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

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Overview

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, ...

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Overview

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.”

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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: 9781592403356
  • Publisher: Gotham
  • Publication date: 12/27/2007
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 15,452
  • Product dimensions: 5.38 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. An award-winning teacher and speaker, she is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly.  Her groundbreaking work has been featured widely in the media, including a PBS special, and was the subject of her wildly popular TEDx talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” which is the 8th most-watched of all time with over 5.5 million views.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2009

    Reading this book changed my life. I had an epiphany about the the shame I carried around and how to become shame resilient.

    Buy this book and go log in to her website - www.ordinarycourage.com - which has a read-a-long that goes along with this book. It is the most interesting, artistic, colorful, and informative website I have ever seen! She has podcasts that go along with chapters of this book. According to her, we all have shame, it is just more destructive to some people than others.
    Dr. Brene Brown has a special gift in being so knowledgable about shame and guilt, and then relating that knowledge to her readers by telling stories. She is able to explain how shame and the search for perfection negatively affects our lives. Then she tells the reader how to become shame resilient. I had an epiphany about shame when I read this book and it has brought peace and healing to me. I feel like I have gotten to know Dr. Brown by reading her book and doing the read-a-long on her website. She is the real deal.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    Everyone should read I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME (but it isn't) by Brene Brown

    I purchased ITIWJM (bii) a few months ago, because I joined author Brene Brown's READ-ALONG (an online adventure, complete with podcasts, assignments that were fun, creative and simple - yet eye opening) and I recommend it to EVERYONE. "Shame" and "Perfectionism" are things that affect every single one of us, on some level, to some degree, in some areas of our lives. RECOGNIZING IT and DEALING WITH IT is key to a healthier, happier life and lifestyle. Relationships improve, our physical & emotional health improves, and we can BE without feeling "less than" any more. IF YOU CAN GO TO BRENE'S BLOG, all the podcasts are still available (see "older posts", I think). She's at http://www.ordinarycourage.com/ and you'll be glad you did. I cannot recommend this book, and her Read-Along (which wrapped up just yesterday, 5/29/09), HIGHLY enough. It's been a remarkable journey and life-changing for me. DO LISTEN TO HER TALK ABOUT EACH CHAPTER via those podcasts. It makes the book / her work COME ALIVE.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A must for anyone wanting to know why they do what they do. I have bought 2 more copies since I started reading it!

    Thought provoking and informative. This is for anyone that is looking for self awareness, self discovery and validation/permission for self care. Though the author talks about vaied lifestyles, it is easy to relate to the experience shared.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2013

    Great book for those accustomed to beating yourself up over ever

    Great book for those accustomed to beating yourself up over everything. Also teaches some good techniques for self perceived social anxiety.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Getting to Shameless

    I found this book a valuable guide to living. It's practical, serious & funny, all at the same time. My only criticism would be the heavy emphasis on mommy & body image issues, which may not be quite as universal as portrayed. -- catwak

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Everyone should have a copy!

    That's all! This is a very important subject that is never truly discussed - SHAME. Everyone needs to have a copy of this book on hand and/or Brene Brown's other book, "The Gifts of Imperfection"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

    Mintfur

    I told them

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Highly recommended!

    So helpful to read and relate to women's struggles with "being enough."

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent book

    This is an excellent book on a subject which is difficult for everyone - shame. It affects all of us, but recognizing it and dealing with it in a constructive way is challenging. Ms. Brown's book is easy to read and relate to, and offers excellent suggestions to apply in real life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    ???? Not numb but definitely broke

    I am most grateful for these words, it is always a challenge to co nect and to follow a path of purpose, to embrass our humanity. Forgive yourself. These words lead us through our challenges,

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    Hawkstar

    What clan?

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    citrusflwer

    Blazeclan

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    I would recommend this book

    I have not completed the book but so far it has proven to be a pretty good read. I would recommend this book to others.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted November 9, 2011

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    Posted May 8, 2011

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    Posted March 16, 2014

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    Posted November 6, 2010

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    Posted July 31, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

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