Do you engage in the shame game?

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Let me start off by stating that at times, I too have inadvertently engaged in the “shame game” but not so much in the last 15 years or so and I am not proud of it. Because being at the receiving end of shame sucks and it doesn’t feel good and yes I’ve had my own share over the years. And the more I step into my own power, I realize that shaming and judging for how we live and who we are, doesn’t even serve me. It only holds me back and continues to lay blame on others when truly I am responsible for myself.

You need to eat more.

No, really I didn’t and I still don’t. I acknowledge that I grew up in a different culture and while the food was important, it was definitely seen more as a nourishment rather than an all you can eat buffet.

You should wear makeup

No, I don’t need to. I stopped wearing makeup because I accepted myself for who I am. I don’t need to cover the bags under my eyes or the flaws of my skin. And isn’t this a personal choice anyway?

You should remove the moles on your face 

Dude, these moles are part of me and over the years I started calling them my wisdom moles, cause humor is awesome. But again, here’s the thing, why do you need to place your perception on my face?

You should become an American

While this is a goal of mine to change my citizenship, why am I being shamed for being a different nationality? This has become less over the years but I remember the times I was called a Nazi, simply because I was born and raised in Germany. They knew nothing else about me.

You don’t charge enough or too much in your business

Yeah, I got this one a time or two. And here’s the thing I know to be true, I have a business to run and a family to feed and a life to live. I can’t spend my time wondering if you are okay with that. But I also know this to be true, I always meet people where they are and I also know that if it’s important enough to you, you will without a doubt figure out how to make it happen. Because I have done this a time or three!

And yes, I know that this post can come across as judgy and that I am trying to shame people.

I am not.

What I am trying to share with you here is that people just want to live their own life according to their own values and beliefs. And who are you or I to shame them or place judgment on them?

This isn’t a post about “oh we all should just get along” cause sometimes our values and beliefs are so different from each other that this isn’t possible in reality. But before you shame or judge someone else for the way they live or how they appear, we all should look at ourselves first. And none of this gives any of us the right to misplaced anger.

I once was told I am too politically correct and you know maybe I am but, to be honest, this is who I am at the core:

Always considering how the other person feels, how words or actions may impact them. This was a part I was hiding for a long time, and I just can’t-do it. This isn’t about caring too much what other people think but more of recognizing we all have our own journey and stories that made us who we are. And in truth, aren’t we all just trying to live life the best way we know how?

No, we don’t have to like other people’s opinions about anything, but don’t we all have the right to believe what we want? And as long as we don’t hurt anyone in the process because of moral and ethical values, I am all about disagreeing with you.

There are a lot of people in my world who I do not agree with but I am still friends with them. I don’t shame them for it, I respect them or maybe even have a conversation with them to understand their point of view.

There is this saying that whatever pisses you off, annoys you, triggers you that needs to be healed within you. Maybe at some point in your life, you were shamed and judged for the exact same thing that you are shaming and judging someone else for. When you catch yourself triggered and wanting to shame another person, maybe it’s time to look at what needs healing within?

And let me just add that when you take a picture of someone and shame them because you don’t like what you see, it’s a legal issue too. Not only are you taking a picture without permission, hello, you’re invading someone’s privacy … even if it’s in public. And then you make judgmental comments about them and you don’t even know anything about them… just that they dress, speak or act differently.

I didn’t grow up with freedom of speech and I’ve come to respect it but I also learned it really doesn’t give us the right to shove our opinions down someone’s throat. Or the right to take a picture to post it online. And why is it that we can’t have conversations instead and learn from one another? Again, you don’t have to agree but an open parachute is always better than a closed one when jumping out of an airplane.

It saddens me when someone is doing life the best way they can the best way they know how and people are so quick to shame and judge them. You don’t know their story. You don’t know if they’ve been through hell and back, or whatever other demons may still be playing on repeat in their mind.

You or I don’t get to decide how someone chooses to dress, nourishes themselves or the religion their practice, what political views they have or how they parent their children.

The only thing we have is to look in the mirror and we can see that we are true to ourselves, no matter what that looks like. Because shaming and judging other people is deeply rooted or in insecurity and when you can find fault with other people, you do not have to look in the mirror and admit that perhaps there’s some work to be done.

I continue to be on my own journey of healing, self-acceptance and removing the insecurities that have a tendency of me not speaking my truth for the fear of being shamed or judged.

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About Petra

I serve people who crave freedom in their lives. I show them how to turn their ideas into reality and forge their own path! When I am not serving up my wisdom on how to forge your own path to freedom, I’m writing paranormal fiction, getting lost in the latest episode of Criminal Minds while savoring a cup of coffee.

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