On 10-11-16 Eric Lichtblau wrote in the N. Y. Times, “A growing body of evidence from academics, advocacy groups and others supports the link between gun restrictions and a reduction in violence.”
Here are some of his main points:
- Gun fatalities in states with weaker laws are more than three times as high as in those states with tougher restrictions, including background checks or permits.
- Voters in 4 states with gun measures on the ballot — California, Maine, Nevada and Washington — appear likely to approve toughened restrictions next month,
- Gun-control advocates have turned increasingly to state ballot initiatives and legislative races — with a string of successes in the last few years.
- 8 states have begun requiring universal background checks since the mass shooting in 2013 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, bringing the total number to 18.
- If voters in Nevada and Maine approve their ballot measures requiring background checks next month, about 50% of the nation’s population will be required to undergo comprehensive checks in gun purchases,
- The Center for American Progress used 10 gun-crime and violence indicators for each state, including homicides, suicides and accidental shootings, and weighed them against how restrictive a state’s gun laws are. The findings indicated a “strong” correlation between stricter gun laws and lower rates of violence, said Chelsea Parsons, one of the report’s authors.
- States with relatively tough gun laws, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, generally had much lower rates of gun violence, while those with looser gun laws — including Alaska, Louisiana and Mississippi — had higher rates, the study found.
- Daniel Webster, an expert on gun violence at Johns Hopkins University, who reviewed the findings, said its methods were scientifically sound and expanded on previous research on the issue. “I can’t think of a study that’s as encompassing in all the different metrics — suicide, homicides, accidental shootings, mass shootings, police shootings,” Mr. Webster said.
- Mr. Webster led previous studies at Johns Hopkins that found a significant increase in gun homicides in Missouri after the state repealed its gun licensing law — and a significant decrease in gun homicides in Connecticut after it enacted a new licensing requirement.
- New data, combined with past research, showed “an amazing consistency” in establishing a link between gun laws and reduced violence, Webster said.
- For understanding your child’s personality, read Elizabeth’s book, The Enneagram of Parenting.
The causes of suicide among the young are complicated. A.D.D., depression, and recent conflicts or crises are all being investigated. And what are the options for parents, teachers, and other adults to best relate to children they are concerned about? Catherine Saint Louis wrote a New York Times article 9-19-16: More Child Suicides Are Linked to A.D.D. Than Depression, Study Suggests.
The new research does not definitively establish that attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D., are causal risk factors for suicide in children. The findings suggest “suicide is potentially a more impulsive act among children.”
- Jill Harkavy-Friedman, vice president of research at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: “Not everybody who is at risk for suicide has depression,” even among adults.
- David N. Miller, president of the American Association of Suicidology, questioned whether impulsiveness was a large factor in child suicide. “There is a lot of evidence it isn’t,” he said.
- Dr. Nancy Rappaport, child psychiatrist and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, suspected that children listed as having A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. might not have had the conditions. Children with bipolar disorder “are often undiagnosed under 12, and their conditions are often confused with A.D.H.D.”
Attention deficit disorder is the most common mental health diagnosis among children under 12 who die by suicide. Few children aged 5 to 11 take their own lives, and little is known about these deaths. The new study, which included deaths in 17 states from 2003 to 2012, compared 87 children aged 5 to 11 who committed suicide with 606 adolescents aged 12 to 14 who did, to see how they differed.
About a third of the children of each group had a known mental health problem. The very young who died by suicide were most likely to have had attention deficit disorder, or A.D.D. By contrast, nearly two-thirds of early adolescents who took their lives struggled with depression. Suicide prevention has focused on identifying children struggling with depression; the new study provides an early hint that this strategy may not help the youngest suicide victims.
Young children most commonly had fought with a relative or peer before dying by suicide. About a third of the children and adolescents had experienced a problem at school. A similar percentage had gone through a recent crisis. “Younger kids don’t necessarily have the words to negotiate the conflict, to talk about what they are feeling or seek a solution,” Dr. Harkavy-Friedman said. “It’s O.K. to ask your child, ‘Are you feeling like you don’t want to be around anymore?’” she added. “It won’t put the idea in their head, but it opens the door for a conversation.”
About 30 percent of the nearly 700 children studied in the new research had told someone of their suicidal intentions. It is important to take seriously a declaration of suicidal intent, no matter the child’s age, Dr. Harkavy-Friedman said. It is also crucial for pediatricians, parents and school personnel to broach the topic with children if the adults are concerned.
