I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame

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An affirming, revealing examination of the painful effects of shame?with new, powerful strategies that promise to transform a woman's abilitiy to love, parent, work, and build relationships.

Shame manifests itself in many ways. Addiction, perfectionism, fear and blame are just a few of the outward signs that Dr. Bren? Brown discovered in her 6-year study of shame's effects on women. While shame is generally thought of as an emotion sequestered in the shadows of our psyches, I ...

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Overview

An affirming, revealing examination of the painful effects of shame—with new, powerful strategies that promise to transform a woman's abilitiy to love, parent, work, and build relationships.

Shame manifests itself in many ways. Addiction, perfectionism, fear and blame are just a few of the outward signs that Dr. Brené Brown discovered in her 6-year study of shame's effects on women. While shame is generally thought of as an emotion sequestered in the shadows of our psyches, I Thought It Was Just Me demonstrates the ways in which it is actually present in the most mundane and visible aspects of our lives—from our mental and physical health and body image to our relationships with our partners, our kids, our friends, our money, and our work.

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.

Outlining an empowering new approach that dispels judgment and awakens us to the genuine acceptance of ourselves and others, I Thought It Was Just Me begins a crucial new dialogue of hope. Through potent personal narratives and examples from real women, Brown identifies and explains four key elements that allow women to transform their shame into courage, compassion and connection. Shame is a dark and sad place in which to live a life, keeping us from connecting fully to our loved ones and being the women we were meant to be. But learning how to understand shame's influence and move through it toward full acceptance of ourselves and others takes away much of shame's power to harm.

It's not just you, you're not alone, and if you fight the daily battle of feeling like you are—somehow—just not “enough,” you owe it to yourself to read this book and discover your infinite possibilities as a human being.

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Editorial Reviews

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 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Brown (social work, Univ. of Houston Graduate Sch. of Social Work) studies grounded theory, social policy, and shame. Her interests converge in this self-help book, which is directed at women and their dissatisfaction with themselves and the circumstances of their lives (she indicates that much of this dissatisfaction stems from messages women get from current culture). Although Brown is clearly passionate and knowledgeable about her subject and has a smooth writing style, her book is thin on content. On several topics, it is only a reworking of her Women & Shame: Reaching Out, Speaking Truths and Building Connection. That work had a fresher, folksier approach and should also be considered by public libraries interested in adding this topic to their self-help collections. For those looking for a scholarly approach to this subject, June Price Tangney's works are good choices, especially Shame and Guilt.-Fran Mentch, Cleveland State Univ. Lib. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592402632
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/1/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.18 (d)

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