Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shaming

I have become increasingly disenchanted with humanity, particularly these last few months. I think it may have something to do with being sick for a long time and never really catching up. It also may have something to do with the amount of traveling I have had to do, particularly international flights with immigration and customs checks.

The other day I had just boarded a plane and was trying to get an email sent before we took off. It was such a small plane that there was only a minute between when we were asked to shut off any electronics* and enforcement. After the announcement, I finished the sentence I was on and pressed send, but the connection was bad and I couldn't tell whether it had sent or not. I attempted to resend. At this point, I could have hidden the phone while the phone searched for a connection, but i decided to be honest about it and do it within plain sight. Halfway through attempting to resend, the flight attendant reprimanded me for not having turned the phone off already, trying to shame me in front of the other passengers. I quickly got very angry. My friend says "it's when you are trying to be legit and people still chastise you that you get the most irate." True. He also said that the flight attendant would probably not have been so angry if I had actually attempted to hide the phone, instead of blatantly and openly defying the order. Maybe also true. But I controlled my anger well, only giving the flight attendant chilling death glares. I think I must have creeped her out sufficiently, though, because I looked up a few times in the flight and saw her staring at me with a look of bewilderment and fear.

This incident was not a big deal, but it did remind me that I don't respond well at all to shaming attempts. I don't know why people would ever use them (particularly with people like me around) or over something so small as mobile phone etiquette. I always think -- poor phone etiquette is the least of your worries with me, guy. I think if people had to choose only one thing to worry about, there are many other things that should be prioritized, including the wisdom of sleeping with one eye open.

I'm sure there was originally some evolutionary impetus for shame and shaming, but can it really still be applicable? Effective? Safe?


*is there a legitimate reason for this rule?

27 comments:

  1. Is there a legitimate reason for this rule? Not according to conspiracy theorists and a pilot I have spoken to.

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  2. In general, electronics such as cell-phones can introduce static and noise into a headset communication/sound system.

    I imagine this has probably been dealt with and eliminated as a problem as far as plane radios go, but I imagine this is sort of a left over "just in case" rule.

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  3. Will you be doing this again, or will you avoid the shaming? If the latter, I think shaming has proven its usefulness.

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  4. People use shame on humans to push themselves above others. With shame, it makes humans embarrassed and less likely to speak up. Frankly, I don't care if people use shame on me. I just say what is on my mind.

    I really like the "death glares" you used. How did you really do that?

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  5. Shaming is definitely still applicable. It is how society's norms are enforced. Sometimes one individual has enough influence over another to shame them into compliance, but most often shaming is employed as a group against one tactic and is most effective.

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  6. Shaming is often first done as parents to their children. I agree with Rume. Shaming is a method used to enforce conformity in society.

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  7. I've been reading your blog for a while but have never commented before. I wouldn't say I'm a sociopath (though I've wondered), but I do relate to much of what you say, so it's interesting to read.

    Anyway, on topic, I agree with others that shame's purpose is to encourage conformity...I guess it can be useful. Though, I find things like that, shaming people who are doing something you don't like, really annoying. I guess I feel like I'm being treated like a child, or looked down on instead of just being confronted as an equal. That's the point of conformity, though...look down on people until they decide that they're wrong and you're right.

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  8. Any real player will know that someone that gets a kick out of scaring airhostesses with 'deathglares' is not a real player.

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  9. what would a real player do, anonymous? i mean other than snipe anonymously? :)

    the flight attendant was in the wrong and should have apologized for her bad temper.

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  10. N said...
    That's the point of conformity, though...look down on people until they decide that they're wrong and you're right.


    dominance


    BizyLizy...
    Shaming is often first done as parents to their children


    yes so true. an effective way to control children. my mother once told me that the things she hated hearing from her mother when she was a child would sometimes just fly out of her mouth, to her horror, in the heat of the moment when she was reprimanding us.

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  11. can you be more specific about what she said to you, and your defenition of "shaming"?

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  12. Is the "Master Manipulator," M.E., trying to tell us that control and dominance are a bad thing?

    Last time I checked, shame/guilt trips are a great way to manipulate people.

