Humiliation: The “Nuclear Bomb” Emotion We Love to Set Off (Unconsciously)

humiliation denial

humiliation denial

 

Here’s a typical descent into unconscious humiliation by someone who is just becoming aware.

It happens when he does something he believes he should stop doing.

I feel a wave of heat.
Frustration
rises from my stomach to my head.
Deep heavy breathing.
I hear internal dialog like: You did it again. What the fuck?
Where am I heading?
What happens if I continue doing this?

It sounds uncomfortable. One might wonder why anyone would do something that leads to this kind of place, even if he’s well-practiced in emotional denial. Of course, as we wonder about this, we should probably be looking in the mirror.

Let’s say he’s talking about a tendency to spend money frivolously:

Ultimately I will always be chasing my tail and exhausted from working, worrying and never accumulating enough financial resources to invest into a life that I actually want.

Here are my notes on how he might proceed – to go much deeper into the basic neurosis so it can be resolved in this case.

You did it again….this is important. Think about your life – you did it again – who is the speaker here? Your answer canNOT be “I am the speaker.” From whom does this message – you did it again – originate?

What does – you did it again – really communicate?

What else could we say along these lines?

• You’re incompetent.
• You’re ridiculous.
• You’re worthless.

As you dive into self-humiliating self-talk, look for the specific feeling of humiliation that would logically accompany (if you weren’t repressing it). You’ve got to deal with this feeling, rather than continue to protect it through denial.

Humiliation is the nuclear bomb of emotions – and your internal dialogue (you did it again and so forth) is a red button that triggers the bomb. Consciously, you may not call your experience humiliation, but your internal dialogue is feeding an unconscious sense of humiliation, which manifests in self-defeating behaviors, such as spending money that you shouldn’t spend unnecessarily.

Behaviors we cannot control and feelings we do not recognize are connected.

The sense of humiliation also works directly against you having a life that you are proud of.

This is deep shit. Most people never tap into their humiliation – even though we all have it to one degree or another. Being born and growing up human – being forced to give up our natural, infantile megalomania as we bump into the limitations of the world and dysfunction of others – this is a humiliation trap that we can only escape as conscious adults who delve into these unconscious patterns.

 

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Mike Bundrant
Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center and an avid blogger.

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