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I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't):…

I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Making the Journey from "What…

by Brené Brown Ph.D. LMSW

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This was a tough book to get through emotionally, but it was one of those I knew would be worth the effort. In order to become the better person I want to be, I need to be willing to confront myself in all my facets.

I Thought it Was Just Me is about shame. It's such a big, complex emotion; not easy to pin down or understand its many manifestations. Dr. Brown's research provided her with some commonalities in order to attempt to organize and develop ideas about shame and shame resilience.

The reader is presented with information about the many common shame triggers (twelve are listed) and ways to recognize the triggers and build what is called resilience. It's easy for even the healthiest of us to succumb to shame and fall into the downward spiral shame leads us into.

Since I'm at a particularly vulnerable point in my life right now, I didn't take notes or use book darts, I took what I could gather and didn't worry about what was being left out. Even then, I found information that made it easier to cope with the big emotions I've experienced from the time I got laid off in July 2013 through the darkness of 2014 'til now.

It's far too easy to believe that everything's my fault even when I know it isn't and to feel ashamed for so many things, some of which are pure nonsense. I'm grateful for Brene Brown's work on shame and vulnerability, it's helped me learn so much about who I am and what I'm experiencing. ( )
  AuntieClio | Mar 6, 2015 |
This book was a great reminder of personal worth and the struggles against the false self of shame. ( )
  loralu | Jun 10, 2014 |
Is it me, or is this almost the same as the other?
  MochiMama | Aug 21, 2013 |
The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. We spend too much precious time and energy managing perception and creating carefully edited versions of ourselves to show to the world. As hard as we try, we can’t seem to turn off the tapes that fill our heads with messages like, “Never good enough!” and “What will people think?”

Why? What fuels this unattainable need to look like we always have it all together? At first glance we might think it’s because we admire perfection, but that’s not the case. We are actually the most attracted to people we consider to be authentic and down-to-earth. We love people who are “real” – we’re drawn to those who both embrace their imperfections and radiate self-acceptance.

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.

Based on seven years of 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.” ( )
  jerrikobly | Oct 29, 2012 |
Brene Brown introduced me to the fact that I was experiencing shame in all those moments I was experiencing self-hatred. Our family was a profoundly shaming family and it's taking me a long time (with wisdom from Brene) to realize that they were using it as a tool for controlling my brothers and me. Great book. Leaves you with another paradigm for looking at your life. ( )
  smallwonder56 | Jul 14, 2012 |
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After talking to hundreds of women and therapists, Dr. Brown is able to illuminate the myriad shaming influences that dominate our culture and explain why we are all vulnerable to shame. We live in a culture that tells us we must reject our bodies, reject our authentic stories and, ultimately, reject our true selves in order to fit in and be accepted.… (more)

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