Thursday, April 15, 2010

Scheie on Shunning

Eric Scheie recently wrote about the way that "Social Shunning Promotes Self-Censorship". He describes an incident that happened when he was 8, when a neighbor woman issued an ultimatum to his mother:
She laid down the law with my mom, and told her that she should get rid of the toy guns (my toy guns!), and that until she did, she would not allow her son to come over to our house and play with me!
His mother was intimidated, but his father was dismissive. So little Eric kept his toy guns but lost his playmate.
I remember how stressed my mom was. She was a people-pleaser, and feared social disapproval. Hardly an irrational fear, for social disapproval can have consequences. Not only might you not get invited to the "in" parties, but you might not get to join that country club to which you aspire, and in some cases, you might not get that promotion!
When someone shuns
should you bend to their will
or stick to your guns
and put up with the chill?

No comments: