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Is there a cure for shame? Yes.

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Shame. All of us have it in a degree or another. There are people who have some shame, people who have a lot of shame and live with anxiety or phobias all their lives and there are a few individuals who don’t experience shame at all, but they are considered sociopaths, because they cannot feel empathy or connect with other human beings.

“Shame is an epidemic in our culture.  We have to change the way we relate with others, the way we look at each-other.” says Dr. Brene Brown, a researcher who dedicated the past 13 years of her life to studying vulnerability and shame. She chose this path because she herself wanted to get out of feeling vulnerable. On her way to the present moment, she says that she studied both vulnerability and shame in the lab, but it was life that actually taught her what these two concepts really are and how to surpass them.

What is vulnerability?

People believe that being vulnerable is a weakness and try to hide it. In fact, being vulnerable means emotional risk, exposure and  uncertainty. Embracing your imperfections, and giving yourself permission to make mistakes. Allowing yourself to be seen just as you are.


    “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”

    Also “Vulnerability is the birth place of innovation, creativity and change.”

What is shame?

It’s our fear to fail. Our fear of being perceived as weak. Our self-doubts and feelings of inadequacy, imperfection and fear of rejection. Brene Brown makes a distinction between shame and guilt. Shame focuses on the self (I am bad), while guilt focuses on specific behaviors (I did something bad).

    Guilt: ” Sorry, I did a mistake.”

    Shame: “Sorry, I am a mistake.”

Shame is strongly connected with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide and eating disorders. It is highly a consequence of  distorted social beliefs and it needs 3 things to grow:

1.  secrecy

2.  silence and

3.   judgment

Shame happens because of the feeling “I am alone.”  Dr. Brown says that the antidote is empathy. “If we’re going to find the way back to each other, vulnerability is going to be that path.”

Shame happens also because we try to hide our’ what-we-believe-to-be’ weaknesses. Shame means to cover something which we believe is inappropriate. The moment we allow everything to get out, there is no shame anymore.

So, is there a cure for shame? Yes, there is: “Daring Greatly”.

Brene Brown’s TED talk is based on her book Daring Greatly. 


Take a look at the trailer:


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