Have you ever been the victim of humiliation and felt like leaving a place , conversation or person who is victimizing you? I know there are degrees of everything but subtle or intense humiliation makes no difference to the victim because they know they are the subject or target of abuse. Now that is a ridiculous word to use some people might say. However when a person experiences humiliation they don’t stop to think about degrees and if they are in a lousy mood to begin with, they feel the humiliation even more.
“Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification.” John Donne
“Abuse and neglect negate love. Care and affirmation the opposite of abuse and humiliation are the foundation of love. No one can rightfully proclaim to be loving when behaving in such a way.” Bell Hooks
“Humiliation of one person over another is often used as a way of exerting power over them, and a common form of oppression or abuse.”
I remember reading about manners one time and I was surprised to read that manners did not consist of proper etiquette or being rich or well educated. Manners they mentioned was making every person feel comfortable and relaxed no matter what their race, religion, economic or educational attainment was. It was amazing and I thought about it for a long time. There are those people who can tell you how wonderful you look even if you misjudged an occasion and wore the wrong attire. They pretend they don’t even notice. They are special people and a pleasure to make acquaintances with.
Then there are those people who make it a habit to target certain people and make their life miserable if they can. I must admit there are some people who appear to make better targets for the humiliations. Over the years I have had my share of tormentors and I remember often wondering why I was chosen to be their victim. Sometimes I felt like I had a bull’s-eye on my back or unwittingly applied for the role in life’s play. I bet most of us have been a victim at one time or another.
I am one of those people pleasers which I suppose makes others want to crush the “Goody two Shoes” person. I don’t mean any harm I just like to keep things happy and comfortable for everyone. In the end I am demolished and made to feel inferior, stupid and out of touch with reality. It isn’t a great place to be and it keeps the mood sad. After feeling sorry for myself I began to think of the many people who are the victims of humiliation in a variety of ways every day. One’s religion, race, skin color, education, economic wealth, age and anything else anyone deems as less than perfect can make them a victim.
I remember some people at work who appeared to have all of the correct answers. Instead of others being happy with receiving the answers, they ignored the advice outwardly yet followed it behind closed doors. I attribute this to possible jealousy, or envy at the ease at which some people think and find answers. Boys or girls who are shy might become the targets as does anyone with a physical or mental challenge. We might like to think it doesn’t happen but in truth it does.
Anger and frustration also appear to be culprits of the birth of humiliation. Students get angry with a child who has all the answers and gets good grades. They please the teachers and gain praise and attention. That is another thought. Attention and consideration is what a lot of us strive to receive. Sometimes we just don’t know how to go about doing it and the ways we see it done are not appealing to us because we deem those people the losers we humiliate.
I do believe that anger about anything triggers a need to strike out at someone and make them the scapegoat of our pent up rage. If a hapless victim is nearby it becomes easy to blame them and humiliation is on the rise again. Parents bully humiliate kids which is not a far step from bullying someone. They get frustrated and yell scream and belittle their kids in words and actions. This is the beginning stages of one’s entry into the world of humiliation.
Boyfriends and girlfriends as well as pals have the ability to insult and put down others with words and actions. The humiliated feel terrible, question why, and dwell on it longer than they should. Of course when the friend needs someone they call the person back into the fold. Most of us go back thinking they just had a bad day but did they or is this a habitual occurrence? Those who escape humiliation are the ones who appear strong and more of a challenge so they are left alone. The elderly are victims due to their possible inability to think clearly or their lack of strength to accomplish much work. They are fearful as children are and they do not complain.
Actually complaining may be another reason why people are chosen to be victimized. The victims tend to take a lot of punishment or abuse for a long time before they may strike back or depart from the union or friendship. When people are not wanted at a job or club they sense the feelings of others. When someone questions whether or not they were harassed into leaving they might have to say no yet they are aware of the humiliating atmosphere and animosity of the group. We are not fooling anyone when we behave in a bullying way and block others from the simple pleasure of conversing and being accepted in a group of people.
I recall instances when I or someone I know was ignored or slighted long enough during a group discussion that they quietly walked away. No one appeared to acknowledge their presence nor their departure. How sad is that? I am sure no one lost sleep over it nor did they likely think they did anything wrong but if we were honest with ourselves we would admit to the alternate ways we all use to intimidate or put someone else in their place so that they will be quiet. It happens so often that I would admit we have all probably witnessed it in one form or another.
What makes it worse is when someone comes back with the thought that they didn’t mean to cause anyone any uneasiness yet they did and deep down they are aware of it. Like anything in order to understand something we must acknowledge it’s existence. We can then come to terms with it and attempt to do better. The less athletic boy or clumsy girl or less abled child doesn’t need ridicule in their life. Don’t we all believe we have enough to deal with as we reflect on what life throws at us? Do we really want to make life harder for others when all we have to do is be respectful? Nobody said we had to listen to someone all day or make them our friend. We just have to respect their life and value and include them in whatever is going on.
If you have ever suffered a humiliation of any kind, you remember it and the pain it caused you. The time frame of the hurt varies but can be a long remembered incident. Treat your kids with respect and everyone else you meet. You will be the epitome of a well mannered person if all people feel comfortable in your presence. That means that any interaction they have with you will never leave them wounded but instead empowered to be better because you have set the example and made them at peace.
“It’s okay to dislike someone or to dislike someone for no reason. But it’s not okay to disrespect degrade or humiliate that person.” Spirit Science
“The reality of another person lies not in what he reveals to you but in what he cannot reveal reveal to you. Therefore if you would understand him listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say.” Khalil Gibran
“On this path let the heart be your guide for the body is hesitant and full of fear.” Rumi