Center for Building a Culture of Empathy

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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Brené Brown
http://bit.ly/JbOnjz
 

Brené Brown
Discusses the destructive nature of shame and the healing power of empathy.
A research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Brené spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy,

Video: Shame & Empathy

 

   
Links

 

2012-04-15 - Take a risk and put your true self out there

(CNN Video) -- Authenticity has become one of those buzzwords that we love to hate. Like many other words that have met a similar fate after being co-opted, misused, and overused, authenticity entered the popular lexicon because it tapped into something powerful in our culture.


 

2012-04-02 - Shame, Empathy, and the Wholehearted Journey

"I called both my husband, Steve, and my good friend Karen. They gave me what I needed the most: empathy, the best reminder that we’re not alone. Rather than judgment (which exacerbates shame), empathy conveys a simple acknowledgment, “You’re not alone, I’ve been there.” Empathy is connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole. Not only did Steve and Karen help me climb out by listening and loving me, but they made themselves vulnerable by sharing that they too had spent some time in the same hole."

 

 

2012-05-16 - Shame Resilience Theory By Steve Safigan

"Shame resilience theory (SRT) was developed by researcher and author Brené Brown in 2006.

Forming mutually empathetic relationships that facilitate reaching out to others: When we reach out for support, we may receive empathy, which is incompatible with shame and judgment. We recognize that our most isolating experiences are also the most universal. We recognize that we are not defective or alone in our experiences (we normalize).


 Brown asserts that empathy and shame are on opposite ends of a continuum. Shame results in fear, blame (of self or others), and disconnection. Empathy is cultivated by courage, compassion, and connection, and is the most powerful antidote to shame. Brown references Theresa Wiseman’s four defining attributes of empathy:

  • to be able to see the world as others see it

  • to be nonjudgmental

  • to understand another person’s feelings

  • to communicate your understanding of that person’s feelings

  • Brown defines empathy as a skill, and so she stresses actively practicing giving and receiving empathy."

 

“When we start losing our tolerance for vulnerability, uncertainty, for risk — we move away from the things we need and crave the most like joy and love and belonging, trust, empathy, creativity.”  Brené Brown

 

"If you put shame in a petri dish, it needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in the petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can't survive." From Tedtalks, Brene Brown

 


An interview with Brené Brown, Ph.D. Author of "Women & Shame"
"Let me say a little bit about empathy and strategies of disconnection—both of these concepts are critically important pieces in building our understanding of shame. Building shame resilience is about reaching out to others and building connection. When we do this with people in our support systems, we often develop relationships that are built on a foundation of empathy. This is incredibly important because, based on this research, I found that the opposite of experiencing shame is experiencing empathy. When we tell our stories or share an experience with someone and they respond with empathy, most of our shame loses its power.

Expressing empathy or being empathic is not easy. It requires us to be able to see the world as others see it, to be non-judgmental, to understand another person’s feelings and to communicate your understanding of that person’s feelings (Wiseman, 1996).

When we talk about high vulnerability areas like motherhood because it is exchanges within these areas where our hopes of finding connection and empathy are often dashed and we find ourselves instead feeling attacked, shamed and disconnected. Many of us have developed strategies for dealing with shame and our unmet need for empathy."
 

 

RSA Talk: The Power of Vulnerability - Brene Brown

"Influential author and speaker Dr Brené Brown tackles the myth that vulnerability is a weakness. Instead, she argues, it is the clearest path to courage and meaningful connection, and has the power to transform the way we engage and educate."

 

  • What to be afraid of and who is to blame?

  • scarcity culture: never enough - never good enough

  • self protection: against judgment, etc

  • needs for love and belonging - painful not to have it

  • vulnerability is path to joy, love, trust,

  • What is empathy? and why is it different than sympathy

    • empathy fuels connection - feeling with people

    • sympathy drives disconnection

  • Empathy is this kind of sacred space

  • Sympathy gets in the way of empathy

  • Blame

  • Shame - I am bad - focus on self

  • Guilt - I did something bad - focus on behaviour

 

RSA Shorts - The Power of Empathy
"What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities."

