What is psychic shaming?

We have an unfortunate habit in our culture for shaming people if they don’t fit into a cultural norm. But everyone is different and we all have our own paths to walk. So when I hear people who have psychic ability telling others that “everyone is psychic,” you’re just not trying hard enough or have the wrong attitude, I get a bit frustrated. This is psychic shaming.


Should everyone have psychic ability?

Let’s back up a minute and talk about what makes people “psychic.” Neuropsychiatrist Diane Hennacy-Powell, MD, who taught at Harvard Medical School, spent some time examining psychic ability from a scientific standpoint. Her observations were recorded in a book called, The ESP Enigma: The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena. Her conclusions? Truly substantial psychic ability tends to be inherited most of the time. Sometimes it can be brought about by physical trauma such as head injury, serious illness or near-death experiences, all of which can alter brain wiring. She suggests that the brain and nervous system of talented psychic are extremely sensitive and consequently pick up on energies the rest of us with less sensitive nervous systems might miss.

The best analogy I can give is this: Christina Aguilera was born with extraordinary singing talent. Of course, she studied to improve herself and the results are remarkable. But not everyone is born with her set of vocal cords. We could try to develop our singing ability—and could probably improve what we have. But few of us would achieve Christina’s level of talent regardless of what we did to develop our voices.

It’s the same with psychic ability. Some people are born with nervous systems that are so sensitive that they can communicate with the departed or psychically sense things that they should have no way of knowing. My husband is like that. I, however, do not have a great deal of psychic ability. My awareness of the invisible world around us has heightened by my appreciation of heeding my inner voice on the occasions that my intuition is kind enough to tell me something. And that self-awareness could certainly be developed more. But regardless of how much psychic development I pursued, I tend to doubt that I would ever go around having long conversations with my dead grandmother.

I have a friend who is very psychic and he once took a sales course where the teacher insisted to everyone that if you “have the right attitude” everything in life will appear for you. He described certain abilities in class that had my friend quietly chuckling because the teacher obviously didn’t realize he was psychic and his successful sales career in large part drew from that. Like many psychics, he just assumed everyone else had a bad attitude or was lazy. Unknowingly, he was psychically shaming his class.

Some people will read this and think, “Well, she’s all wrong. We all know that everyone could be a talented psychic or medium if they just spent the time to develop their innate abilities.” I have only two words for these people: Christina Aguilera.