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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?

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.

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.


Related articles across the web

Children Are Our Most Precious Resource, Don’t Waste Them

rp_3692285331_9043cf7c46_m.jpg Children are our most precious resource.  Don’t waste them.  This subject is worth repeating.  They need love and affection to thrive.  Good self-esteem is a must for all children to have.  Nor should they lack support.  Enough food and drink so they can grow and be healthy and not be hungry.  These needs are often not met during weekends or in the summer.  For some kids, all the food they get is in school.  How can one study and learn when they are hungry?  Security and safety are another need.  Children should not be afraid or the innocent victims of crime.  Adequate housing helps meeting these needs. Don’t forget adequate schools that can meet these needs too. 

Finally and still important is an education on the rights of people,  the rules we need to respect so that we can all get along, and the development of an inner sense of right and wrong.  History is a necessary  part of education so we don’t make past mistakes and so that we can also learn from past successes.  Children also need protection so that they are not used only to satisfy other people’s needs when it is not in their best interest.rp_6250513028_b874eef6f1_m.jpg

Parents or parent substitutes can be valuable assets to our culture.  Those who take on the responsibility of providing for  their or other children’s needs.  Support is often provided for those parents who fail but not for those who want to succeed at doing this.  Laws should be created and adjudicated with the child’s rights in mind.  Children are not property and are individuals with innate rights.  Custody determinations often forget this.  I know of one county court system that penalizes the worst of their judges by having them do custody cases.  Yuck!!!  Children are not property!

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

Once a child forms an attachment to an appropriate parental figure, it should not be broken unless abuse occurs.  Natural parents should not be allowed to slip in and out of a child’s life threatening his or her security and sense of trust.  Often such unattached children will attach themselves to anybody almost instantly as he or she is so needy.


Life Doesn’t Come With An Instruction Manual!

rp_375649339_150_150.jpgLife doesn’t come with an instruction manual even though you deserve one.  You have to write your own!

Criticism is the little voice in your head that holds you back and hinders your performance.  Even though others say it is for your own good,  sometimes it isn’t.

rp_363849983_150_150.jpgReality is not always what you think it is or what you were told it is. You can miss seeing, hearing, feeling and experiencing some things because someone told you that you just were imagining things.

Sometimes as people get older they don’t get wiser, they just get more set in their ways.  Sometimes a strongly held theory or opinion becomes a person’s life jacket when he or she is drowning in new information.

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgHow hard is it for a person to change his or her mind?  This may be why people are told not to bring up religion or politics at the dinner table.  Maybe this is a good reason to think outside the box.  Many inventions were created this way.

Remember people are natural born originals and can’t be easily shaped into something that they are not.  Gemstones have to be cut into shapes that work with their natural structures.  What about individuals who are being shaped into contributing citizens?rp_6250513028_b874eef6f1_m.jpg



Precursurers to Domestic Violence

rp_344686278_150_150.jpgThere are some things a woman should look out for when establishing a new relationship with a man.  Don’t believe that his last girlfriend or wife deserved to be labeled as the “bad” one in the relationship.  Be careful if either you or he came from a family where violence was common or accepted if a woman or child did not do the right thing according to the man of the house.  Be aware too that men or women can come from families where violence was common among the women of the family.

There is no real excuse for violence.  When anger is considered “justified” because the person who is angry thinks that someone or something made him or her feel that way and that is enough to justify acting it out.  This can lead to a very explosive situation.  Add alcohol to this in some people and the situation becomes even worse.

Anger Controls People

Anger Controls People

Being the only man in the family, besides my elderly grandfather, my dad was called upon to “handle” his brother-in-law when he was in an alcoholic rage in order to protect my mom’s crippled sister and kids.  My dad had been quite an athlete in his youth but this did not always help when my uncle was threatening them with a butcher knife.  Also, my younger brother was still at home and had to witness this.  I don’t think Police usually made domestic violence calls back then.

