Summary of Listening to Shame

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In a sequel to her popular TED Talk about the power of vulnerability, researcher Brené Brown delves deeper into vulnerability and human connection, with new insights on shame. Using self-deprecating humor and research-based insights, Brown encourages viewers to stop listening to shame, to practice empathy and to dare to reveal their authentic selves. getAbstract recommends Brown’s presentation to anyone who equates vulnerability with weakness.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What benefits vulnerability confers,
  • Why shame is a cultural epidemic,
  • How shame and guilt differ, and
  • Why empathy is the “antidote to shame.”

About the Speaker

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Her books include The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly.



A dangerous myth endures that vulnerability is a weakness. In truth, letting yourself be vulnerable is an act of courage. It demands exposing your feelings, taking emotional risks and facing uncertainty. Vulnerability is the source of innovation and adaptability. Indeed, “there’s nothing more vulnerable” than creating something new or attempting change.

People also must learn how to talk and understand shame. For example, you cannot discuss race issues without examining privilege, which brings on feelings of shame. Often, resolving...

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Related TED Links

By the same author

Dare to Lead
Rising Strong
Daring Greatly
Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count
The Power of Vulnerability

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