Category Archives: Asian Shame

Asian Parental Love & Abuse: The Yin and Yang of Traditional Asian Parenting

Asian Shame, Uncategorized0 comments

Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

When Asian-American clients come into counseling, it’s quite typical during their early stages of therapy to have a very black and white way of thinking in terms of how they perceive “love” from their traditional Asian parents.  In other words, love and abuse to them are separate entities and can not coexist.  Later they discover these are not mutually exclusive and painfully come to the realization that their parents may have tried their best to “love” them but also were abusive, whether intentional or otherwise.

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Asian Shame & Blame: How cultural shame and blame are used to maintain honor even at the expense of appearing judgmental, self-righteous, or lacking empathy.

Asian Shame, Uncategorized1 comment

Photo by John T. on UnSplash

The traditional Asian worldview is one where shame and blame are commonplace. I was reminded of that recently when giving a personality questionnaire to measure an Asian client’s level of empathy and came across a question to the effect of, “If a friend was ripped off by a con artist, how would you respond?” The client answered in a very traditional way, “That person deserved it!” In American or Western psychological profiles, that would be deemed unsympathetic to another’s plight. But the cultural consideration that this is how the majority of Asians would answer got me thinking about how deep-seated a lack of empathy can be among some Asians.

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Asian Shame & the Imposter Syndrome

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Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

When Asian clients come to counseling, generations of habits, thoughts, and beliefs follow them.  One of the most pernicious is these individuals believe they are an imposter. 

They may have succeeded academically, professionally, or relationally by worldly standards (i.e. good grades, distinguished careers, or stable marital relationships) yet deep down there’s a profound sense that something is awry.

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Systemic Sexual Racism: The Impact on Asian-American Men.

Asian Shame, Dating, Race Matters: Candid Conversations on Race & Culture0 comments

Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

In the United States, dating for ethnic minorities is rife with stereotypes, caricatures, and deeply embedded into mainstream media messages especially as it relates to masculinity and virility.

Consider the following: the Italian stallion, the Latin lover, or the Black stud. All of these carry a hypersexual or overly sexualized perception of men from these various cultures. But for the Asian male, he is relegated to the sphere of asexuality at best.

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Pride: The biggest challenge to addiction recovery.

Addictions, Asian Shame, Counseling & Coaching0 comments

Photo by Dev Benjamin on Unsplash

As a psychotherapist who works in the addiction field, denial is often cited as one of the biggest reasons for not getting help. While I agree denial is a huge barrier to recovery, it doesn’t quite encapsulate the condition which keeps someone in denial.

To truly get to the heart of the issue, we need to explore how pride or ego (in contemporary parlance) infects each and every one of us, but especially those suffering from addiction. The pride I’m describing is not the healthy version where one can be proud of a job well done or one’s accomplishments. Instead, the pride that can seep into the soul in a harmful way. In addiction work, pride makes itself known when one proclaims, “I can do this on my own,” “I don’t need help,” or “I don’t need God.”  

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