“We know that often kids don’t disclose that they are suicidal,” Dr. Miller said. But “they will disclose if they are asked.”
* Recommended Elizabeth’s books:
Learn about the 9 types of children as described by the Enneagram system in The Enneagram of Parenting.
Children learn about the Enneagram in Finding the Birthday Cake.
When I was a teenager I hung out with a group of friends who were mostly introverts, highly liberal, and nonconformists. We weren’t risk-taking and we weren’t interested in winning popularity contests. We liked learning and did fairly well in school.
We were idealistic and interested in justice. We didn’t need to rebel much, maybe because we and most of our parents already felt on the fringes of society.
Amanda Ripley wrote an article in the New York Times (9-12-16: Can Teenage Defiance Be Manipulated for Good?) about a new study that found teenagers can be encouraged to reimagine healthy behavior as an act of defiance. When teens found out food companies reform food to make it more addictive and label products to make them appear more healthful than they are, they rebelled against the unfair control of adult authority figures.
Since justice matters to teens, teenage rebellion can be put to a good use instead of being seen as a threat.
“The real test came when the students were asked to choose which snacks they wanted in anticipation of a long-planned celebration. This selection took place in a different class, so it’s likely no one knew that it had anything to do with what they had read. Teenagers who had read the exposé article chose fewer junk food items than those in the control groups. They were 11 percentage points more likely to forgo at least one unhealthy snack, like Oreos, Cheetos or Doritos, in favor of fruit, baby carrots or trail mix, and seven percentage points more likely to choose water over Coca-Cola, Sprite or Hi-C.”
Dr. Ronald E. Dahl, director of the Center on the Developing Adolescent at the University of California, said appealing to kids’ sense of wanting to not be duped empowers them to take a stand. His own brain-imaging research suggests adolescent brains are not inferior to adult brains, as is sometimes assumed. “If they are motivated, you can change their behavior profoundly.”
In 2009, a study estimated that the campaign, known as “truth,” prevented some 450,000 young people from starting to smoke from 2000 to 2004. “There are two adolescent imperatives: to resist authority and to contribute to community,” said Rob Riordan, co-founder of a network of California charter schools. He found that as students work together toward a shared purpose, the impulse to resist authority fades.
Teenagers who stop eating meat as an act of defiance display the same kind of tenacity.
“At Polaris Charter Academy on Chicago’s West Side, seventh graders learning about the Second Amendment decided to start a campaign against gun violence in their neighborhood. They created four public-service announcements, which aired on television; published a book about peacemakers in their community; and presented their work to the mayor. Taking action felt like a way to avenge gun deaths. It triggered something very personal. And when it became personal, they started to put in the work.
“The authors of the new food study know they are working against a powerful consumer culture. Most obesity prevention efforts do not lead to any weight loss in young people, according to a meta-analysis of 64 programs. But they will soon test whether they can change the way their study subjects see junk-food ads long term — so that each new soda commercial acts like a booster shot of indignation, rather than temptation.”
- For more insight to the personalities of the 9 types of teenagers, read my book, The Enneagram for Teens.”
Supporting the severely mentally ill is difficult. In many cases treatments haven’t worked or haven’t worked well. About three quarters of people put on a medication for psychosis stop taking it within 18 months because of side effects or other issues. Sufferers may end up homeless or in prison. When hospitalization, therapy and medications haven’t succeeded, some have turned to support groups, such as the Hearing Voices Network in Holyoke, Mass., and Open Dialogue at Advocates in Framingham, Mass.
Benedict Carey wrote about this movement in the New York Times, August 8 2016 (“An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold”): “At a time when Congress is debating measures to extend the reach of mainstream psychiatry — particularly to the severely psychotic — an alternative kind of mental health care is taking root that is very much anti-mainstream. It is largely nonmedical, focused on holistic recovery rather than symptom treatment. It’s increasingly accessible through an assortment of in-home services, residential centers and groups like the voices network… in which members help one another understand each voice as a metaphor, rather than try to extinguish it… Psychiatry’s critics are mounting a sustained, broadly based effort to provide people with practical options, rather than solely alleging abuses like overmedication and involuntary restraint.”
