Blaming and Shaming

Blaming is the accusation that you caused my experience, for example, "You made me angry." Shaming is an attack on your worthiness, which I induce by judging, criticizing, or insulting you.

Blaming and shaming are attempts to project my bad feelings onto you. I believe that if I can shift my pain onto to you, then I won't have to feel it. If I believe you are the source of my pain, then I can justify transferring it back to you.

I blame you and shame you when I want to hurt you and control you. When I do this, I take advantage of the vulnerability we all share--the tendency to take responsibility for other's feelings and to feel badly about ourselves.

Instead of trying to change your behavior by inducing shame, I could ask directly for what I want. If I don't get it, I can take responsibility for my feelings of frustration, hurt, or disappointment.

I could choose to treat you with dignity and respect because that's the way I want to be treated. I recognize that projecting my bad feelings onto you doesn't work. I not only hurt you, but myself as well. In truth, we are all connected, and I am not immune to how I affect you. I am the vessel through which my experiences pass, and I can choose to be the vehicle for the compassion and understanding that I will be giving, and thus receiving.