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Search tags: Brene-Brown
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review 2020-07-30 03:18
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. - Brené Brown

This was mostly a wrong turn in my “learn how to be a supervisor in the middle of a pandemic” quest. It seems to have received more attention from fans of the author’s other work than people looking for business books, and so perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s much more a self-help book than a management book. Mostly it’s peddling the author’s particular version of emotional authenticity and connectedness. I don’t know that there’s anything bad about her vision per se, but I found the book off-putting: the peculiar phrasing she uses in her workplace (“let’s rumble about this,” “that’s outside of my integrity,” and so on), the self-help-y unspoken assumption that seems to saturate its pages that those who don’t see the light of her vision will bumble around blindly leading terrible lives. Admittedly, I don’t think much of self-help books. They’re quick and easy reads, as this is, but they rub me the wrong way.

 

And unfortunately, for all the author touts her Ph.D. and calls herself a researcher, this is very much self-help rather than pop psych. Typically, a pop psych book will discuss studies and their methodologies and results in an accessible way for a general audience. This author claims to have done a bunch of research, but her methodology is never discussed beyond vague references to interviewing people. And she never cites a single statistic, instead presenting the One True Way to Be Empathetic, for instance. Somehow I’m pretty sure no psychological research shows 100% unanimity on anything, unless it’s total softball questions like “is murder generally wrong?” At what point does “I talked to a bunch of people about this, and here’s the general consensus” cross the line from anecdote to science? I don’t know, but I’m not convinced this work has done so.

 

That said, certainly there’s plenty of common sense advice here, like “be clear about what specifically you’re asking people to do” and “try to be nonjudgmental if you want people to feel safe talking to you.” I think the book is a little overly padded with the author quoting long excerpts of people (particularly famous people) praising her work, and it’s probably most useful if you are the head of an organization looking to transform a workplace culture. It kind of annoyed me, but then it’s not my type of thing to begin with.

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review 2019-07-11 17:05
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are - Brené Brown

I really appreciated the ideas and principles of this, although I'm not a huge fan of Brown's writing style: it's very conversational and approachable, but it doesn't quite pack a punch the way other self-help books do. 

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review 2019-02-01 00:00
Men, Women & Worthiness: The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being Enough
Men, Women & Worthiness: The Experience of Shame and the Power of Being Enough - Brené Brown This is a 2 part audio lecture from Brene for Sounds True. I thought it was fantastic. If you think Brene's work is irredeemably corny, though, you won't like this either.

One of the things this book does is make the case for how & why women need to allow men to have safe spaces in their relationships to communicate their fears & feelings. As someone who feels, on the whole, totally done with the idea of centering men or men's perspectives, this helped me to see where & why I should do better - at least for the men in my life who I've come to love & trust.

There's lots in this book that's valuable, but one thing I wanted to flag that was a big insight for me was that whatever way trauma expresses itself in your body, shame feels the same way.
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review 2019-01-15 15:44
Self help or self destruction?
Help Me! - Marianne Power
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers
Money, A Love Story: Untangling Your Finances, Creating the Life You Really Want, and Living Your Purpose - Kate Northrup
The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way - John C. Parkin
Earth Angels - Doreen Virtue
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change - Stephen R. Covey
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - Eckhart Tolle
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead - Brené Brown
You Can Heal Your Life - Louise L. Hay

Marianne decides to explore 12 popular self-help books over 12 months at the beginning of one year and discovers that they're not always helpful.

 

If you're like me you've read a lot of self-help books and occasionally taken a few pieces of advice from them before inertia and time spent doing other things moves you away from the book.  I keep meaning to do a Kondo-esque tidy but it would require more of my energy than I'm willing to devote to it.  I do question if it sparks joy of things I'm putting away and I've removed a few things from my house as I'm asking that question.  (I also remind myself that I deserve better than the things that don't work on my skin or in my life etc.).  I also listen to the excellent By the Book Podcast and often agree with a lot of their points about the ones I've read.

 

The Books she chooses are: Feel the Fear and do it anyway; Money a love story; The Secret; F**k it: the ultimate spiritual way; Angels with Doreen Virtue; 7 Habits of Highly effective people; Power of Now; Get the Guy; Daring Greatly and You can heal your life.  She strugles with depression and becoming a bit of a self-centred ass for a while and all the time her very Irish mammy trys to steer her on a good path.

 

Like me she finds things that resonate in books and sometimes she obsesses a bit and I couldn't abandon my life for a year like she did to look inward but by the end she's less broken, mostly by connecting with the people who are real in her life.

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review 2018-02-03 14:32
A Deep Dive into Shame and Resilience
I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough" - Brené Brown

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


by: Brené Brown


Well, I finally forced myself to get on it and finish this book. It took me forever because it starts out with much of the same material I've already heard... Turns out I listened and read in the wrong order, sort of. You may remember that I wrote about my obsession with Brown's chatty Men, Women and Worthiness in January. What I wanted more than anything after that was a deeper dive. Turns out, she wrote one back in 2007, and here it is!

 

The big difference is that this research and book is centered completely on women, however, we now know that despite men and women having different shame causes, or despite them looking different on the outside, all shame is the same, so this book really does have good information for anyone willing to identify with the basics.

 

Brené Brown spent six years talking to women, back when men wouldn't admit that addiction, workaholism, rage, isolation, etc are all somewhat shame-based. They told us men didn't have the same issues with shame as women. We now know better (frankly women knew this all along,) but Brown wanted a valid study, so she talked to women. Once any gender overcomes the fear of admitting to shame, all of the information here is just as valid for men as it is for women as it is for someone who doesn't fall into the binary gender categories. The only difference is the examples.

 

Shame shows up everywhere from biggies like addiction and self-injury to perfectionism, anger, and blame. It affects everything from our physical health, self-image to our relationships and ability to feel a part of the community. Those relationships I mention include ones with people as well as money, work, friendships and everything else we relate to.

 

The best parts of this book promise to be the basic information that comforts the reader by giving us the data and a push to brave the fear of shame and let some sunshine in. Sunlight is the antidote to shame. We have to put aside the false bravado to become our truest selves and then, in a perverse twist, can we ultimately fit in.

 

Sadly, this book only illuminates the myriad ways our culture shames women with example after example. Honestly, there are too many examples. I could have done with half the examples. It begins to feel like filler after a while. I was also stunned to hear exactly the same words in the first few chapters and occasionally later in the book that I heard on Men, Women and Shame. It seems to me that even if she wanted to use the same examples, finding different wording would make the whole thing seem less redundant. The sad part is *this* is the better book, but it's completely gender-biased.

 

I truly hope that someone is working very hard on giving us examples and tips for men, especially because even mental health professionals refused to admit that shame could touch men until recently. That alone is just another shaming experience for men, and since we're all in the world together, it would be great if everyone was on the same page.

 

I truly think Brown has hit on a foundational experience for human beings with this groundbreaking shame research and the way she has permeated pop culture with this information. I'm not a massive fan of pop-psychology, but she does it well and keeps it based in the research. And when it comes down to it, her work in shame is the basis for all of the rest of her work in vulnerability, acceptance, and all the other things she's suddenly known for.

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