Just another Brene Brown speech, a follow on from the last one.
Tag Archives: shame
Over the last week I have been growing very interested in the research of Brene Brown. She is a social researcher, whom for over 12 years has been studying shame, guilt, vulnerability and how connected we feel amongst those around us. Her work and her humor make her a great public speaking about understanding how we relate to others as well as we relate to ourselves.
She made a lot of fascinating points in her work, in which I will probably talk about more of in later posts, however today the point I was want to write about would be the difference between shame and guilt and how we deal with negative experiences in ourselves. Possibly because this has a personal meaning to me.
Brene Brown states that ‘shame is bad, shame is deliberating and nothing good comes from shame, in fact, most bad acts or negative actions are brought about by shame. However she stated that guilt was a good emotion, as guilt can bring changes into ones life and one’s relationships, were as shame could not.
This in turn, lead her to discuss the differences between shame and guilt. In simple terms, shame is to do with you personally, where as guilt is to do with feeling bad about something you have done, it is behavioural, not personal. You can still feel guilt and feel like you’re a good person, whom made a mistake and did something wrong. Shame you just believe you are a bad person and that your actions just confirm your bad nature. I found this particularly interesting. A big theme in my life as of late has been narcissism, which is theorised to link directly to shame. Thinking bad there were quite a few times that my now ex-boyfriend would say things like ‘alright I get it I’m a terrible person’ when you were really trying to say something simple like please see that I need to sleep. These comments always made everything really hard, because it would be turning the situation around. I was never saying he was a bad person or anything, I was more commenting on my own needs, but it would always get spun around. It would leave me feeling bad for saying anything because I wouldn’t want him to feel like he was a bad person or feel any shame, but than it always left me in this impossible situation of making sure he didn’t feel any shame, so I could never say anything that was bothering me. The situation would always get spun around, so I was left feeling bad for saying anything. I know this didn’t help me, but I am trying to be more understand and Brene Browns research has helped me see that it was all based of shame and avoiding shame. There is a lot of what he did to me that he should feel guilt about, but not shame, because shame does nothing for nobody.
And what does Brene Brown say the anedote for shame is? Ironically, she believes it to be empathy as she believes empathy is the most powerful way to connect people. ‘The most powerful words you can say ‘me too’.