Rights, Pacifism, And Complacency

I have seen that a lot of people don't seem to realize that there are people who are obsessed with power OVER other people, who want power OVER EVERYONE, not just over some people, and try with all their might to get that power. I guess they must believe, like I did when I was a youth, that simply living in my own peace would make me somehow invisible to these power mongers, and they would simply leave me alone, and I would still be able to live my life just the way I live it already, saying what I believe, expressing my opinion, or staying quiet, keeping a peaceful life. But then I realized~ just because a butterfly makes no enemies and lives peacefully makes no difference to predators, none whatsoever. Earthworms cause no harm to anyone, and are extremely beneficial, but they are preyed upon constantly. If a predator eats all of the butterflies and all of the earthworms, then there will be no more butterflies or earthworms, and the entire biological system will crash, and the predators will die too. This life is a gift. If I am to honor that gift, then I must honor that it's a gift for everyone else, too. And that means having healthy boundaries, which means standing up for myself against boundary violators, and standing up for the rights and respect of others against violators. Anyone can be a boundary violator. Without awareness and standing up against them, we can become violators ourselves and not even realize it.

How Do Control Freaks Keep Control

How do control freaks stay in control?

Shame is one of the more effective ways. A trigger button that often gets implanted in childhood is shame. (not a literal button, but a mental/emotional button.)
Also connected to that button can be chagrin and embarrassment.

Once this button is "implanted" in a person, it can be pushed by anyone who knows how. That means the guy at the grocery store can push it just as easily as the priest at church. Anyone who uses condescension, "talking down", insulting language, bullying language, controlling language or SIGNALS can push that button.
AND those who are controllers will even have the awareness that you RESPONDED to their control language and signals, and now they know they can push your shame button and control you:

>They can get you to react emotionally.
>They can get you to stop doing what you're doing.
>They can get you to LEAVE a group, a class, a job, even a family.
>They can get you to GIVE UP on your goal.
>They can get you to change your point of view.
>They can get you to make a decision you would not have made.
>They can get you to FOLLOW THEM and CATER TO them.
>They can make you AVOID DOING all kinds of things (even putting air in your own tires or checking your own oil, or cooking dinner, or going for a walk, or mowing the lawn, or hanging out with a good friend.)
>They can get you to DROP doing what you enjoy doing
>They can get you to BELIEVE you CAN NOT LEARN how to do certain things (like play guitar, make art, go to college, sing, cook, do carpentry, drive a stick shift, etc.)
>They can get you to live your life around THEM.
>They can get you to stop BELIEVING in YOUR OWN life, and in the life of someone else as well.
>They can get you to DESTROY your relationship with another person, even someone you love.

We can dismantle a "Shame Button" only through objective learning and observation of the ways people use shame to control and herd others. Objective means we MUST observe both people we don't like, and people we LIKE and agree with. We must be able to see when it is used against others, whether we like that other person or not.
Remember, it's a button, it's not your rational, conscious thought. Liken it to someone handing you a centipede out of the blue~ your reaction will almost definitely be BEYOND your immediate control, you WILL FLINCH, and you will probably flick it away, and you might even jump and yell and look like a scared rabbit. Even if you LIKE centipedes, you'll STILL probably react like this.
That's how "buttons" and "triggers" work.

(If your shame  button is on hair-trigger, you may feel it being pushed even when people aren't actually pushing it, but just because they remind you of someone who MIGHT push it, or COULD push it, or HAS pushed it in your past, like a woman who looks a little like your aunt, teacher, sister, or ex., or a man who looks or sounds a little like your father, uncle, teacher, or bully kid from school, or bully parent from your neighborhood. Sometimes ONE parent will use shame as a micro-managing weapon on their son or daughter, but the son or daughter sees BOTH parents as "shamers", because it can be very confusing to separate them.)

SOME people have such hair-trigger shame buttons that they feel it all the time, like whenever they hear or see a random woman speak, or see or hear a clergy person. These people often are unaware that the shame button is INSIDE OF THEMSELVES, and can harbor gigantic RESENTMENT toward anyone who they perceive as "causing" them to feel shame. For example they could meet the nicest, kindest person who ever lives, who LIKES them very much, but if this person reminded them in any way of a "shamer" from their past, they might just instantly HATE this person, with no logical thought at all.

