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Why Shame Stifles Creativity and How to Unwrap the Gift of Curiosity (medium.com)
69 points by Elof 22 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments



>> I’ve been hearing and reading the phrase “be yourself” for what seems like decades, but only in the past few days have I mustered the courage to really question what that might mean. My default assumption was that it’s not possible to be anyone but myself: whoever I am being, that’s who I am.

Always had trouble with this myself. This section made me think of Alan Watts and his "How to be a genuine fake" talk[0]

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0q5pXis4a8


there's a bit of stoic interpretation in that whatever you are, shy, or else, don't feel bad about it, don't force change on you


Learning how you play, and remembering to play as an adult is in my opinions one of the most important things one can do for their mental health. As well as finding great people like Duncan to play with. Life is so short, yet so long and stressful, playing is a great way to remember the miracle that is around us.


Agreed 100%. It seems like most adults forget the joy that can be had with play, and just the endless possibilities to play when you're an adult.

I did not appreciate the power of a sense of humor, but IMO it kinda ties into this. Humor is essentially "playing" with language.


Related to playing, feeling shame, and being yourself, but in the context of exploring body movement: https://youtu.be/l0O9wfIdP8w

That guy suggests a way of overcoming shame, by "feeling the fear of god" (apparently a common expression in Israel) and using it as a guide to being present all the time.


I was really curious when reading the title, but think this is pretty poorly written article.

I don't know what this article is saying. Someone help me out. First he tells a story about how a teacher was passionate about a topic, but he wasn't. Then a story about he was passionate, but adult figure was not.

How shame gets weaved into this? Something about being yourself? But he was being himself with the french teacher.

Also, why does an adult who tries to steer him in a certain direction by "saying in a derisive tone, 'Don’t you want to go to the park and have an ice cream with me instead?'" gets called a abusive narcissist. Also "simply ignorant, unaware, and wrapped up in his own pain". As an adult, I think influencing kids in a certain direction is part of the job? Maybe this adult could have done it better, but going to park and have an ice cream isn't too bad of an attempt.


When a child expresses curiosity, an adult who responds in a manner that involves a dismissive "instead" should probably seriously reconsider their life choices — especially the ones that led to them interacting with children in the first place.

Clearly, in this account, the adult's manner made the child feel awkward about their interest and curiosity. I remember countless times as a child being interested in something, or curious about how it worked, only to be told I was being annoying, or distracting, or rambunctious, or whatever. Some of those curiosities continued, and led to me becoming a technologist. Others, I can't even remember what I was interested in — just the feeling of having had my emotions manipulated by an adult, so that I wouldn't be "in their way".

It is, in the general case, shitty adulting to shut children down like that.


A definition of 'shame' that was very enlightening for me is 'that which stops you from doing what you want to do' (maybe 'desire' would be better than 'want' here).

Really helped me pattern match for unnecessary inhibitors in my life and become more relaxed.

Shame is a huge source of anxiety for people and really overused by society. I think a lot of recent movements are a reaction to this but for those of us who'd like to be fairly nondescript it can be a bit too much to respond with such flamboyance, just being careful about what you allow to induce guilt in you can be a huge step.


Interesting read. Reminds me of Google’s concept of ‘Psychological Safety’.


Expand, or reference?





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