Currently viewing the tag: "shame"

Fat shaming on social media has become prevalent and weight is the most common reason children are bullied in school with 85 percent of surveyed adolescents reportedly seeing overweight classmates teased in gym class, McHugh said.

Evidence confirms that fat shaming is not an effective approach to reducing obesity or improving health, McHugh said. “Rather, stigmatization of obese individuals poses serious risks to their psychological health,” she added. “Research demonstrates that weight stigma leads to psychological stress, which can lead to poor physical and psychological health outcomes for obese people.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which conflict is driven by shaming based on a physical characterist.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about fat people? What thoughts pop into your mind when you see someone who is fat?

Art Prompt: Fat Shamin

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about fat shaming on social media in today’s culture.

Photo Credit: Facebook Screen Capture

Man in the mirror

A man’s identity was once largely drawn from work, family and perhaps sport. Today, men are given the task of designing and maintaining an identity from a multitude of alternatives offered by products they can buy and images they are shown in the media. The supposed reward for all this is social and psychological well-being. As many marketers would have it, “look good, feel good”.

But this shift has brought the kind of pressure to conform to a certain image and body shape that was previously directed at almost solely at women. Recent adverts for Protein World weight-loss products that featured a highly toned, bikini-clad modelwere criticised as an attempt to exploit women’s body insecurities and shame them into buying the products. These were accompanied by similarly revealing but largely unnoticed ads for men. While these don’t carry the same sexist legacy of women’s objectification, they do replicate some of the same body shaming issues. –Matthew Hall

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with a male protagonist who is struggling with body shame.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about your body? Has it changed over time? How do you deal with any shame about your body?

Art Prompt: Males and Body Shame

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about body shaming in our culture and give them tools to develop a more healthy relationship with their bodies.

Photo Credit: jesuscm on Flickr

Guilt

“When people feel guilt about a specific behavior, they experience tension, remorse, and regret,” the researchers write. “Research has shown that this sense of tension and regret typically motivates reparative action — confessing, apologizing, or somehow repairing the damage done.”
Feelings of shame, on the other hand, involve a painful feeling directed toward the self. For some people, feelings of shame lead to a defensive response, a denial of responsibility, and a need to blame others — a process that can lead to aggression.
Tangney and her colleagues interviewed over 470 inmates, asking them about their feelings of guilt, shame, and externalization of blame soon after they were incarcerated. The researchers followed up with 332 of the offenders a year after they had been released, this time asking them whether they had been arrested again and whether they had committed a crime but had not been caught. They also compared the self-reported data to official arrest records.
Overall, expressions of guilt and shame were associated with recidivism rates, but in different ways.
“Proneness to guilt predicts less recidivism — a lower likelihood of re-offense,” Tangney says. That is, the more inclined an inmate is to feel guilt, the less likely he or she is to re-offend.
The implications of proneness to shame, on the other hand, were more complex.
Inmates inclined to feel shame, and who were also defensive and blameful of others, were more likely to slip back into crime. Inmates who were shameful but who didn’tblame others were less likely to end up in jail again. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story about a criminal. Include inner monologue that illuminates the shame / guilt he or she feels. Show how it drives the criminal’s actions in the story.

Journaling Prompt: Write about something that you feel shameful about. How can you move past this painful feeling?

Art Prompt: Guilt and shame

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Inform your audience about the difference between guilt and shame. Include how they influence behavior.

Photo Credit: h.koppdelaney on Flickr

trust


Here’s an easy way to decide if a person is trustworthy. Watch how they act when they are embarrassed.

“Embarrassment is one emotional signature of a person to whom you can entrust valuable resources. It’s part of the social glue that fosters trust and cooperation in everyday life,” said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a coauthor of the study published in this month’s online issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Not only are the UC Berkeley findings useful for people seeking cooperative and reliable team members and business partners, but they also make for helpful dating advice. Subjects who were more easily embarrassed reported higher levels of monogamy, according to the study.

“Moderate levels of embarrassment are signs of virtue,” said Matthew Feinberg, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley and lead author of the paper. “Our data suggests embarrassment is a good thing, not something you should fight.” The paper’s third author is UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner, an expert on pro-social emotions.

