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I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough" [Kindle Edition]

Brene Brown
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (316 customer reviews)

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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a liberating study on the importance of our imperfections—both to our relationships and to our own sense of self
 
The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what and how we’re supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection.

Dr. Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, is the leading authority on the power of vulnerability, and has inspired thousands through her top-selling book The Gifts of Imperfection, wildly popular TEDx talk, and a PBS special. Based on seven years of her ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we’re all in this together.

Dr. Brown writes, “We need our lives back. It’s time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection—the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives.”



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

University of Houston researcher and social worker Brown believes shame underlies the spread of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and much more, and drawing on a study of hundreds of women, she constructs a method for overcoming it. Brown defines shame as "the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging" and believes its spread has been created by conflicting and competing expectations about who women should be. Women feel shame about their appearance, about motherhood, family, money/work, health, stereotypes and trauma. Brown quotes liberally from the women she has studied and, most enlighteningly, gives examples from her own experiences juggling motherhood, career and her social life. These revelations underscore her belief in the importance of exposing shame and, through empathy, helping oneself and others move past it. She underscores the need to practice critical awareness, i.e., understanding the social forces that create shame in us can help us fight the sense of shame. Thus, Brown presents a spirited attack on the media and the beauty industry for presenting unrealistic images of women. Directing readers to focus on personal growth as opposed to unattainable perfection, Brown urges them to practice shame-resilience skills and teach them to their children. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Interviewing hundreds of women over six years, Brown was constantly faced with the shame just talking about shame induced. She explores how and why this universal human emotion is particularly present in women and how it affects behavior and relationships. She relates women's stories of shame about everything from obsession over appearance to sexual abuse, abuse of alcohol and drugs, and inadequacies as mothers, wives, and lovers. Brown offers insights and strategies for understanding shame and overcoming its power over women. She begins by defining shame and differentiating it from other emotions, and explores how shame is used and induced in the broader culture. She then identifies four elements of resilience: recognizing shame triggers, critical awareness, reaching out for help and connection with others, and speaking out about shame. She advises women on practicing courage, compassion, and connection to overcome cultures of fear, blame, and disconnection. An interesting look at a debilitating emotion that stunts the potential of too many women. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 888 KB
  • Print Length: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham Books (February 1, 2007)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000SEHDGM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,312 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
213 of 218 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i have been going through major depression on and off for 7 years. i kept trying to just "get rid" of the symptoms. this last bout had me in my bed for months, not eating, not having a will to live. yes, very extreme.
i, all along, have had the strength to at least read and learn. i figured i'd die trying to heal and get to the bottom of this illness. this book came along at the perfect time for me. i had had a sneaking feeling that shame was a huge part of my problems, but didn't know how to deal with this, or what it actually meant, or how it was affecting my life, and my thinking.
Her book is a true gift; a treasure. not only is this book full of wisdom that warmed my heart, it's full of lots of hard work on her part to be as accurate as possible about something (shame) that seems so subtle and elusive. she nailed it! (her writing is style is very conversational, and easy to understand as well)
So much of this information sunk into my soul, and has healed me in many ways. On top of providing other's real and raw accounts of shame, and trying to be perfect.....yet remaining miserable, the author helps to build up our strength by showing us ways to not let shame take us down! that it's a learning process, but we really can change in small yet extremely significant ways. the thing is: if we don't know that it's shame.....we will stay stuck in our misery! this book is a key to unlock freedom to live our unique lives, because she calls it out....she speaks out!
i'm not saying i'm cured from my depression. but i will say that i am quite a few rungs up the ladder from the pit i was in. and this is largely due to the women speaking truth and reality in this book, and the author's candor.
i'm thankful for this author.
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144 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, Ground-Breaking, Life-Changing March 22, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
*****

This is an incredible book about a little-discussed subject---shame. Almost painful even to think about, the book comprehensively covers the relationship between women and shame. If you are a woman in America, you should read this book. My copy is highlighted, bookmarked, the spine is cracked and it looks like it's been through a war, but it's just been very well-read and well-used by me.

