling does not need to be seriously physically ill to take attention and care away from another sibling.  Some children are more attractive to one or both of the parents than other children. How important is it for a parent to have an athlete or gymnast or beauty queen or a scholar over a wallflower, a geek, or any child who is not particularly gifted or attractive

Worse yet are parents who really shouldn’t have any children (P.S. I am not opting for abortion, but I am a champion of adoption in these cases).  Sadly what welfare does sometimes does not necessarily encourage parents to be actively involved in bringing children up right.

Wealth is not necessarily the main factor in bringing children up right.  The things that are needed to do this often can’t be bought.  They often cost more time than money.  First is unconditional love which occurs when a person often gives another person love no matter what he or she does or says.

Children need support, not just physical support, but emotional support.  A child can do well at something, but this accomplishment might be ignored and/ or at least not supported emotionally by the family or guardian.  The child can say to themselves, “Oh, what’s the use?” if the effort that he or she puts into something is unnoticed and they receive little or no help with it on top of that!

Prize winning entries at the county fair can go unnoticed and wining or losing a coveted position on a team or in a play can also be ignored.  “You did what?, when said, demonstrates that at least part of a child’s life has gone unnoticed.  Worse yet, a child can be hurt or sick and this goes unnoticed until the child is in serious jeopardy.

Psychological needs that go unmet can cause great harm to some children.  Children that survive such circumstances can be very resilient but those who don’t are a drain on society and can be lost.  Too often the people who make these decisions are incompetent as well.  The judge in my family says that custody decisions in his court are given to the least competent to decide.


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Bullying The New Sport

(Rough Draft) As a victim of bullying, I have felt like the bull in the ring at a bullfight. Poked and prodded until he is exhausted, extremely angry, and unable to do anything about it but die.  There have been attempts to outlaw bullfights for humanitarian reasons, but they never get it done.

This seems to be the same way with bullying as the victim continues to suffer and is expected to fight back in his or her own defense against a more powerful foe or gang of bullies.  This seems to be shameful.  Where does it seem fair to gang up on someone like that who has no defenders and is seen as weak by his or her foes?

rp_300px-Anger_Controlls_Him.jpgBullying hurts.  It is not funny.  Doing this to a person who is already down.  If a group demands that you join them in bullying.  Remember it is a hate crime.  It can result in vicious mob behavior.  Sometimes persons who should be supervising this group, egg it on and join the “fun” instead.

Sometimes people create a separation between what they call just teasing and bullying.  They say it is all in fun and that the victim is thin skinned and needs to toughen up and to learn to take it without being a wimp.  These people do not see or care that the person’s self-image is being reinforced as negative when teased or name-calling.  Is it just in fun when the victim is being degraded and starts to carry around a nickname that is not flattering and really not funny to the victim?

rp_Send_It_On.pngHas overreaction to bullying and teasing that is not funny led to creating safe places and even offering play therapy where persons can go and take part if the behavior of others upsets them even though it is the right of others to have differing opinions and to share them in public.  Now have we created wimps like these?

Taking responsibility in dangerous or difficult situations can create a type of toughness and self-pride that does the person well in future situations where they must take charge of things or do something difficult.rp_1753458_5bbf0fa664_m.jpg

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First Shack Ups, Now Hook Ups

rp_376058047_150_150.jpgHookups (having sex with someone you don’t know and might never see again just to have a sexual climax or orgasm.)

First shack ups, now hookups, distancing ourselves, avoiding any real connections.  How can you lose someone when you never really had them?  Avoiding feeling close to someone with whom you perform an intimate act seems to be worse than two people moving in together without any commitment.

Hookups seem like pornography.  How can you mechanically have sex without caring about the other person or feeling close to him or her and have a real life emotional experience?  Sex without responsibility still has consequences.  Sexual diseases and pregnancies can be the unwanted consequences.

Society seems to want to have life without any responsibilities, any form of commitment.  Respect, honor, responsibility all seem to be avoided in this way.  Yet these are the things that make life real.  With these things come pain, courage, glory, and honor.  These real experiences help us learn how to cope with life especially when we experience a loss possibly through no fault of our own.

My best learning experiences often occurred when I thought I was going to fail and initially did not know what to do next.  I had to do something out of the box in order to get out of the box.  I had to give some of myself, something that I didn’t know I had, and risk failure and disappointment.  For me, being intelligent could not always ensure I could win the competition.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained?