Posts Tagged ‘behavior change’

shame

I’ve talked at length about shame and its impact on behavioral change; namely, that when we’re feeling shame, we’re about as far from changing our own behavior as we can be.  When we’re feeling shame, the self is so threatened our only reaction is defensive, and defense is not a great place to begin looking at our own behavior and where we need to improve.

Lately, it’s getting more and more important for people in positions of privilege to acknowledge their own shortcomings.*  I read this as an enormously positive indicator that traditionally oppressed groups are beginning to make their voices heard and push for social change.  However, that means (of course) that people who aren’t so used to actively confronting contentious issues are being asked to react in thoughtful, nuanced ways, and are woefully unprepared to do so.

*We need to understand “privilege” as not necessarily individual, but rather being part of a traditionally valued part of our social system.  You as an individual might not be doing better than any other individual, but as a part of a general group, you have historically benefitted from some aspect of your identity.

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