Daring Greatly or Shaming Slightly

18 01 2014

shame-on-youI’ve heard the name of Brene Brown in various Facebook postings and TED talks and etcetera, so curiosity finally got the  better of me and I took “Daring Greatly” out of the library.

I’m so glad I didn’t buy it.

Of course, she did tick me off right away by mentioning how her TED talk went viral  – at least three or four times in the first pages. Then she talks about how everyone is wrong to feel shame or shyness or whatever and that we should all go around showing vulnerability all the time as this would make us happier and healthier, etc, etc, better parents, better people, etc.

I’m not sure about this. I know it wasn’t necessarily a good thing to learn my parents were vulnerable. I preferred thinking of them as invincible. Who else to stand for me against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? When I realized they were vulnerable, it was heartbreaking and terrifying.

Perhaps my having to tell lies in the Confessional as a kid has hardened me, but shame doesn’t seem to be too much of my makeup, either, though I do know I have failed at a few things and have appropriate cringing behaviour when thinking of that. Failure is never cheering. Without a little shame about my failing, I might well be even more insufferable than I am!

And I’m not fit, I’m overweight. I’m not happy with that, but I’m not shamed by it – I just wish to be mystically healthier. Brown talks about the awfulness of body shame, something that might come better from someone not in the blonde, beautiful and fit category. Of course, fit people can have body shame, but it strikes me as  form of narcissism that is sad and wasteful.

The books goes on to talk about how we shouldn’t be ashamed of how we parent, or of how we can’t buy everything our kids want or feed them only vegetables from contented soil or whatever. Do we need to be told this? If so, we’ve lost sight of a lot of the good things of life, of the value of friendships, of simple pleasure, of responsibility.

In all, the book, a quick skim, made me sad. Sad for the need for such a book, sad for the relief with which its simple messages are greeted.

 

 

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One response

19 01 2014
Sharon

Oh my DA, you are the first person who I ever heard of that doesn’t appreciate Brene Brown and her messages about shame which she contrasts with guilt: the latter being about behaviour and thus can be remedied whereas shame is about the person and not so easily repaired. I wonder if you have seen the TED Talk in question? (And when you see her physique, she is full figured)

[video src="http://video-subtitle.tedcdn.com/talk/podcast/2012/None/BreneBrown_2012-low-en.mp4" /]

I first heard of her through an interview with Mary Hynes on Tapestry on The Gifts of Imperfection – she is a fan!

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