Shaming is Good

Written by Azat Mardan

Shaming is good because it’s a strong motivator to change. If you have a trouble with the word itself due to negative bias, then substitute it with peer pressure or environment.

Humans as tribal creatures evolved to conform, for the most part, to our environment. It’s done via shaming. Let’s take an accent for example. Most people will adapt to the accent of their region to fit in. They do it automatically, both adults and children. Children do it faster, because there’s more shaming from other children. Thus, there’s a stronger motivator.

To expand on accents, when I worked on the East Coast in the IT industry as an app developer, I was surrounded by other foreigners and native English speakers. But neither of them who would correct pronunciation or point out. The foreigners didn’t care or knew and native speaker were polite to correct such trivialities (which are not trivial at all). As a result, there was very little motivation and even awareness to not just to change an accent, but event to pronounce words correctly. It seemed like no one cared… and of course adults and professionals just more tolerant and mature to laugh (form of shaming) at other adults’ pronunciation.

Lack of shaming could be one of the reason why despite being dumber kids learn accents faster than adults do. The latter just coast in their blissful ignorance once they acquire the minimum functional level. I’m sure you can find other examples of good shaming like switching to macOS from Windows, picking up a new programming language because PHP is not cool anymore, finding a better job or to dumping that crazy girlfriend. :)

Shaming is an important fail check that prevent individuals to fall below a certain level. Of course, too much shaming like too much of almost anything is bad… however, no shaming at all can lead to no personal or career growth at all.