Here is my question
Why do people do everything to "win" by making other people wrong? What's up with that? Is it human nature and something we have to guard against, or is it a result of our narcissistic society?
No, no...not shame on you for asking. Shame causes us to behave that way.
When we feel bad about ourselves, that is shame. Some people, have not developed their capacity to deal with those feelings so they project them on to others, making themselves good and the Other bad. That's where the narcissism comes in.
"I am bad" (or as someone I know used to say, "I am the piece of shit the universe revolves around") is shame. "I did something wrong and I feel bad about it" is guilt. We need some healthy guilt sometimes. We need to own up to screwing up and feel bad enough about it that we are not inclined to turn around and do it again for jollies or to make someone else feel bad or to see if we can get away with it. The need to make others wrong so we can be right is not the good kind of guilt or shame.
We try to make the person wrong instead of the behavior. That seems to be a cultural imperative.
Look at our advertising. If we are not like the models we are bad. Never mind the fact that the models aren't even that perfect. They are airbrushed and composites of body doubles and photo shopped to look that good. If we saw the model walking down the street in her natural state, we wouldn't recognize her because she would look like a real person. Yet this is what we are supposed to live up to.
And don't even get me started on Reality TV. Provocative behavior and winning at all costs is required. Apparently, these are the values our culture now promotes because it sells. We live vicariously through this media. Ouch.
Prison shows. Crime shows. Cop shows. Gangstas. Violence. What do we really value? And shouldn't we be ashamed of some of this? I think so.
Parenting styles swing between shaming and over-indulgence. As long as shaming people for who they are instead of what they do is the cultural norm, we will have this tendency.
When cooperation, responsibility for self and to others, respect, and values of interconnected humanity become the norm, then we will ALL start feeling better about ourselves.
Consciousness and personal values will bring us out of this mess. Try to become conscious of the language of shame and the interactions you have with others. That's what I'm trying to do.
NB: None of this applies, of course, to me (in the privacy of my own car) yelling at stupid people doing their imitation of driving.
[...and that last one was a "joke" on me...lest anyone feel a need to shame me for it.]