 

 

 

 

Jan 7, 2013 - Brené Brown - Embracing Vulnerability

 

  • How many of you would agree that we are in a serious empathy deficit in our culture today?

  • Not vulnerability - no empathy

  • In a culture where people are afraid to be vulnerable, you can't have empathy.

  • Empathy is not a default response.

  • If you share something with me that's difficult, in order for me to be truly empathic, I have to step into what your feeling, and that's vulnerable.  So there can be no empathy without vulnerability.

  • Story of bullying and shaming.

 

 

 

 08/26/2013 - Brené Brown: "Shame Is Lethal"

"Dr. Brené Brown: "Shame Is Lethal" Shame and vulnerability researcher Dr. Brené Brown says shame is the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging. It's the most primitive human emotion we all feel—and the one no one wants to talk about. If left to its own devices, Dr. Brown says, shame can destroy lives. Watch as she reveals the three things shame requires to grow—and the one thing that can stop shame in its tracks."
  • Shame - the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging

  • shame related to sexual abuse

  • shame is deadly and lethal and we are swimming in it deep.

  • shame - The less you talk about it, the more you got it

  • shame needs three things to grow in our lives: secrecy, silence and judgment

Brené: "You put the same amount of shame in a petri dish and you dowse it with empathy, you've create an environment that is hostile to shame. Shame cannot survive being spoken. It can't survive empathy. If I call you and something very shaming happened to me, and I call you... and I tell you, and you express empathy, shame can't survive it. Shame depends on me buying into the belief that I am alone, "
 

Brené: When I say I study shame, people say either "I don't know what you're talking about" or "I know exactly what you're talking about, and I'm not talking about that." But the less you talk about it, the more you've got it. Shame needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. So if something shaming happens to me and I call you and say, "Oh, Oprah, you're not gonna believe what happened," and you express empathy—shame can't survive that. It depends on my belief that I'm alone.... 

Oprah:
 You say that we need friends who will respond with empathy, not sympathy. "If you want to see a shame cyclone turn deadly, throw one of these at it: 'Oh, you poor thing.' Or the incredibly passive-aggressive, Southern version of sympathy: 'Bless your heart.
 

Oprah: You have such a beautiful definition of connection. I actually put it on my iPad, in the place where I keep quotes. "Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment." That made me weep.
 

 

08/26/2013  - Oprah and Brené Brown, Parts 1 and 2
"6 Types of People Who Do Not Deserve to Hear Your Shame Story
When something shameful happens in your life, shame and vulnerability researcher Dr. Brené Brown says, there are six types of people with whom you shouldn't share the story. Watch to find out who they are. Plus, hear why she says everyone needs just one "move-the-body friend."

 

08/26/2013 Oprah - Brené Brown On Shame: 'It Cannot Survive Empathy' Huffpost
The antidote, Brown says, is empathy. She explains that by talking about your shame with a friend who expresses empathy, the painful feeling cannot survive. "Shame depends on me buying into the belief that I'm alone," she says.

Here's the bottom line: "Shame cannot survive being spoken," Brown says. "It cannot survive empathy."


 

 

 May 15, 2013The Wholehearted Life: Oprah Talks to Brené Brown
"Brené: When I say I study shame, people say either "I don't know what you're talking about" or "I know exactly what you're talking about, and I'm not talking about that." But the less you talk about it, the more you've got it. Shame needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, and judgment. So if something shaming happens to me and I call you and say, "Oh, Oprah, you're not gonna believe what happened," and you express empathy—shame can't survive that. It depends on my belief that I'm alone.... 

Oprah: You say that we need friends who will respond with empathy, not sympathy. "If you want to see a shame cyclone turn deadly, throw one of these at it: 'Oh, you poor thing.' Or the incredibly passive-aggressive, Southern version of sympathy: 'Bless your heart.'" "

 

January 24, 2011 - Whole-hearted Living  By Steve Safigan

 


2012-03-00 - Brené Brown: Listening to shame