Carey uses the example of Carolyn White, who hears voices in her head. She felt hopeless. The drugs made her feel worse. “Some of the voices inside Ms. White’s head have been a lifelong comfort, as protective as a favorite aunt. It was the others — ‘you’re nothing, they’re out to get you, to kill you’ — that led her down a rabbit hole of failed treatments and over a decade of hospitalizations, therapy and medications, all aimed at silencing those internal threats.
“At a support group for so-called voice-hearers she allowed other members of the group to address the voice directly: ‘After I thought about it, I realized that the voice valued my safety, wanted me to be respected and better supported by others,’ said Ms. White, 34, who, since that session in late 2014, has become a leader in a growing alliance of such groups, called the Hearing Voices Network, or HVN.
“Dr. Chris Gordon, who directs Open Dialogue, calls the alternative approaches a ‘collaborative pathway to recovery and a paradigm shift in care.’ The Open Dialogue approach involves a team of mental health specialists who visit homes and discuss the crisis with the affected person — without resorting to diagnostic labels or medication, at least in the beginning. Some psychiatrists are wary, they say, given that medication can be life-changing for many people with mental problems, and rigorous research on these alternatives is scarce. ‘I would advise anyone to be carefully evaluated by a psychiatrist with expertise in treating psychotic disorders before embarking on any such alternative programs,’ said Dr. Ronald Pies, a professor of psychiatry at SUNY Upstate University, in Syracuse. ‘Many, though not all, patients with acute psychotic symptoms are too seriously ill to do without immediate medication, and lack the family support that those programs generally rely on.’”
How It Works
The group meetings, guided by a person who hears voices, sometimes accompanied by a facilitator, are open to family members but closed to the news media. No one uses the word “patient” or refers to the sessions as “treatment.” American hearing voices groups have tripled over the past several years, to more than 80 groups in 21 states.
The Carey article concludes: “Not everyone benefits from airing their voices, therapists say. The pain and confusion those internal messages cause can overwhelm any effort to understand or engage. ‘People will come to our program because they’re determined not to be on medication,’ said Dr. Gordon, the medical director of Advocates. ‘But that’s not always possible. The idea is to give people as many options as we can, to allow them to come up with their own self-management program.’”
- Check out Wagele’s CD, The Beethoven Enneagram. Her books are on wagele.com
Lou Hoffman died in July at age 93. Though he had a fortune from the Hoffman-LaRoche pharmaceutical company his grandfather had founded, he was modest and didn’t flaunt his wealth. In fact, he drove a Fiat Panda and stayed in hostels. At Tour du Valat his four children were brought up with the children of the estate workers, and were told their grandfather had a “chemist’s shop” in Basel. The Economist of August 6, 2016 noted, “Only the glass of Montrachet offered to a visitor, or the glimpse of a Braque in the drawing room (Braque, a friend, had also fallen for the Camargue), hinted that Mr. Hoffmann could have led a different, self-centered life.
“Wherever and whenever he thought good, he gave money. It was done either overtly, as grants or loans with his name attached, or covertly, through donations from organizations whose finances he controlled. When the World Wildlife Fund was set up in 1961, Peter Scott invited him to be president, but he declined; he became its second vice-president, and made quietly sure his money bankrolled the WWF to success. His dollars, as well as his drive, also saved the wetlands at Coto Doñana in Andalucia, home to imperial eagles; the Banc d’Arguin in Mauritania, the stopover point for millions of migrating waders; the Faia Brava in Portugal, haunt of griffon vultures; and many others. In 1971, at Ramsar in Iran, he oversaw the signing of the first global treaty protecting wetlands.
“His charm, tact and optimism proved important, for in setting up protected areas he was often dealing with difficult people: officials of Franco’s Spain, Soviet Russia and Mao’s China, and industrialists and developers of every stripe. He was dealing, too, with many struggling, suspicious locals who earned their living from the wetlands. His technique was to bring them alongside, showing that they could benefit from conservation—even the Camargue rice-farmers, who each spring found flamingos foraging among their newly planted crops. In Faia Brava the dwindling band of hill-farmers were encouraged to open their houses to hikers. In Banc d’Arguin tribal fishermen were given exclusive access to the waters of the reserve. His motto, reversing the theme of conservation to that point, was ‘with man, not against him’.
“In 1948 he bought an old farm at Tour du Valat, without water or power, with a mind to live there forever and set up a center for study. He did both. His center eventually welcomed up to 100 researchers; the flamingos, which had declined sharply in the 1960s, were monitored and re-established within a decade.”