Researchers point out that the moderate type of embarrassment they examined should not be confused with debilitating social anxiety or with “shame,” which is associated in the psychology literature with such moral transgressions as being caught cheating.

While the most typical gesture of embarrassment is a downward gaze to one side while partially covering the face and either smirking or grimacing, a person who feels shame, as distinguished from embarrassment, will typically cover the whole face, Feinberg said. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene about a character who gets embarrassed. How does he or she react?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were embarrassed.

Art Prompt: Embarassment

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience the signs they can use to tell if someone is trustworthy.

Photo Credit: hj91 on Flickr

Eyes in the sky

Here is a different take on PTSD with an interesting idea for how to heal the wound.

‘My colleagues and I suspect that the greatest lasting harm is from moral injury,’ says Litz, director of the Mental Health Core of the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiological Research and Information Center. He and six colleagues published an article on the topic in the December 2009 Clinical Psychological Review, in which they define moral injury as a wound that can occur when troops participate in, witness or fall victim to actions that transgress their most deeply held moral beliefs.

While the severity of this kind of wound differs from person to person, moral injury can lead to deep despair.

‘They have lost their sense that virtue is even possible,’ Shay says. ‘It corrodes the soul.’…
‘In traditional cultures, warriors always came back to tell their stories, to give witness and to do healing ceremonies in front of the entire community,’ Tick says. ‘The community witnessed the stories, felt the emotions, carried the burdens with their warriors and transferred responsibility for actions from the warriors to the community.’ -Miller-McCune

Writing Prompt: Create a ritual to help  your character heal from a moral injury.

Journaling Prompt: How do you heal your soul when you’ve sustained a moral injury.

Art Prompt: Healing

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Write about how our society deals with wounded souls

Photo Credit: The US Army on Flickr

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You’ve met this person. The guy who is always on edge, always waiting to be offended, always building walls that block any communication.

…you get the impression that you are addressing an elaborately wired security system. If the conversation edges toward areas in which he feels ill at ease or unwilling to commit himself, burglar alarms are triggered off, defensive reflexes rise around him like an invisible stockade, and you hear the distant baying of guard dogs. -by Kenneth Tynan, FIFTEEN YEARS OF THE SALTO MORTALE

Writing Prompt: Create a character sketch about a defensive character. What happened to make him or her this way? What triggers the defensive mechanisms and why? What questions is he or she trying to avoid?

Journaling Prompt: What topics bring out defensiveness in you? Why?

Art Prompt: Defensiveness

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about how defensiveness affects relationships and how to deal with defensive people

Photo Credit: ell brown on Flickr

kids playing volleyball on the beach


It gets ugly when a parent starts living through their kid. Here’s a scene from real life.

“Later, we sat in the sand as the other kids my age played a game of beach volleyball. My father must have seen an opening of some kind, because to my great embarrassment he stood up between matches and asked if I could join in. I tried to refuse, but there was no way to do so with­out seeming like even more of a loser. I was a decent athlete—I’d played lacrosse and hockey in Baltimore—but did not understand the most basic mechanics involved in keeping a ball up in the air with my forearms.

“While the other kids set and dug and belly flopped for shots, I stood in the corner of the court, praying that the ball would miraculously avoid my jurisdiction. Finally someone spiked the ball right at me, and I did something tragic. I caught it. I glanced at my father, still clutching the thing to my stomach. His eyes were squinched up, fixed somewhere near my feet, as if he couldn’t stand to look me in the face. It took me a second to realize he was staring at my legs.

“At the time, my father’s shame was overshadowed by the disgrace I felt in front of my teammates. Now, though, when I’m watering the plants or jogging around the reservoir near my house, I’ll think of my father’s face that day and feel the punch of that ball in my stomach. I’ll fantasize about all the things I might have done, like clock him in the teeth. Perhaps—at least I tell myself this, I insist on it, because the memory still hurts me deeply—he was really making the face at himself.” -Eric Puchner, Schemes of My Father


Writing Prompt: Write about a parent living vicariously through their child.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when your parent lived vicariously through you OR when you lived vicariously through your child OR when you observed a parent living vicariously through their child.

Art Prompt: Vicarious

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a touching story about living vicariously.

Photo Credit:  Guernsey Sports on Flickr