Read This! Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Read This! provides monthly snippets and thoughts from the books I am reading each month.
Daring Greatly is about having the courage to be vulnerable in a world where we all pose as strong and confident. The book explains how vulnerability is at the core of all feelings — not just the bad ones like fear, anxiety, and shame, but also good ones like love, joy, and passion. Her thesis explores how embracing vulnerability transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead.
Brené Brown, she’s a social worker, researcher, Ph.D. and explorer of all things human, especially topics, or rather feelings, like courage, vulnerability, and shame. Her TED talk is one of the most viewed TED Talks of all time.
Highlights from the book.
We like it when others show their vulnerability, but we are afraid to be vulnerable. Understanding what make us feel ashamed and fostering the courage to say it out loud diminishes the power that shame holds on us.
I want to experience your vulnerability but I don’t want to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them. Being vulnerable and open is mutual and an integral part of the trust-building process.
Sharing appropriately, with boundaries, means sharing with people with whom we’ve developed relationships that can bear the weight of our story. The result of this mutually respectful vulnerability is increased connection, trust, and engagement. Vulnerability without boundaries leads to disconnection, distrust, and disengagement. Page 50
Parenting: Brene encourages us to separate children from their behaviors. When we shame and label children, we take away their opportunity to grow and try on new behaviors.
Research indicates that parenting is a primary predictor of how prone our children will be to shame or guilt. In other words, we have a lot of influence over how our kids think about themselves and their struggles. Knowing as we do that shame is positively correlated with addiction, depression, aggression, violence, eating disorders, and suicide, and that guilt is inversely correlated with these outcomes, we naturally would want to raise children who use more guilt self-talk than shame. This means we need to separate our children from their behaviors. As it turns out, there’s a significant difference between you are bad and you did something bad. And, no, it’s not just semantics. Shame corrodes the part of us that believes we can do and be better. When we shame and label our children, we take away their opportunity to grow and try on new behaviors. If a child tells a lie, she can change that behavior. If she is a liar — where’s the potential for change in that? Cultivating more guilt self-talk and less shame self-talk requires rethinking how we discipline and talk to our children. But it also means explaining these concepts to our kids. Children are very receptive to talking about shame if we’re willing to do it. By the time they’re four and five, we can explain to them the difference between guilt and shame, and how much we love them even when they make bad choices. Page 223
Culture of Scarcity: Brene argues that the “Culture of Scarcity” is the reason why many of us struggle with shame and feelings of worthlessness. We spend so much time passively scrolling to social media feeds comparing how much we have, want, and don’t have, and how much everyone else has, needs, and wants.
What makes the constant assessing and comparing so self-defeating is that we are often comparing our lives, our marriages, our families, and our communities to unattainable, media-driven visions of perfection, or we’re holding up our reality against our own fictional account of how great someone else has it.