This book examines the connections between disassociation from collective hopes, social norms and major institutions, poor shame and pride management skills and unethical or anti-social behavior.
When we lose a sense of having shared values and hopes for our collective future, when we become disillusioned with our workplace, our government, our family, our school, our media and our church, we are in a difficult place for managing shame well. Indeed we are in a place where we may not even feel shame. Without the feedback that shame and shame management gives us, we are more likely to behave in an anti-social way. Our low trust in others and our disillusionment leads to a withdrawal from society. Withdrawal may bring with it a desire to dominate everyone that comes into sight (fight/threat response) or quiet acceptance (subservience – befriend and cower). Which way? This depends on closer horizontal relationships and less on vertical power relations. If these relationships are positive, we are less likely to fight. If they are negative however, we are more likely to fight.