Ten Temptations to Violate Our Own Dignity

Self-Preservation Instincts that Hinder Dignity

Donna Hicks
Weatherhead Center for International Affairs
Harvard University


We hinder our dignity when we:

Take the bait
Allowing the bad behavior of others to determine your own by lashing back and getting even.

Save face
Succumbing to the desire not to look bad in the eyes of others instead of telling the truth about what you have done.

Shirk responsibility
Staying silent instead of holding yourself accountable for your actions.

Seek false dignity
Deriving your sense of self-worth from external sources only instead of claiming your inherent self-worth.

Seek false security
Making excuses for staying in an abusive, dignity violating relationship.

Avoid Confrontation
Allowing someone to violate your dignity without speaking up.

Claim Victimhood
Assuming you are an innocent victim in a failed relationship

Resist Feedback
Deflecting feedback about your blind spots that others can see and you cannot.

Blame and shame others to deflect your guilt
Not being able to tolerate being exposed of a wrongdoing; instead, placing the blame on others.

Talking about others in a negative way in order to connect with others.


Copyright © 2011 Donna Hicks


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