How to Survive the Shun

by Madeline Laughs
This is the title page for the first edition o...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Surviving the shun once it’s started is not something there seems to be a lot of information on out there. A shunning can be mentally and physically devastating to the person experiencing it. Some people have even taken their own lives because they just could not handle living with this kind of constant, daily mental torture.

So what can you do when you become the object of a public shunning?  

When you understand the history of shunning, you have to wonder about the folks that would actively participate in one.

In Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, Hester Primm is forced to wear a scarlet A on her chest by the Puritans because she committed adultery. Even after successfully escaping the prying eyes of the town by moving away, she later returned to live out the rest of her life there and voluntarily continued to wear the A everyday.

Hitler forced the Jewish community to wear the Star of David armbands and encouraged German citizens to shun them. He also forced the homosexual community to wear a pink pyramid armband and encouraged them to be shunned as well. The pink pyramid is now a worldwide recognized symbol for homosexulaity and the community took back the power of this symbol by wearing it with pride now, instead of in fear.

Historically shunning is a tool for stressing that the people doing the shunning are better than the person being shunned.

It has never been proven true.

Historically the people doing the shunning are NOT better than the one being shunned. In fact, they are far more evil and wicked and they are the ones we should steer clear of.

I have always found that taking a situation apart and breaking it down into categories and groups makes it seem less of a behemoth. When you can break down the parts of a situation and work from the smaller parts inward, it takes the sting out of what’s happening. It diffuses the power of the situation and helps the person going through it to understand exactly what they can do to recover from the magnitude of what is actually happening.

Taking apart the shun may make it insignificant.

So that’s where we are going to start today. My friend will be making a list of the people participating in her shun. Then we will go from there so that she can begin her recovery.

If any of you have any advice, groups or helpful tips on strategy, please let us know. I think having a course of action that is available for everyone going through this is important.

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
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15 Responses to How to Survive the Shun

  1. OneHotMess says:

    I think that being shunned must be better than being stalked, but a huge part of me says that there is a lot of stalking going on with this shunning. I think she needs to be mindful of that, and I am so sorry for her!


  2. I was stalked and shunned at the same time. To be honest with you, the shunning was a blessing in disguise. It inhibited my stalker from keeping tabs on me.

    Yes, initially it’s lonely. I feel a certain amount of pity for those who took part in it. I do not need to associate with individuals that can not reason, and follow someone blindly. Neither does your friend.


  3. I have survived shunning twice….albeit barely. Once when I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization and again when I was diagnosed with a mental illness. Regardless of what is written, shunning is still alive and well in the 21st century…with devastating effects.


    • How did you make it to the other side? What strategy did you use to keep from wanting to curl up and die?


      • Admittedly, sometimes I did curl up, hibernate, and pray for death. But somewhere inside I have this burning feeling that my work here is not done. I may be delusional, but I feel like I have something very important to contribute to this world that I haven’t accomplished yet. Delusional or not, this is what pulls me through.


      • Thank you! I think we all have something to say and there are days this is what pulls me through too. Hang in there! You are not alone!


  4. Sherman born says:

    I had to come to terms my mother , father . Sisters and bother we’re no longer..
    I no longer have any bond with them.. it fact they are nothing .. my mother emptied out the family in her last idiotit shunning..
    to be honest the family appeared to be Godly .. I look back see the real truth .. abuse controlling parents .. whom wanted control of adult kids as a last effort to thier lives full of abuse towards the kids they had.
    It’s sad because of the broken legacy they lead and the countless lies spread during thier shunning.
    The threats made for folks not participating make them the top evil of evil.
    Very insecure and of an empty spirit not of God to have to invite folks to shun with you or be shunned ..
    and evil practice ..
    The shunning got easier I felt whomever listened to the evil stories coming from. This group claiming to be oh God .. and to be God .. we’re no friends of mine.. didn’t have and never knew me.. and I absolutely had no use for them.
    My mother was so vendictive she began to ozz evil .. her and my sister are class act bullies ..
    My mother openly shame or shun and look back to see if it was hurting me.. because that was her evil intent ..
    my sister would spread stories and knew they would get back to me.
    Alll in all .. I had to look at the group and this is what was reviled to me:

    My mother raised 6 kids.. only three graduated highschool .. This was in an upscale neighborhood with a 2 parent family that went suposidly to the only true church .. they have a total of 12 unsuccessful marriages , my sister spreading rumors to shun me has two kids and neither one grad highscholl and she’s been in rehab, divorced twice , and a highschool drop out ..
    These were my shunners claiming they were shunning me for whom I married ..


    • This is such a sad story and unfortunately it is very common to be shunned by your family because of the person you love.

      If your blood kin aren’t interested in being a part of your life, then go out and make a new family of your own choosing. Friends are family we can pick for ourselves and they are the best kind.


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