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Shame Double Whammy — 4 Comments

  1. I was thinking about the topic of shame too, and how that can put one at a disadvantage.

    If one experiences shame from internalized singlism, then you may be at a disadvantage when engaging in debate with someone about singles if that person does not experience the same sense or level of shame. It’s hardly a fair fight when one side questions its actions, and the other doesn’t.

    Granted, it could be that we all experience shame similarly, but I suspect that this isn’t true. The way so many people seem to barge ahead heedlessly with an inadequate argument causes me to suspect that they’re not as susceptible to shame or to self-questioning.

    • According to Brene Brown, we all experience shame – but some of us are better at covering it up than others and, I would add, what triggers our shame is likely different.

      That said, I agree that internalized singlism can make an argument more difficult, especially if I am expected to always be happily single. I am most of the time but, alas, there are times when I feel lonely – someone is liable to jump on that. “Aha!” they might exclaim, “so you admit that you are not happy being single!” And then we’d have to explain that, no, we are happy most of the time – and it quickly becomes complicated and convoluted…

  2. Thank you for posting this. As someone who is newly appreciative of her single status, I sometimes find my thinking slipping back into a desire for a boyfriend/lover/husband. I’m very slowly training myself to remember that what I was looking for is an idealized and unrealistic mate; and what I truly am seeking is friendship and companionship. I find after a night out with friends, I am satisfied and those pangs aren’t there – which leads me to conclude I just want to spend time with people.

    Maybe it just takes some spin on your perspective. Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m the only person who is complete – after all, I can stand on my own two feet alone without anybody else. Isn’t that what true wholeness is like?

    • Very true, Artemis, that we often mistake longings for friendship and companionship for a longing for a partner (and our culture makes sure we do!). And I am finding that I can meet all my needs in ways that don’t follow the cultural script (that includes learning to ask for hugs…).

      Part of why I posted this is to say that even I struggle with this sometimes – sometimes, all the awareness in the world of singlism doesn’t prevent me from falling down the beaten path… The important thing I realized, though: We need to stop beating ourselves up over that, too! The singlist messages are all around us – it is no surprise that none of us are immune to it…

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