The feelings when an adult chastises you in a way that displays disapproval of YOU as a PERSON when they see you doing something "wrong" is shame, and embarrassment usually follows shame, especially when there are others around. Embarrassment can also trigger shame, so you can have a circle of emotions that quickly create a subconscious "button".
There is more than one way to guide and raise a child. Casting shame on a child every time they do something an adult doesn't want them to do is not a requirement for guiding them, but many people do that because it seems to work easily, regardless of how it affects the child.

Shame is painful, and so is embarrassment. Using these as a discipline tool is kind of like using an electric fence, or an electric dog collar. It's only actually effective in a community when it's reserved for serious behavior breaches like bullying, physical assault, or theft. When it's used as a frequent discipline tool, it destroys its effectiveness in the community, and skews the self-confidence and understanding of right and wrong in those it is used on, AND ALSO those who it is purposely NOT used on in the community  (favoritism). (The effects of this can be seen all over the world.)

Children who have this shame button will often, understandably, try to avoid having it pushed. They may put more effort into altering their behavior to avoid being shamed than they do into actually living. The shame button can become the central focus in their lives, and they're often not aware that life could be any other way.
Also, adults who frequently use shame as a way to control a child will often also discipline the child further for not reacting enough to being shamed. So if the child does not cringe enough when the adult admonishes them, that shamer-adult will often become angry and indignant, and punish the child further for their own ego injury. Some of these adults may even physically assault a child for their lack of obvious reaction to their shaming.

"Shame buttons" can also be "implanted" by people BESIDES and APART FROM parents, such as older siblings, older relatives, adults in the community, adults at school, coaches, clergy, even other kids.

And to further this issue, children whose parents DO NOT expose their children to ANY shame for their behavior can become easy targets for "Shamers" outside of the family. Also, without any family exposure to it, a child can react to any feeling of shame from outside the family with severe anxiety, strong resentment, anger, even rage or hatred. 

Growing up this way can obviously cause all kinds of problems for a person. Shame is a normal aspect of human life, but in unhealthy communities, families and individuals who desire control, it is used improperly, or rejected completely as "evil", or RESERVED for so-called "INFERIORS".

Shame used alongside fear is the main tool used in groups and regions where one race or sex is exalted as "superior". 

Pathological avoidance of shame (often developed for survival purposes) can be a main contributor to causing several personality disorders, including narcissism and borderline traits.
Shame is often the main weapon, usually along with abuse, that was used on children who develop borderline personality disorder traits.

In families, communities, and regions where shame is used to control one group of people such as a race or a sex, the one that is exalted as "superior" often develops an entitlement disorder, and a severe pathological avoidance of shame, even to the point of assaulting or murdering others to "prove" their ENTITLEMENT to being EXEMPT from shame.

To summarize, when shame is properly used in a family or community only to deter SERIOUS behavior violations like assault, theft, betrayal and murder, then all members of the family and community are usually much healthier, happier, and wealthier in all ways. When shame is used IMPROPERLY, for micromanaging, oppression and control, the family, community, country, or region can end up with all kinds of problems, from low-esteem, to abusive relationship patterns, to family poverty patterns, crime, to massive regional societal problems, mass oppression, blatant wealth/poverty imbalance, even terrorism.

We can dismantle our "Shame Buttons" if we become adept at recognizing when others try to use shame to control.

If you want to see some easy examples of people trying to use shame as a way to control and dominate others, read comment threads on internet posts and articles. There are thousands of examples. Modern political speech and campaigning are also loaded with control tactics using shame, trying to get people to divide and hate. You can hear and see it in quite a lot of "religious" and "spiritual" groups, ironically, which is the LAST place it should be found. You will always find it where you find racial issues (all racists of all races use it) and where you find sexual inequality and separation, right down to your local public schools (all sexists of both sexes use it).  If you want to see it in action for yourself in your local community, go ask to see the budget for your local High School sports programs; you'll probably get turned away, especially if you're a female, and you'll be treated as if you are ASKING FOR SOMETHING YOU "SHOULD NOT" BE ASKING FOR. If they do give it to you, go ahead and review it, and then DARE mention any disparity between male and female students' budgeting amounts and programs. You will almost certainly be opposed, and shame will almost certainly be used against you in an attempt to make you feel chastised, and go away
You can even see it being used just by going to a local store, watch how people give social signals and facial expressions to others, expressing their "superiority" or disdain for others. Listen to how some clerks speak to one customer, and then how they speak to another customer of a different race, age, or sex. It's all about shame, avoidance of shame, resentment about shame, and trying to use shaming to express superiority.

Thank Heaven there are human beings who DON'T use shame as a social weapon, or who desire control. The world has hope as long as they are still among us. 

M.M. Black