The shamed person has nowhere to go

More from Mistakes Were Made.

Chapter 6 is on self-justification in marriage, but it applies to other kinds of relationships too. One particularly striking observation is on page 171.

Social psychologist June Tangney has found that being criticized for who you are rather than for what you did evokes a deep sense of shame and helplessness: it makes a person want to hide, disappear. Because the shamed person has nowhere to go to escape the desolate feeling of humiliation, Tangney found, shamed spouses tend to strike back in anger.

One which ends with “you must be reprehensible to humiliate me this way.” [Read more…]