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wundayatta's avatar

What have you done in your life that someone has tried to shame you for?

Asked by wundayatta (58709points) November 10th, 2010

Shame is very powerful. I know I feel it just about all the time. I feel ashamed for the way I look or how unmanly I am or that I am a man. I am ashamed of how little I make or for my sexual desires, or for how little I do at work. I’m ashamed whenever someone tells me I hurt them or did something wrong. Every time I look up, it seems like there’s something I’m ashamed of doing. Hell, I’m even ashamed of fluthering. But the nice thing about fluther is that you can expose your shame and think about it and be abused for it and it doesn’t matter in real life.

It’s weird not feeling like you are ever right. It is weird feeling judged for whatever I do (no matter whether I am judged or not). I’ve learned to soldier on and to pretend I know what I’m talking about even though I’m pretty sure everyone else will secretly think I’m wrong, if not outrightly telling me I’ve fucked up yet again.

But enough about me. You can see I’m a mess. I seriously doubt anyone could be more ashamed than I am. Still, I hope that others will think about this, and describe some of the things that shame them, if any.

Then I hope people will talk about why these behaviors are shameful, or why they believe it is shameful. It’s a rather sensitive question I’m sure, and I’m somewhat ashamed to even ask it, although you can see that hasn’t stopped me. Once you’ve been in the moral cesspool long enough, it doesn’t matter any more. I yam what I yam.

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10 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I think it’s interesting and very telling that your question is “What have you done in your life that someone has tried to shame you for?” But your details describe what you feel ashamed of about yourself. There’s an incredible difference between other people trying to shame you and you feeling ashamed. That is something you are doing to yourself, not something other people are doing to you.

It’s also very sad. Stop doing it to yourself. Please.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh come on, @lillycoyote. You don’t think I can go through that whole list and tell you where that shame comes from? How the magazines and advertisements shame me for not looking like a model; how feminist ideas made me feel shamed for the kinds of things men do to women, so often, and how on the other side, the masculine idea of masculinity shames me for for not believing it. Our culture shames me because I don’t make as much or more money than my wife. In addition, our culture makes me feel shamed when I’ve done something that hurts another person. My wife hates that I fluther, yet I still do it, even though I feel shame for doing something my wife doesn’t want me to do. Do you get the picture? These feelings all come from somewhere. They aren’t just me messing with my head, or trying to make myself feel worse.

But like I said—those things were supposed to be examples to give people an idea of what Im looking for. This is not about me. I wanted to understand how it works with other people. But apparently I can’t get my meaning across on this particular question. Oh well.

lillycoyote's avatar


To me, this list sounds like someone who is ashamed of himself:

I feel ashamed for the way I look or how unmanly I am or that I am a man. I am ashamed of how little I make or for my sexual desires, or for how little I do at work. I’m ashamed whenever someone tells me I hurt them or did something wrong. Every time I look up, it seems like there’s something I’m ashamed of doing. Hell, I’m even ashamed of fluthering.

… not someone who is being made to feel ashamed by society. That’s what it sounded like to me, at least. I apparently got it wrong, if so, I apologize. I’m bowing out of this question because I obviously don’t understand it. I hope other people can give you the answers you are looking for. Good night.

Joybird's avatar

I agree with @lillycoyote. I can recall a number of things I have engaged in that others attempted to shame me for. Apparently I feel little shame. Perhaps I don’t feel like I deserve their judgements and so they can just stuff it. Another male spent the night at my then bf’s place and my bf and I had audible sex in another room. The morning after this fellow presumed to shame me…he said to me, “have you no shame”. I just looked at him and said, “No, sex is normal. Why, you jealous cause the fellow in the next apt is banging the chick you are hot for?” That ended THAT conversation. And then there is an occasional innuendo that I am employed below my potential. Screw people who intimate that. and screw the few at my place of employment who occasionally suggest I do nothing but color all day. I just flat out tell them that when they have 90 plus credits in art and design and their LMSW and feel they can fill my shoes and do what I do everyday at the same level they can have my position. THAT usually shuts them up. And then there are the people who would judge me for having an affair. Trust me when I tell you that I shut them up pretty damned quick too. I know who I am and what I do and why. I know damned well that I step outside of norms when it suites me to do so and I do it fully aware of what kinds of consequences that might invite. At some point you have to take a few fuckitols and just live life large.
I am living life large at times and I don’t give a rat’s ass about what others have to say about that.
When I do wrong I own it and I make repairs. When I feel justified and vindicated I just move along the path. There is no room for shame in my life. It’s too short and shame is too much baggage to carry around all day.

Blackberry's avatar

People tried to make me feel guilty for divorcing my ex-wife, sending her back into the harsh life of a single mother, but when someone brings the most hatred out of you, you don’t really care what happens to them.

BarnacleBill's avatar

It sounds as if your Achilles’ heel is your own sense of weakness. You know it, your wife knows it. Your past actions have had a profound impact on your wife, almost like PTSD, and her method of coping with her anger with you is to channel it towards you. Hopefully, for her own well-being, she will be able to move past that eventually.

You are actually a much stronger person than you realize, because of the life changes you have made. They are significant and require strength. Stay the course, and stay forward-focused.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I was finishing my Master degree with a physics and engineering background from a famous engineering/technical school I was given an offer I could not refuse by a very large auto company and discussed it with my best friend who was in a similar position.

With extreme disgust he asked me: “Are you going to prostitute yourself to industry?”
I did, and had a great career.
He got his doctorate and went on to be a semi-famous nuclear physicist.
Meanwhile I’m sitting here with my green tea writing to unknown jellies.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@worriedguy, who all think a lot of you.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yep. I prostituted myself to industry. I feel so… so dirtyl ;-)
@BarnacleBill Did I mention I am sipping this tea while wearing only underwear?

peridot's avatar

A couple of years ago, I got into a car wreck. Nobody was seriously hurt or killed (thankfully!), but two cars were totaled and the highway was a bottleneck for a couple of hours.

It was on a two-lane highway, and I was coming over a small rise. Didn’t see nor stop in time to avoid smacking into a car who was stopped behind a truck waiting to make an illegal(?) left turn. I was deemed by the highway patrol to be 100% at fault for it, and the friends of the people in the car I hit were very practiced at giving cold shoulders and nasty little glances. My premiums went through the roof of course, and we’re waiting for the statute of limitations to come up in June to breathe easier about anyone suing me.

I fully admit to being chiefly at fault. The people I hit weren’t at fault at all that I could tell. However, the idiot who was at a full stop on a two-lane highway attempting to make a left turn over a double-yellow stripe didn’t get so much as a finger shaken at him. Nor did the bed-and-breakfast whose driveway he was turning in to, which had no dedicated turn lane and was adjacent to that rise.

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