Education through 'shame' and 'what will people say'. Alexandra Stoica: These inner voices are like a child crying out for attention

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Education through 'shame' and 'what will people say'. Alexandra Stoica: These inner voices are like a child crying out for attention / PHOTO: @EyeEm
Education through 'shame' and 'what will people say'. Alexandra Stoica: These inner voices are like a child crying out for attention / PHOTO: @EyeEm

Self-esteem, a consistently intriguing topic in psychology, has been extensively and thoroughly addressed by psychologist and researcher Daniel David in his work "The Psychology of the Romanian People". In his analysis, the sociologist brings to the forefront a troubling reality: the self-esteem of Romanians is low.

The book reveals a picture of a society where constant concern for the perception of others and social conformity are embedded in the collective mentality. From a young age, we are programmed to subordinate ourselves to social norms, to fear criticism, and to seek external validation, all of which negatively affect our self-perception and our ability to develop autonomously and confidently.

Alexandra Stoica, a specialist parenting counselor, spoke on "Present Parents," a show hosted by the editor-in-chief of, Loredana Iriciuc, about education through "shame" and "what will people say." The words received in childhood, the urges to conform to social norms, and to avoid shame, remain deeply ingrained in the subconscious, even when those who uttered them are no longer with us. The internalized critical voice continues to guide our steps and sabotage our confidence in our abilities.

"Since we were children, we heard from our parents to behave in a certain way, to learn so as not to embarrass ourselves, to avoid shame. And our parents, in turn, were raised with shame. And even though today my mother is no longer with me to tell me, the critical voice remains. It's there saying, 'You haven't done this, you haven't done that.'

And what do we do?

Instead of working on ourselves, and seeking help, we just find someone else, the child, the partner, when we criticize ourselves. The more we criticize ourselves, of course, the more our confidence decreases. When you have confidence in yourself, of course, you won't criticize yourself as much, and you'll also appreciate yourself more", said Alexandra Stoica.

Children are nourished by parents with an unhealthy feast of praises. Do they truly develop a balanced self-esteem? Alexandra Stoica: "It simply shows!"

How to get rid of these toxic external motivations?

The expert highlighted an important aspect of the process of freeing ourselves from toxic external motivations, expressing the common desire to escape these harmful influences. "To escape" - a cry often heard in discussions about our mental and emotional state. Stoica emphasizes the importance of the first step: becoming aware of and accepting the existence of these critical voices within us. These voices are like a child crying out for attention, and ignoring them only amplifies their intensity.

"`To escape`. This is a term I hear very often. `To escape`. `I want to escape anxiety, I want to escape this critical voice`.

First, to look at myself, to see that it's there, that it's a part of me. The moment I see that there is a part of me and it's being seen, imagine it's just like when a child comes and says, `Mom, mom, mom, look, I did this here`, and I don't look. `Mom, look at what I drew, look at what I did`, and I don't look. I reject.

What does the child do?

At some point, they'll slam something down, and I'll look. The same thing happens with that voice. It'll become so brutal, so painful, that I'll have no choice but to look.

Unfortunately, we work more from pain. We go somewhere when it hurts and not as prevention. Unfortunately, we work more from pain than from "I'm okay, and I want to be better", Alexandra Stoica further emphasized.

"Today I made a delicious soup!" Why is it important to tell children such statements? Alexandra Stoica: "The child learns THIS!"

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Autorul articolului: Loredana Iriciuc | Categorie: English

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