The Economist obituary ends: “The concept of reserved areas deeply dissatisfied Hoffmann, for he wanted the whole globe to be a place where man lived in harmony with nature, and no special protections were needed any more. He was no militant, seeing the cause of conservation as going far beyond partisan politics or the shock tactics of Greenpeace; but in old age he shared much of their frustration. Small successes had been notched up here and there; not much more. Like the bee-eaters battling the wind, he was grateful to have caught a few flies on the wing; but his real ambition had been to change the wind itself.”
- Learn more about the 9-Peace Seeker personality in The Enneagram Made Easy, Are You My Type, Am I Yours? The Enneagram of Parenting, and other Wagele books on the Enneagram.
On July 30, 2016, the Economist ran an obituary for poet Geoffrey Hill. He sounds to me like a type 4 in the Enneagram, the Romantic personality. He fell in love with poetry at the age of ten. His first year as a student at Oxford was miserable. He had few friends, and suffered from “savage melancholia.” Later he taught at Leeds, Cambridge, Boston, and then back to Oxford, where he was Professor of Poetry from 2010 to 2015.
As with many 4-Romantics, Hill was drawn to the past and to the subject of death. The Holocaust and other historic massacres obsessed him.
Statesmen have known visions. And, not alone,
Artistic men prod dead men from their stone:
Some of us have heard the dead speak:
The dead are my obsession this week.
Hill’s poetry was different as well as difficult. “Some loved him for it: the first publisher of his poems, in a short pamphlet when he was 20, would wake up in the night to read his work again, marveling at its strange beauty. Several critics spent decades championing and defending his poems and his criticism; to many, he was Britain’s greatest living poet. Others dismissed him as obscure, high-flaunting and, latterly, plain incomprehensible… His heroes included John Milton and Alexander Pope and, as he aged, he appeared to resemble aspects of them more and more, with his biting invective and fondness for arcane words and complicated phrases.”
Rancorous, narcissistic old sod—what
makes him go on? We thought, hoped rather,
he might be dead. Too bad. So how
much more does he have of injury time?
Hill scorned the depravity of modern society and its politics. “When he taught at Leeds he was given the nickname ‘Chuckles’ for his apparently unrelieved gloom.”
Some 4-Romantics dread revealing too much of themselves. Hill believed a poet should not reveal himself in his work. Instead, poems should “be like love, expressive of something greater and yet mysterious.”
- Please visit wagele.com for information on Elizabeth’s 8 books, including The Enneagram of Death –Helpful insights by the 9 types of people on grief, fear, and dying and The Enneagram Made Easy – Discover the 9 types of people.
An article in the San Francisco Chronicle by Spencer Whitney (Restorative justice: turning lives around) 7-10-16, talks about Berkeley Tech Academy Principal Sheila Quintana, who established a restorative justice system at the school. This method of dealing with problems is much more positive than shutting students out of school, which can send them into a cycle of falling behind in class, dropping out with few employment opportunities, and elevating the risk of a life of crime and incarceration.
“In restorative justice, perpetrators of minor to moderate offenses are brought into an intensive program in which they are led to confront the underlying causes and consequences of their actions. They meet with their victims in sessions known as ‘the circle’ as part of the process of taking responsibility for their actions and repairing the harm they caused. Restorative justice was already used in Berkeley schools, but three September suspensions prompted Quintana to intensify the academy’s program, identifying conflicts before they turn violent. In one incident of name-calling and cyber-bullying on social media, the three young women involved were brought in for a 90minute session at a teacher’s request. The harassment stopped.”
Quintana said the restorative justice practices at her school allow students to have dignity and options when it came to behaviors that don’t serve them. “It has had an impact on our statistics … our goal is to make sure the students are in school for instruction.”
Berkeley Tech has had just one suspension and no expulsions since September. The Oakland Unified School District’s $2.3 million “Restorative Justice Initiative” has been credited with helping reduce the suspensions of African American students by 40 percent in its first year. These programs can keep young people on track before they become mired in the criminal justice system. California is making a long overdue effort to reduce its prison population.
Studies have shown that African Americans, especially, are more likely to be suspended from school — which helps explain their disproportionate representation in prisons. “And the racial profiling begins early. A 2014 U.S. Department of Education study found that African Americans accounted for 18 percent of preschoolers in the U.S., but 42 percent of all suspensions.