The subtitle of the book is "Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame". The book does not simply diagnose the problem with our culture, but assists women on their individual journey of processing their experiences with shame, and overcoming damage, moving to a better place of power and courage.

Apparently there are currently many shame researchers, but not much has been written about the latest research outside of academic circles. "I Thought It Was Just Me", though research-based, is written for each of us, academic or non-academic, feminist or non-feminist, religious or non-religious, in an approachable, interesting style. The material is somewhat difficult to read only because of the personal issues it triggers; other than that it is very approachable, not dry at all.

The author also discusses changing our culture, one person at a time, with the last chapters addressing how to practice courage, compassion and connection---in a culture of fear, blame and disconnection.

After reading this book I feel more empowered to be me and to stay free of shaming messages. I also feel very convicted and aware of how I have used words and looks to shame others. Of all of the non-fiction books I've read, this one has probably had the most practical impact in my life.

Highly recommended.

*****
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155 of 170 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful book and an engaging read February 6, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
To be perfectly upfront, I would like to acknowledge that I am a friend and colleague of the author, Brené Brown. But also to be perfectly upfront, I would really appreciate her book even if I was not.

This book is powerful in its scope and impact as it lays out what shame is, how women respond to shame, and how women can respond differently to shame in order to become shame resilient.

Brené helps women identify what their shame triggers are, how to develop a critical awareness about how shame is impacted by larger forces in our lives, such as media images of extremely thin and beautiful women, how women can reach out to others, and how to learn to "speak shame."

As Brené was writing the book and I was reading early drafts, I was already learning to apply her concepts to my life. For instance, previously when I experienced a shameful moment I would curl up in a little ball of pain, constantly replay the shamming incident in my head, castigate myself over and over, and then wait for the passage of time to relieve some of my symptoms, although even years later I could get flashbacks of the event and the accompanying pain. Today, due to Brené and her book, I react very differently. I call multiple friends and share my painful story and seek out comfort, caring, and empathy. I begin to "contexualize" the shameful event, that is, I see how political, economic, and social forces have shaped my personal experiences. For instance, that expectation that women must be "superwoman" juggling kids, work, partners" perfectly, which is an unreasonable expectation that no woman can live up to. That helps put my experience into context and allow me to see the broader picture.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read one book this year
After reading this book, I can honestly say that I never knew what shame meant, at least not in the way that people normally refer to shame. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Mai-Britt Hardy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Excellent book, recommend for all to read.
Published 1 day ago by Aronia
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only read ONE book this year, make it this one.
Life Changing research on how we can view ourselves and the world in ways that make sense, enhance happiness, encourage growth and basically make the world a better place to live.
Published 2 days ago by D
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another sensational BB book!
Published 6 days ago by Adelle Rist
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This is a great introduction to Brown's work on shame and shame resistance.
Published 7 days ago by John G. Chase, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic book with practical advice for derailing shame based internal voices.
Published 11 days ago by Heather Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book!
Published 12 days ago by Jessica Stoops
5.0 out of 5 stars very helpful and funny at times
all three of her books are deep true, very helpful and funny at times. Her talks online are great too.
Published 13 days ago by NanW
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for my clients read regarding shame and how ...
Excellent book for my clients to read regarding shame and how it affects their lives. Often individuals need a new vocabulary to express the challenges and the unconscious... Read more
Published 15 days ago by SEL
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful guide.
Great book for making the journey a better one.
Published 16 days ago by C in Dallas
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More About the Author

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past twelve years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Her groundbreaking research has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

Brené's 2010 TEDxHouston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top ten most viewed TED talks on TED.com, with approximately 6 million viewers. Additionally, Brené gave the closing talk at the 2012 TED conference where she talked about shame, courage, and innovation.

Brené's newest book is, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Gotham, 2012). She is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), and I Thought It Was Just Me (2007), and Connections (2009); a shame-resilience curriculum being facilitated by helping professionals across the globe.

Brené lives in Houston with her husband, Steve, and their two children, Ellen and Charlie.


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