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Thread: Self-confidence in a shaming culture

  1. #11
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    Certainly I don't know how one develops self-confidence when they've never had it. I think back across my entire childhood and can't remember my parents praising/complimenting/saying something nice about me a single time in the entire time (maybe one instance will come to me). That might have something to do with it (I remember the occasional praise from grandparents or teachers). It's not that my parents always criticized me either, but that I can at least recall some incidents (theirs and grandparents, teachers, etc.) and I lived in fear of their judgement.

    Add to that they didn't have confidence themselves. And then add to that the occasional remark in anger "having kids worst mistake I ever made!" and ... I really did thinking having kids must have "ruined their lives". Add to that other struggles with peers growing up. So ... I don't know how one has confidence.

    But I do know one should try to learn to FAKE confidence (wish that I was better at faking confidence at job interviews, things would be better, got to try to get better at this I guess), learn to act as if they are confidence, learn to perform it well enough to play the part. Because even though it might be ridiculous, we will live in a world that respects raw confidence (more than ability sometimes? well who is President again?!)

    I have heard it said that helping others might increase one's confidence.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  2. #12
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    Recently I read in George Lakoff's book, Moral Politics, about the lingering impacts of American children being reared in a style that is authoritarian-parent-ruled versus nurturant-parent-nurtured. It got me thinking about the shaming, and how it can manifest in violence among young males.


    Now I am kind of an old croc, so I am basically contented, and I just want to become an old, old croc. But I am sure there are resources aimed at a younger demographic which can be used to increase confidence. Your mileage will vary... One resource is a 6-week Coursera on-line course, "Positive Psychology", through the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, I will link to below. The presenter is Barbara L. Frederickson, who earned her Ph.D at Stanford. You can read the syllabus and decide if it interests you. Course starts up again July 2.

    http://www.coursera.org/learn/positive-psychology

  3. #13
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I expect the dog-eat-dog, win at all costs, uber-competitive nature of US society plays a role, contributing as it surely does to the idea that only the strong deserve to survive.

  4. #14
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    I wouldn't be caught dead on Next Door, for the reasons you cited and more. The older I get, the more I avoid what my grandmother would call the Vulgar Public.
    I ditched Nextdoor in a hurry. Too much drama from all the Gladys Kravitzes who posted ("I don't care if they're old and living on a fixed income/are trying to pay their mortgage by working three jobs/rent the place from a slumlord. Their sidewalk needs to be shoveled down to the pavement within 24 hours!"). I also ditched the neighborhood Facebook group, for the same reason. Too many people deciding that their deviation from the neighborhood norm was okay but anyone else's was a sign of moral failure or poor breeding.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  5. #15
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    I ditched Nextdoor in a hurry. Too much drama from all the Gladys Kravitzes who posted ("I don't care if they're old and living on a fixed income/are trying to pay their mortgage by working three jobs/rent the place from a slumlord. Their sidewalk needs to be shoveled down to the pavement within 24 hours!"). I also ditched the neighborhood Facebook group, for the same reason. Too many people deciding that their deviation from the neighborhood norm was okay but anyone else's was a sign of moral failure or poor breeding.
    You summed it up beautifully: busybodies with a bullhorn. Don't need it in my life.

  6. #16
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    And here I thought my NJ neighborhood was the only one with a bunch of people with nothing better to do than b*tch about everything. The public works department broke my mailbox / OMG someone rang my doorbell and want to sell me solar power! / so-and-so didn't shovel their walkway / I saw a suspicious person walking down the street!

    I didn't realize how many old cranks I was living among.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #17
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I'm blissfully unaware; they're probably all kvetching about my weedy yard. Don't care.

  8. #18
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Those of you in lily white ‘Burbs of low crime can sit back and make fun of proactive people who pay attention to their surroundings like those here in Murder Cityand who report anomolies, go ahead! I would prefer that you not move to my neighborhood, we need active people here.

    oh and
    Jane, my neighborhood is debating bringing lawsuit against my next door neighbor for the sorry stste of his house. years of neglect on his property, including weeds.

    I have had actual conversations with him a few times about this, so it isnt as though we havent brought it to his attention. i am sick and tired of his neglect. He has the money, the skills, and the time to fix up his house.

  9. #19
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind a Hair on Fire version of NextDoor, I guess. People could raise the alarm about active shooters or flash floods (not that there's much risk of either), but please spare me people complaining about someone's unruly dog or unfashionable paint job.

    i make it a point to whack my weeds often enough to keep the pitchfork and torches gang at bay. That's why Summer isn't my favorite season.

  10. #20
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Got out of NextDoor too. What a batch of negativity. Didn't need it. I was hopeful when I joined because I was new to the neighborhood, but when I unsubscribed, I genuinely felt a relief.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

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