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  13. isn't shaming a form of bullying rather than true manipulation?

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  14. Sometimes, but not always, and it depends on the circumstances/perspective. If the person truly felt guilt for having been shamed then I'd say they wouldn't try to blame others for it, and instead blame themselves (this is of course my understanding of how guilt generally works).

    A liar calling a generally honest person out on lying is useful in guilting them into feeling that they owe the liar something in return for their dishonesty.

    Catching anyone doing something that isn't socially acceptable is a good method of using their sympathetic/conscientious feelings against them and controlling their behaviour towards you. People do it every day.

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  15. You sir are a narcissist. Or at least you are a pretty arrogant sociopath bound for the slammer.

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  16. "i looked up a few times in the flight and saw her staring at me with a look of bewilderment and fear"

    Are you sure it wasn't bewilderment (at your inability to follow simple safety procedures) and annoyance? Don't flatter yourself into thinking people are afraid of the douche-bag who can't follow second-grade instuctions.

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  17. douche-bag who can't follow second-grade instuctions.

    maybe the douche-bag was deaf? or had to send an emergency email? or was having a bad day and just overreacted? either way the douche-bag was a paying customer and the customer is always right. she should have apologized.

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  18. Ishtar said...
    A liar calling a generally honest person out on lying is useful in guilting them into feeling that they owe the liar something in return for their dishonesty.


    ok i think i see what you mean. so you can use someone's predisposition to feeling shame to get them to comply in some way or other. tricky distinction.

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  19. Isn't a true sociopath convinced that it's the rest of the world that's fucked up and nothing is wrong with them? Can't they justify every behavior and pull the rage card when feeling humiliated or singled out? Just wondering. The antisocials that I have been exposed to have never taken responsibility for any behavior and had very little insight into their character or reasoning behind certain reactions to perceived slights. Maybe they were low functioning. Great website, by the way. Very informative.

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  20. He did take responsibility for breaking the rule; he just didn't see the point of said rule.

    I notice how the most negative comments here come from anonymous people; shaming is often a technique used by the cowardly in order to rationalize their behaviour as healthy.

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  21. The issue with cell phones is interference. It really isn't much of an issue on planes - the rule was put in place when there wasn't any clear knowledge on whether or not it would be an issue. A big reason why I don't see cell phones ever being okay on planes is... Well, would you want every fuckin' schmuck with a phone babbling on about their inane lives in a contained space for hours?

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  22. i myself, being a flight attendant can tell you that the reason behind you shutting off the phone is so that our "paying customers" can pay attention to the safety demonstration.....not being distracted or distracting others. that way you dont have to waste time asking the mean flight attendant how to get out of the burning plane....or where your life vest is located.....or what you do when the oxygen mask drops from the ceiling.....it is also a federal aviation regulation, which means that if i dont make you turn it off and the is an faa agent on board i will personally get fined, not the airline, I WILL GET FINED....so believe me, she/he wasnt scared of you, she was probably looking at you to see if youd do anything else that could warrant her getting you removed from the flight. dont flatter yourself!

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  23. see, and i thought sociopaths weren't supposed to care. in this situation i would have just said "Give me a minute" and done what I did. I guess I wouldn't have given a shit what she thought but then I was always the kid telling the teacher they had no right to tell me what to do. So it really is funny that a sociopath claims not to care when it seems like its always simple, nonsensical things which set them off. I mean, I know I'm coming across as an ass, but I'm really just confused as to why one would give a shit about something so miniscule? But then, I guess it could have been the situation, I wasn't there.

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  24. You're an idiot. I am a flight attendant, and I guarantee she just went back to the galley and talked about what an absolute psycho you are. Congrat's, you showed her! Btw, the next time you feel like "giving death glares" or not complying with crew members instructions, you better hope you don't want to actually get where you were heading. Remember that a flight attendant can kick you off a plane just as fast as crew in the cockpit. Happy travels, and turn that shit off when asked.

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  25. We should not feel ashamed when we sit among our friends of family. There are few people who have lack of confidence and they can't do anything with confidence. So if you are a student and looking to write my research paper and you can submit it during your class so you can give us your order.

    ReplyDelete

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