Shame guilt games are the battle between narcissism and victimhood. We label the narcissist and the one we label the victim both act out of shame/guilt and both are responsible for their communications.
Any relationship with self or others receives an invitation to participate in the very popular Shame/Guilt Games. The game requires someone to impose shame/guilt and some to accept it. The game has either safe or unsafe players. However, the majority of people blend into both categories while only a few remain in the extreme. A safe player allows the expression of feelings, speaking from the heart with no ulterior motives and an unsafe player has ulterior motives. Unsafe players further divide into two categories; the narcissist who is the shamer and the victim who receives the shame. The shame/guilt of each player or between the inner critic and oneself escalates the game. The narcissist challenges its victim much the same as an animal goes after its prey or an inner critic attacks the personal self. The victim unknowingly volunteers to take on the shame/guilt from the shamer. The co-dependence of the victim provokes the narcissist into greater opposition, and the victim escalates his defensive retaliation. At any time, a player may change persona to win the game. A narcissist may revert to victim persona, or the victim escalates to narcissist persona. The diverse combinations of narcissism and victimhood tendencies woven into daily behavior will provide an exhaustive supply of ammunition for the games.
We can feel compassion for ourselves and others as
we navigate the imbalance of our
narcissistic and victim tendencies.