Women and children and even some men are not punching bags and it can leave a strong impression on some children even if they themselves don’t get hurt.  “Don’t hit him; hit me” was a brave statement made by a sister when her brother got hit, not her.  How helpless does a child feel when they watch their sibling or parent get hurt on purpose when the other parent has a “mad fit” and takes it out on him or her?rp_277759056_8069814eb7_m.jpg


Who Are You?

How do you define yourself?  By what others tell you?  By what you think you should be? By what you really are?

Most of us grow up learning to define ourselves by the first two ways given?  Thus we may never learn who we really are!  Often we reach middle age or our golden years, not knowing who we are!  Then we feel we have lost valuable time actually we could have been being ourselves in our lifetimes.

rp_366761818_150_150.jpgWho are you?  In our society, we are subject to many outside influences trying to control who we are.  We are unique human beings (one of a kind) who are shaped by varying outside influences and by inborn internal constraints.

Even identical twins are not entirely identical.  In their bodies in some ways, they are mirror, rather than identical, images of each other and, of course, inevitably they are not treated exactly alike by other people and have experiences that are not exactly alike.

Yes, we inherit certain abilities and disabilities from our ancestors; but not always in the way that our family is happy with.  Because that is so, many parents and grandparents are unhappy with their children and grandchildren who are unable to follow in their footsteps.

Even if we find idols other than our parents or grandparents to follow after, we might still not be qualified to do so.  My parents were not college graduates so when I went to college something that my parents had not had the opportunity to do), I chose to become a psychologist, something that no one in my family had ever done.

rp_374391220_666c62562e_m.jpgI ignored some of my creative artistic and musical inclinations to become a knowledgeable scientist who would successfully do research to prove certain principles in the science of psychology.  I felt had to do this to become what I was interested in being a practicing therapist and intuitive diagnostician and this was a preliminary step!

Actually, I was really interested in helping ordinary people before their problems became serious which is something I am doing now by writing this blog.  I have also discovered that instinctively I have a good singing and speaking voice and artistic sense.  That led me to rethink my past interests in projective drawings and hypnosis and other forms of altered states as an aid in therapy.  I had briefly become involved in these things and then rejected them because they did not represent mainline scientific psychology and because I thought I was not talented enough in these areas.

Now Is The Time That....

Now Is The Time That….

So who are YOU really?


Wasting Some Of Our Most Valuable Resources: Children

rp_360159124_150_150.jpgIntroducing this topic, I do want to make it clear that I am Pro-Life (especially if you have not figured this out from my past posts).  Children do exist in the womb.  At eight weeks after conception, all necessary organs for the child exist and the rest of the time in the womb is spent growing and becoming capable of  independent existence.  In my lifetime,  science has found more and more ways to detect life in the womb and to sustain such life either in the womb or out of the womb.   The question is at what point do we determine that another human being does not have the right to exist.   No one is infallible when it comes to making this decision.

Maybe we should call our children the “throw-away generation”.  I think we would all admit that many children are not given the training, experience, and resources necessary to grow up to be responsible adults.  How can we consciously keep the next generation in areas of the country that are veritable war zones in inhabitable surroundings with irresponsible adults and penalize those that do sacrifice resources, time, and sometimes careers to help raise responsible adults whether as parents or teachers or volunteers to provide opportunities to help the next generation grow up as safe responsible citizens.

rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpgHere is one example of how ignorant one of the most responsible areas of our government operates in one area of my state.  Custody determinations cases (often done when a divorce is granted) are given to the judges who are considered the least competent and who have little or no training in this area.  This leaves them free to make up their own minds about the cases and/or to depend on professionals who are presented to them as qualifying “experts” by dueling attorneys for each person seeking custody and those agencies who deal with these cases with certain biases as to parental (often not children’s) rights.  This was in spite of well recognized and highly motivated diversion courts for domestic violence, drug addiction, and mental illness.