“The results in the pioneering Bay Area schools have led state Senator Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, to propose SB463, a measure to encourage local districts to train school personnel in restorative justice practices to break cycles of violence.”
- Elizabeth Wagele’s book, The Enneagram for Teens, helps teens from another direction—by building character from the inside out. Teens are encouraged to develop their own values, to think about who they are, what they like, and what kind of a life they want to lead.
In 1992, famous Jungian psychologist James Hillman and writer Michael Ventura collaborated on a book, We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse, based on their discussions. Hillman contends that therapists pay too much attention to their clients’ inner lives and not enough attention to the real, present world and its injustices. He says many thoughtful and intelligent people have undergone analysis, but the world is getting worse and worse. Are people too absorbed by their feelings, relationships, and dreams and not concerned enough with how the world is deteriorating?
Hillman says the soul is not only our interior one, the soul is also in the world. The soul is out there. The sickness is out there.
I once wrote a blog on psycho-ecology and how some of us have trouble sleeping because we’re so worried about the ecology of the planet. We worry about all the people in the world suffering from wars, famine, poverty, and social injustices. When we hear of people expressing an “us against them” attitude, making fun of gays or other minorities, or shunning people of other countries or religions—our souls suffer.
Hillman says, “Every time we try to deal with our outrage over the freeway, our misery over the office and the lighting and the crappy furniture, the crime on the streets, whatever—every time we try to deal with that by going to therapy with our rage and fear, we’re depriving the political world of something. And therapy, in its crazy way, by emphasizing the inner soul and ignoring the outer soul, supports the decline of the actual world. Yet therapy goes on blindly believing that it’s curing the outer world by making better people. We’ve had that for years and years and years: ‘If everybody went into therapy we’d have better buildings, we’d have better people, we’d have more consciousness.’ It’s not the case.”
Hillman: “The vogue today, in psychotherapy, is the ‘inner child.’ That’s the therapy thing—you go back to your childhood. But if you’re looking backward, you’re not looking around. This trip backward constellates what Jung called the ‘child archetype.’ Now, the child archetype is by nature apolitical and disempowered—it has no connection with the political world. And so the adult says, ‘Well, what can I do about the world? This thing’s bigger than me.’ That’s the child archetype talking. ‘All I can do is go into myself, work on my growth, my development, find good parenting, support groups.’ This is a disaster for our political world, for our democracy. Democracy depends on intensely active citizens, not children. By emphasizing the child archetype, by making our therapeutic hours rituals of evoking childhood and reconstructing childhood, we’re blocking ourselves from political life.”
- Wagele.com has reviews of Elizabeth’s 8 books on personality and more. See also her blogs in Psychology Today.
This is a reprint of the article, Silicon Valley’s Latest Startup Offering Is a Whole City—Y Combinator’s $100 million research lab will make affordable housing a focus by Max Chafkin, June 27, 2016:
Y Combinator, the startup accelerator and investment firm that helped produce Airbnb, Dropbox, and Instacart, is embarking on a creation project arguably more ambitious than any company.
“We want to build cities,” wrote Y Combinator partner Adora Cheung and President Sam Altman. YC Research, Y Combinator’s nonprofit arm, plans to solicit proposals for research into new construction methods, power sources, driverless cars, even notions of zoning and property rights. Among other things, the project aims to develop ways to reduce housing expenses by 90 percent and to develop a city code of laws simple enough to fit on 100 pages of text. Eventually the plan is to actually produce a prototype city. “We’re not trying to build a utopia for techies,” says Cheung, the project’s director and the former CEO of failed housecleaning startup Homejoy. “This is a city for humans.”
Initial applications are due July 30. Cheung says she’ll start hiring researchers this year and is already thinking about possible locations. If all goes well, the project would be a showcase for new urban policy ideas—and for the expanding ambitions of Y Combinator, which was dismissed as unserious by rival
670venture firms when it was founded in 2005. Early on, YC, as it’s known in Silicon Valley, was best known for making investments as low as $6,000, so small that its portfolio companies were told to aim for “ramen profitability,” or to generate enough profit so that the founders could afford instant ramen.
