Why Does Humiliation Hurt?

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Over the past few weeks I have discovered something new about myself. I have become very observant about other people. It initially started when I was looking for inspiration for things to write about. I was surprised at how easy it became. Firstly, I have discovered that I really enjoy writing. This is certainly a journey of self-discovery and finding who I really am. I really like this new me that freedom has allowed to flourish (see my blog on freedom). Secondly, I have found that I have been able to develop idea based on what is either around me or from what I overhear in conversations.

It appears that relationship break downs are common. And just about everywhere we look there is evidence of such a phenomenon. During periods of observations I have come across a number of people who have suffered humiliation following a break up.

Nasty messages

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Why Does Humiliation Hurt?

My break-up was simple compared to others I have met or come across. I left the property and that was it. I have met people whose partners had left and then posted their break-up all over social media such as Facebook for example. These posts have included direct hostility with venomous phrases that are fully intended for everyone to see. In some cases photographs of themselves with their new bit of ‘whatever’ is plastered all over the place. I personally think there should be more dignity in separations, especially if children are involved, but I appear (and I hope that I’m wrong) to be in a minority.

3 factors

When I’ve looked at why people attempt to humiliate others three factors seem to dominate my train of thought.

1 – They hate themselves

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Why Does Humiliation Hurt?

I’ve put this at the top of the list because it seems the most prevalent. It seems that those of whom have left their partner for someone else seem to feel guilty for what they have done. So, to deflect their guilt they try and project their guilt on to the one they’ve left behind. For example, I’ve heard it suggested that ‘they made me have an affair and so they must blame themselves for what has happened’.

This is evidence of weak characteristics of which we have read about in bullying personalities. They are heavily burdened with their own guilt and fail to apologise for their own failings. They become surrounded by their own self-importance and so cannot consider the views of anyone else. Especially the ones they are hurting.

Following conversations with victims of humiliation, they have also said that their ex’s still tried to maintain a level of control with regards to basic needs. To explain this further, one person told me that her ex suggested that she had the house – this was a pay off for his guilt of having an affair. It appears that he thought he knew what was best for her and still tried to offset his guilt by ‘allowing’ her to have certain things.

The humiliator maintains that they know what is best for you and are more than happy to tell the whole world what they have let you have on their behalf. But what about telling everyone the full story? Well it won’t happen because they want the upper hand of playing the victim and survivalist of the failed relationship. They just cannot carry the true burden of their own self hate.

2 – They want to be you

The humiliator envies you for keeping it together when all was lost. They admire your strength over their weaknesses and so try and make themselves look stronger. They can only do this by bringing you down to their level and hope that you will react in a similar way.

Why should you expect them to behave with any integrity when they didn’t during the relationship? The fact is they are riddled with the good things you had together and fail to acknowledge that you had some input into those good times. All you can probably recall is the dying few months or moments when it all fell apart. If you’re not happy then why should they be – and this is why happy pictures of them in their new relationships are a complete fallacy.

3 – They see you as a threat.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Why Does Humiliation Hurt?

You know the truth about their abusive behaviour or indiscretions and fear that you will expose them for what they are to their friends and family. As a result they will post ‘over happy’ pictures of themselves implying that they are happier without you.

This behaviour is to make the victim feel that it was their fault and wonder why they are so good to the new person in their life. They also intend to make friends and family think it was your fault and not theirs. After all; look how happy they are with their new ‘bit’. It further adds to their illusions that all the bad things they said about you must be true. You know this is ‘bullshit’ and what is more, so do they.

Although I can state that I have not been a victim of humiliation following the break up (I cut all ties including Facebook and phone calls), my ex did make contact with my family to try and justify her behaviour. This was mainly to imply to my family that she was the victim and her life had been a misery. Again, time after time I have suggested the importance of keeping records to disprove anything my ex has suggested. Since the break up I have had ample opportunity to fire accusations and statements back at her. But I’ve not. And this has made me the better person.

Sticks and stones may break my bones…

I used to think that the hurt coming from name calling was a measurement of weakness and people need to get over it. But as I saw things that people have done to each other, I began to understand that I was wrong. If the one left behind finds they are a target it is really only because of one or more of the above mentioned three reasons.

The tormentors are playing the bully. I would argue with a great level of conviction, that when they see someone go through something humiliating, they find it funny because they’re not on the receiving end for a change. I am aware that it is easy for me to say, but by not rising to it they have no ammunition to fire with. Don’t feed their ego and let them drown in their own self-indulgence.

I think that in most cases the humiliator will stop trying to hurt you when they no longer can. When it appears that it no longer hurts you it will no longer be rewarding for them. A key feature of Narcissists behaviours is that they are motivated by other people’s pain. They enjoy it. It makes them feel powerful to be able to cause pain in someone’s life, especially when they have figured out what they are. Therefore, your humiliator is a Narcissist and they need to be dealt with accordingly.

Fake news is no news

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Why Does Humiliation Hurt?

You are only being humiliated because there’s something wrong with them. Not with you. If your friends cannot see the truth and the good in you then they are not friends and not worth keeping. Your family is a different matter but blood does not have to be thicker than water. Your self worth is more valuable than the air these idiots deserve.

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