Abstract

On shame and its antidote empathy

Table of Contents

Vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability is emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty, it fuels our daily lives. It is our most accurate measure of courage.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation creativity and change. Adaptibility to change is all about vulnerability.

Shame is the swampland of the soul. You can’t fix serious problems (racial prejudice, surgery, etc) without shame. Man in the arena by T. Roosevelt. Dare greatly.

Shame: you’re not good enough. The main critic is ourselves. Never good enough and who do you think you are are the two big tapes. Huge difference between shame and guilt. Shame is correlated with addiction, aggression, etc.

The only people who don’t experience shame are those with no capacity for connection or empathy. Shame is an epidemic in our culture.

Empathy is the antidote to shame. Shame needs three things to grow: secrecy, silence, and judgement. The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.

Don’t think that you’re going to start playing in the arena once you’re perfect because that never happens.