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What would you do if publically humiliated?

  1. Sep 27, 2004 #1
    Public humiliation can trigger violence, escalation of interpersonal hostilities, nervous breakdown, or denial.

    How would you react to a person who blatantly demeans you?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2004 #2
    Are we to consider the degree to which it was deserved?
  4. Sep 27, 2004 #3


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    It also might depend on how the person demeaned you. Is it just a verbal put-down or physical abuse of some sort? I don't think I consider being publicly demeaned and publicly humiliated to be the same. To be humiliated, you need to internalize it to some extent, or have something embarrassing brought to public view that you wanted kept private. Someone demeaning you in public is more about the other person's poor behavior rather than your own (unless you did something wrong that you are embarrassed to have others know about).
  5. Sep 27, 2004 #4
    Publicly demeaned: Who cares, the guy's probably an idiot anyway if he's doing that.

    Publicly humiliated: Different story. Publicly demeaned is his action, you can't be humiliated unless you feel humiliated, and thats a different category. KNowing the people who would try to humiliate me in public though, it would be pretty easy just to burn them in kind and then walk away.
  6. Sep 28, 2004 #5
    Assume it to be impersonal and random, like someone forcing a mentally retarded stranger to lick his boots.


    Humiliation would involve a visceral and vital shame, one which has been harbored for years. (Aside: sometimes the thesaurus leads me astray rather that helping define my intent, thus "demeaned" substituted for "humiliated.") Say the disabled person mentioned above has been systematically abused, even tortured in an institution, then deinstitutionalized, only to be reviled in outside society. I am reminded of some boys throwing rocks at a retarded person, unfortunately inaccessible to the aid of my friend and I.

    (Flaming is another, minor example that most of us have experienced.)


    Maybe the people who are most easily humiliated are obvious targets by some for such abuse, but are beyond the experience of most people to understand their mindset. Ironically, the bully may better connect with such psychology, having perceived it themselves but rationalizing it in an adversarial, rather than humble manner.
  7. Sep 28, 2004 #6
    but who does that ? i dont' see any one here do that.
  8. Sep 28, 2004 #7


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    Loren, now I think I understand your question better...I think. I don't think it's possible to humiliate someone unless they let themselves be humiliated. Now, let me clarify what I mean by that, because it's not quite that simple. It may not be a choice, but more a predisposition or an already existing mindset or imbalance. The example of someone abused repeatedly fits this. There already has to be something about their personality that gives the abuser so much power over them that they don't just fight back and leave the abusive situation. I think for the most part, someone prone to humiliation won't retaliate in any way, they will just take it as if they deserve it. Though, perhaps at some point they finally just snap, whether they are so traumatized that it becomes a psychotic episode of some sort, or because they finally realize their abuser is to blame and decide to fight back or fight for their life, then they will resort to violence.

    I don't think a person who hasn't suffered in that way could understand that situation or be humiliated. If you have a clean conscience and/or are well-adjusted in society, no matter what someone tries to say or do to you, you're either going to brush it off, walk away, or maybe use enough force to be considered self-defense, but not more than that.
  9. Sep 28, 2004 #8

    Fortunately, any flaming that occurs on PF is subdued by the powers that be.


    Would you say that the public in general does not wield the ability to psychologically ruin most individuals? What percentage of the world's population is "well adjusted in society"? Some of us are fortunate enough to have the means to retreat (to a home, for instance, as opposed to a cell or a flooded shack). Think not in terms of yourself, but about the truly disenfranchised and unstable (as you have mentioned). Rather than resort to violence upon others, many will retreat into or destroy themselves.
  10. Sep 28, 2004 #9

    jimmy p

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    I tend to rely on sarcasm or other means to throw it back in their face.
  11. Sep 28, 2004 #10
    Take off all my clothes and dance naked. :surprised :biggrin: This, of course, will make anything that I did previously look totally insignificant, thus causing the person making a big deal out of it to look like an idiot. :biggrin: :rofl:

    Actually, I would probably laugh it off unless they persist. If they persist, I would unleash a mouthful of woop-ass that they will need a month to recover from.
  12. Sep 28, 2004 #11


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    I thought they sold guns to solve these problems. :uhh:

    Kidding of course. I live in Canada. :smile:

    From what I see, no one does anything around here. It is very rare that anyone cares on top of that. The only people to react are usually psychotic people, which in turn your reaction to the statement is what humiliated you. In other words, you humiliated yourself.

    The most anyone does is what artman does. Say something back.

    Reacting violently to a non-violent beginning is just crazy. There is no such thing as self-defense in this situation. I don't know if any of you studied law, but 99.99999999% of the population does not know what constitutes self-defense or insanity for that matter.

    Before I go on, what would you consider public humiliation?

    The worst I probably had was making out with some girl, and the next day finding out she was much younger from some guy quickly spreading the news. This can be humiliating for a guy, in some cases. I just ignored it, and moved on. No one, and I mean no one reacted to this. Some laughed, but that's fine because I thought it was rather funny too. After a few months, I found out she was much older than that, but looked younger. This explained why some people didn't care.

    Note: Nothing illegal happened.

    What if I reacted violently, like a dumbass, towards the guy spreading the false age of this girl? I don't remember what she looked like, so I couldn't think about it or anything. If I reacted violently, I would have looked like some psycho with a pair of shoes, and an unstable temper.

    In the end, WHO CARES!
  13. Sep 28, 2004 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    Sometimes it's my job to be yelled at and demeaned while others have nervous breadowns - namely plant managers. In this context I actually find it amuzing at times. I just put up my mental shield and try to look incredibly concerned; which I usually am, really. They do freak out beyond reason at times as well. So then I just do my thing and let them stress out all over me. Later when everything is fine they are all smiles and buddy buddy.

    In other settings I might [would probably] tell them where they can go, or just ignore it.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2004
  14. Sep 28, 2004 #13
    Who comes first: those who seem a vulnerable target, or those looking for a vulnerable target? Should the former rely on societal protection from the latter?
  15. Sep 30, 2004 #14
    I would confess to all present how embarrassed I was for not being nearly so saintly as portrayed.

    In this situation it seems the best I could do would be to ask politely for some seasoning.
  16. Sep 30, 2004 #15
    Definitely a bolder head!
  17. Sep 30, 2004 #16
    <- Passifist, but even I would fight with every Inch of strength in my body to prevent myself from being physically abused and/or humiliated.
    As for verbal abuse, I'd probably strike back with Sarcasm a secret of their own that my secret police force dug up yesterday.
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