YC has since seeded more than 1,000 startups and today competes in later-stage deals with the likes of Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz through a $700 million venture fund managed by former Twitter Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani. Altman formed YC Research last year with a $10 million personal donation and a contention that “research institutions can be better than they are today.” He now says the lab will eventually have an annual budget of $100 million. “The central theme is to work on things that we need for the successful evolution of humanity,” says Altman.
Last December, Altman and Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, announced the formation of OpenAI, a research effort aimed at ensuring that advances in artificial intelligence don’t lead to killer robots that destroy human civilization. (Musk has suggested that artificial intelligence could be “more dangerous than nukes.”) The following month, Altman announced a long-term study into “basic income,” the concept of giving citizens a cash allowance to spend as they wish. (A pilot program is now in the works in Oakland.) In May, Altman and computer scientist Alan Kay formed the Human Advancement Research Community, a research lab focused on education, among other things.
The city project inserts YC into a long-running debate over housing affordability. For years, activists in San Francisco have blamed tech startups—especially Airbnb, Y Combinator’s most valuable portfolio company—for record-setting rents and home prices.
Altman denies that YC’s new research efforts represent a response to the backlash against tech investors, characterizing them as an effort to apply the firm’s innovation model to society’s most intractable problems. “I believe that we should view it as a basic human right to have enough money to afford food and shelter,” says Altman, referring to the basic income study. “It’s an idea that’s makes sense to most children.”
- See my blogs, books, cartoons, and essays on wagele.com.
- See Lauren Westcombe’s blog on The Career Within You.
Darlene Lancer, in her article, Shame: The Core of Addiction and Codependency, wrote, “Whereas guilt is a right or wrong judgment about your behavior, shame is a feeling about yourself. Guilt motivates you to want to correct or repair the error. In contrast, shame is an intense global feeling of inadequacy, inferiority, or self-loathing. You want to hide or disappear. In front of others, you feel exposed and humiliated, as if they can see your flaws. The worst part of it is a profound sense of separation — from yourself and from others. It’s disintegrating, meaning that you lose touch with all the other parts of yourself, and you also feel disconnected from everyone else.”
All 9 Enneagram personality types exist within us to varying degrees. One of these is primary, however. For example, I’m a 5-Observer; my 4-Romantic wing is less powerful, followed by the other 7.
Here are some ways the 9 types feel ashamed.
From my One-Perfectionist friend: “Shame for me is a perfect gleeful vehicle to incite my inner critic. The myriad of ways I have found to be not perfect create a field of fodder for lashing out at myself. It’s like that critic has a bag full of candy from which to dispense its sickly judgment and harshness. And sometimes the only way I have unconsciously believed that I can ease myself of this weight is to shame and judge others. Ick.” – Jan Conlon.
2-Helpers tend to attract love by giving love. If they don’t feel they’ve succeeded, they may feel ashamed that they’re not worthy of love.
In order to find success, 3-Achievers work hard and look for clues from others about how they’re doing. They are likely to boast in order to cover up feeling inferior or inadequate.
When 4-Romantics feel ashamed of feeling alienated, defective or flawed, envy can be a way of hiding this shame.
For us 5-Observers, shame can come from feeling different, separate, or foolish.
Anxiety and shame can build in 6-Questioners when danger is suspected or present and they don’t feel in control.
Shame is taboo for a 7-Adventurers, since they feel their role is to always be happy and to create happiness around them.
8-Asserters avoid feeling vulnerable by emphasizing their power. Over-controlling and bullying can camouflage their shame.
9-Peace Seekers try not to feel angry and may not perceive conflicts. Burying these reality can lead to anxiety and shame.
Ms. Lancer continues her article, “Because shame is so painful, it’s common for people to hide their shame from themselves by feeling sad, superior, or angry at a perceived insult instead. Other times, it comes out as boasting, envy, or judgment of others. The more aggressive and contemptuous are these feelings, the stronger the shame. An obvious example is a bully, who brings others down to raise himself up, but this can happen all in your mind.
“It needn’t be that extreme. You might talk down to those you teach or supervise, people of a different class or culture, or someone you judge. Another tell-tale symptom is frequent idealization of others, because you feel so low in comparison. The problem with these defenses is that if you aren’t aware of your shame, it doesn’t dissipate. Instead, it persists and mounts up.”
- Elizabeth’s 8 books include The Happy Introvert, The Enneagram Made Easy, and Are You My Type, Am I Yours? Please go to wagele.com to see and order them.