Meeting 2-6
Focus: Shaming

The basic structure of this meeting is the same as Meeting 1.1 - refer back for more information.

Some issues may have come up during check-in that the group may wish to spend more time on rather than moving straight into the 'focus'; or perhaps some issue is still to be dealt with from the previous week. When it is appropriate the leader moves the group into the main focus for this meeting.

5) The Big Bit in the middle - the leader announces the focus of the meeting

Focus: Shaming

"One of the hardest things for a men's group to come to terms with is the idea of 'what it means to be a man'. We've been taught that somehow we have to prove our manhood - we have to measure-up to someone else's definition."

"How is this done? - How is this attitude enforced on us?"

"Typically a man will be shamed by someone else who implies or says that -'he's not up to scratch' or somehow 'inadequate' or 'he should pull himself together' or 'he shouldn't cry' giving the impression that this behaviour somehow isn't what a 'real' man would do - as if this person somehow has exclusive determining rights on what a man is or should be."

"This attitude may have come from parents, teachers, others in authority, and from friends - we may have taken-on these judgements and in our core-essence be carrying these wounds of shame, a felt-sense of inadequacy - not good enough etc".

"In our men's group we confront these attitudes, we attempt to heal those shame wounds of the past and to adopt healthy behaviours that allow a man to be who he really is, as he discovers and begins to express himself, perhaps for the first time, in a safe place where he won't be shamed or arbitrarily judged."

Exercises

  1. Reflect and share on an incidence when you were shamed.
    How did it make you feel? How did it impact your life? Relationships?
  2. You may have developed trust for someone in a relationship in the past who may may have betrayed that trust by shaming you - what happened to that trust?
    How easy (or hard) is it to trust that person again? Why?
  3. Have you ever shamed someone? What did you do?
    Why? - What motivated you?
    How did it impact them? - Your relationship?
    How do you feel about it now? Can you make it up to them?

Notes for Meeting 2-6

Again, an opportunity for reflecting, sharing and healing past wounds. Group process will be greatly served by raising consciousness about how men are arbitrarily judged and controlled by shame in our culture and by promoting healthy non-shaming behaviours in group because men are aware of shaming attitudes and behaviours carried over from past experiences and seek to avoid shaming each other.