Tribal Shaming - Part 2
Missed Part 1? Read it here.
What does Dr. Martinez suggest we do to rise up against tribal shaming and still heed the call to our own individual path of learning and being who are/were meant to be? 4 steps:
Ask yourself which person in your life, living or dead, would you most need to abandon, in order to live your true path with happiness and peace? Then say out loud: “I am going to abandon you now. I am going to betray you now.” This does not mean that you really will abandon this person—but in fact will allow you to disconnect from the shame that is thrown your way. This will in turn release you from doing the exact thing that you have always been afraid to do, thereby staying in the shadow of shame.
Imagine becoming the other person and say to yourself (in the voice of the other person): “I completely understand. I forgive you. All I want is for you to be happy.” This process will lower your cortisol levels, inflammation and disease and drop your stress levels because you are beginning to physically remove the layers of shame from your life.
Rebuild your own “field of honor” by recalling (and writing down) all the times in your life when you were honorable according to your personal value system and honor code. Dr. Martinez researched that the reason tribal shaming works so well is because the tribe convinces you that you’re not honorable because you broke their honor code. As humans, we all have honor codes that provide us with a healthy sense of self. Creating your own “field of honor” will allow you to begin rebuilding this healthy sense of self.
Engage in “Righteous Anger” when someone attempts to shame you –- that is, stand up for yourself! Rise up and defend your honor and maintain your newfound healthy sense of self in an assertive way (not passive-aggressively or aggressively).
So next time you find yourself shrinking back in order to fit the mold of your previously defined tribal membership, think outside the box and let yourself grow…it IS possible to go against the grain and live with honor while you honor yourself—and you may find that you can still engage in meaningful ways within the tribe in face of it all. And when you find yourself begin to automatically shame someone else (because that’s what we all do), think twice about their need to discover for themselves what really works for them. After all, aren’t we all from the same tribe anyway? #onetribe
Emily Celis, LMFT specializes in adult individual mental health therapy for anxiety, depression and mood disorders, religious transitions, LGBT+ related issues, body image, substance abuse, self-esteem, and gender specific issues. She offers in-person and online services for adults and is also trained to work with couples, families, children and adolescents.