A bad custody decision can result in a “life sentence” for some children.  One they didn’t ask for and one they didn’t deserve.  It appears to me that in these situations early and appropriate intervention is desired and those appointed to discharge this duty should be well-trained and held responsible for what they do.  Is there anything “flippant “about making a custody decision? and shouldn’t the best and most well-trained judges be given this duty.  Another point that needs to be made in this area is that the best person for this position of making custody decisions should be someone who is and/or wants to become knowledgeable about child-rearing.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesChildren at different points in life need different things.  Initially, it is important that needs must be met that help maintain the physical body of the child such as food and clothing, shelter, etc. and physical gentle, loving touches and caregiving, and by someone who is concerned about the safety and well-being of the child.  How a task is done in caring for a child telegraphs to the child whether or not he or she is safe, secure, and the object of someone’s care and concern.

One of the next steps necessary to a child’s development the ability of the person providing the care and education of the child be aware that children are different and that is not necessarily bad.  Nature requires diversity and  that means that those providing nurturance be able to able to provide and or seek out sources for the education, training, and future achievements possible for each child.

rp_2290679982_1eaafcaf2b_m.jpgChildren also learn at different rates and in different ways.  Having, eight young grandchildren, I have noticed this.  Children progress at different rates in different areas and it does not necessarily mean that the child is “backward”  and may not catch up in this area later when he or she changes their focus of learning.

Over time, children need to become responsible for certain things and to have certain experiences.  For example, you don’t don’t teach a child about dating by not letting them be around the opposite sex until they are twenty-one and then let them figure it out by themselves.  Children need also to learn to make certain decisions for themselves and to experience the appropriate consequences.  Learning is done in steps and certain concepts need to be acquired and practiced before going on to other more advanced and/or difficult ones.

Do You Naturally Show Affection?

Do you show affection or is it awkward and uncomfortable if you do or someone else does it to you.  It has a lot to do with your upbringing.  My family background is German and there were few displays of affection while I was growing up and it remains awkward for me to do this even today.

rp_20070403_personal_space_comfort_zones.pngI have said, “Love you,” to some of my family members whom I truly love and they were shocked and didn’t know what to say.  I once tried to give my ailing father a hug and he froze.  Anger was easier to express in my family than affection.

Physical contact is an important part of showing affection.  We all need to be touched whether it is a back rub or physical contact like curling up on the couch to watch a movie with someone.

Warm Fuzzies-Cold PrickliesThere is a story about “warm fuzzies and cold pricklies” that illustrates that people need love and affection and can die without out it.  Due to an old witch, people got the idea that the amount of warm fuzzies that a person can give is limited and they were encouraged to use cold pricklies provided by the witch.

rp_344686278_150_150.jpgIn my family anger and criticisms were the cold pricklies that kept me alive.  Disappointment was sometimes used too.  The warm fuzzies were few and far between and they didn’t feel very warm.  They mostly were given at a distance as when I would show my Dad my new dress.

rp_342852690_150_150.jpgMassages of hands and feet can heal certain parts of the body according to Reflexology,  Hands are convenient to use as it doesn’t require removing any clothing.  Holding each others hands in a group as we pray or meditate or visualize something and the arms can be stretched out to put some space between people as they do this.

Could this affect someone’s sex life.  Very definitely so. With all the bands on physical touching in most places, people don’t get much chance to bond this way or offer support and reassurance this way.  Sexual relations can be life getting to those involved; but not if it is,”Wham Bang; Thank

rp_272680378_bd063659bc_m.jpgSexual relations can be life-giving to those involved; but not if it is,”Wham Bang; Thank You Mam.”  Is it manly to do a little making out to get ready for sex?

Pets often get more love and affection than the human family members and they know how to get it.  If love and affection are not encouraged when one is a child how can he or she display these things as an adult?

141167840521223colorfulgrandcanyonWhen I went to Sedona, I had the most beautiful massagre and I didn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable although I was undressed under a sheet.  I was not embarrassed when she touched me intimately in parts that I never had been caressed before.

Do you know that boys especially when they start to mature are considered too old for sissy things like displaying or receiving love and affection.  It is amazing that because of things like this, that we don’t wither on the vine.