It’s time that we start talking about two powerful words/actions that have affected so many people – Shame and Guilt. Recently we have seen a revival of these two tactics that have been used through many generations to manipulate others energy, decisions, and actions. Some people may have little experience with these concepts while others have spent a lifetime trying to heal from the pain, hold and control it has had over their lives. People might innocently use these energy manipulations to get what they want, and others have abused with little concern for others as long as they get what they want. Shame and guilt are used to make a person feel bad about themselves. To make them feel a choice or action they want to make is wrong. Shame and guilt are the complete opposite of love. And that is why it feels so bad and can be so harmful. So how can we start recognizing when Shame and Guilt are being used against us? How can we start protecting our energy to not be triggered? How can we start seeing past the illusion others try to project onto us?
First why do some people use shame and guilt? It can start out innocently as trying to get someone to do something for or with you. For example, someone ask you to go to dinner. You say no I’m busy but thanks. They say oh come on, you never spend any time with me, don’t you care about me anymore, I thought you were a nice person? Ding…perfect example of shame and guilt being used to try to get someone to go out to dinner. Make the person feel like they are hurting you if you do not spend time with them. Implying you are not a nice person if you do not spend time with them. All things that make us feel bad for saying no. That is manipulating energy on a basic level. The intention of the person using shame and guilt is to get the result they want by hurting the other person. And yes, it is Hurting the other person. This is emotional pain as small or innocent as it may seem. They did not respect the person’s choice to say no. They just wanted the outcome that would be best for them. Seems simple enough right? And yet so many times we do recognize it or call it what it is manipulation.
Unfortunately Shame and Guilt have been normalized in society and are making quite a comeback recently. Look how we are being told by media, politicians, celebrities, family members, friends to do “insert action here” or you are a bad person and you do not care. Yes, that is using shame and guilt to create an action that the person doing the manipulation wants. It does not respect the others person’s opinion, perspective, viewpoint, needs or energy. It simply is done to hurt someone to create a desired outcome. This use of Shame and Guilt has been called anything from persuasion to mind control, energy manipulation, and even emotional abuse. All of these terms are the same action just different degrees of intenseness.
For anyone that is sensitive to energy or is an empath (someone who feels other’s emotions) shame and guilt can be especially harmful. That is because they can feel the other person’s energy to the point they do not want to cause pain or hurt to them. So they will go out of their way even at personal cost to put other people’s needs first. Because of this they are susceptible to the manipulation of shame and guilt. They will often attract people, situations or jobs that use shame and guilt as a form of control. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lifetime of trying to please others and never feeling good enough or even being caught in abusive situations. Take a look at your life and see where you might be feeling shame and guilt used to control your thoughts or actions. Again it can be something that seems small or innocent or it can be quite extreme. Look at how advertisements, media or famous people use shame and guilt to get you to donate or participate in a cause. Yes even something that seems like it is for the good can have this harmful energy used for persuasion. That is why it can be so hard to spot when it is happening. We tend to not trust our own feelings or opinions. Or the thought of being shamed is so powerful that we do not stray from the herd mentality being presented to us. If we are being triggered in a way that feels shame and guilt most people will assume they did something wrong. Instead start looking at who is using this energy on you. What is their intention and is that in alignment with what you want?
The most important thing to start doing is to question when something or someone makes you feel bad. Trust that gut feeling. Do not rationalize or try to make it ok if someone or something is making you feel bad. Be strong enough to trust yourself and understand what is best for your energy. Know the kind of person you are, the kind heart and the love you share. And know that no one has the right to make you feel like you are not kind or giving enough. Listen to that gut feeling and trust it. Start to set better boundaries with people that do not respect your decisions. Spend less time around people, situations or energy that is not in alignment with you. Do not be afraid to stand up and challenge when someone uses shame and guilt on you. Love yourself enough to start making the changes to free your energy from the manipulations of Shame and Guilt and start living a free and more peaceful life!