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I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame
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I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  15,539 ratings  ·  1,272 reviews
An affirming, revealing examination of the painful effects of shame—with new, powerful strategies that promise to transform a woman’s ability to love, parent, work, and build relationships.

Shame manifests itself in many ways. Addiction, perfectionism, fear and blame are just a few of the outward signs that Dr. Brené Brown discovered in her 6-year study of shame’s effects o
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Gotham Books (first published 2007)
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Elizabeth I believe it had at least a second printing and they must have changed the subtitle. I read the latter, which referenced "Daring Greatly" on the cover…moreI believe it had at least a second printing and they must have changed the subtitle. I read the latter, which referenced "Daring Greatly" on the cover, so it was definitely a later printing.(less)

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Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book, for me, was like how it is in college when you take your first class in psych and suddenly you see psychosis everywhere. I see shame and shaming everywhere now - in how people comment on the internet, talk about politics, treat kids, work together, tell stories about themselves... It really does pervade everything.

This book didn't make me feel less alone. It did make me realize, though, that to have true empathy with someone you need to realize you aren't there to fix or better them.
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A blogger friend mentioned Brene Brown after I wrote a blog post about vulnerability. My friend said in her comment that I was courageous, yet I'd written the post about how scary it was to be vulnerable. I was puzzled as to how that made me courageous. Then I read I Thought It Was Just Me and I understood better. Brown explains courage as the strength to speak your heart - and this type of courage is one of the key ways to develop and maintain shame resilience.

As I read this book, I felt a bit
#mystrangereading I Thought It Was Just Me by Brenè Brown ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As I have stated in every review I have ever posted about one of her books, Brown is amazing. I could listen to her speak all day and will read anything she writes. I love listening to her audiobooks the most because it’s like an extensive TED talk. This is why I was so disappointed that this book wasn’t recorded by her. It just wasn’t the same. 😔

However, the content was still amazing. A little too research heavy with less of the
After two attempts to get through this one, I just cannot do it anymore.

I am still giving it 2 stars. And I'm going to explain that to you.

If you believe that 'shame' is based on how others see you and whether or not you live up to those expectations, this may, indeed, be your book. In fact, if you base your entire sense of self-worth on how well you are "keeping up with the Joneses", and the disconnect between that dream and your reality is your primary source of shame, pick this one up. You ma
Ed McKeogh
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Dr. Brene Brown and her work on shame and, as an outgrowth of that research, wholehearted living have taken off, shooting into the limelight due to some TED talks, a PBS special, some thought-provoking books and a recent guest appearance on Katie Couric's new show to promote her newest book. So, after reading and enjoying The Gifts of Imperfection, I went back and read this volume.

Instead of a synopsis or thinly veiled attempt at sounding studious, I thought I'd extract a few quotes that, while
Mark Goodman
I wanted to love this book because I love Brene Brown. Her podcast interviews with Tammie Simon and Krista Tippett as well as her TED talks have inspired me, changed me and touched me deeply. I find her to be an incredibly inspiring and courageous woman and I believe her research on Shame and vulnerability and full hearted living are changing and healing the world.

That said, I was disappointed by this book. I am wondering whether she is a better teacher and storyteller and presenter than writer
Leslie Nelson
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
If I could, I would buy a copy of this for everyone I know...not just women, but men too.

In this book Brene Brown explains about shame, how common and how destructive it is, and more importantly how to develop our "shame resilience".

The suggestions in this book are powerful, doable, and potentially life changing--no--life improving!
Anne Bogel
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Brené Brown was just getting rolling with this, her first book. I give you permission to skip it if you promise to read Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After hearing her Tedx talk, I wanted to explore her work further. I think of my upbringing in an extremely strict religious cult, and realize I've witnessed and experienced the damage of a shame-based culture firsthand. Although the book was originally geared towards women, so far it seems universal enough that it's worth a read by men as well.
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
I guess I'm in the minority here when I say I found this book to be rather the opposite of helpful. I found the tone to be one of assumption from the author, even though I know she had back up research. I don't personally think or feel the things the women in the book seem to and I found it almost degrading to be labeled as having serious shame issues simply because I am a woman. I similarly found it nearly degrading to have my identity broken down into such small bits. The author seems to speak ...more
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Brene Brown is like having someone standing in my face, shaking me, and saying, "You see that crazy thing you're doing? Stop it!"
Sunshine Jeremiah
I am absolutely in love with Brene Brown's brain. This book does an excellent job of defining shame (and as different from guilt, embarrassment, humiliation, and low-self-esteem). She sources where and how shame occurs and how to escape the immobilizing impact it can have on spirit and heart. It is story-filled rather than explicitly informative which makes her work accessible to most anyone.

If you are a courageous person who appreciates the value of self-awareness and personal growth for indivi
Morgan Taylor
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brene Brown is my spirit animal. ❤️
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the second Brene Brown book that I have read this year. I liked it better than the first as it was more focused on her key area of research - shame, specifically shame in women. Women experience shame when they are entangled in a web of layered, conflicting and competing social-community expectations. She lists twelve areas where women commonly experience shame: appearance and body image, motherhood, family, parenting, money and work, mental and physical health, sex, aging, religion, bei ...more
Kristy Loeks
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so overwhelmed by this book. It has been life-changing for me. But I am afraid to share an honest review, because of how people who know me and read the review will judge me.

But that is the whole problem with shame.

Brown is a shame researcher, and her resilience theory includes the ability to 'name your shame', detach from it to understand it as a societal and widespread - not personal and individualized- issue , and then to form relationships with others, in which you can authentically dis
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have long enjoyed dipping into Brene Brown works, usually it is a section here or a page there as a library pick up or section detailed in an article or blog post. This is my first read of a complete work and I recommend the medium of an audio book for this.
I had a non-thinking task of sorting through multiple packets of photos from my dad's life to select a number to use in a book I am making to assist the staff in his care facility to know who he is, so it was a perfect audio-book day.
This is the third book I’ve read by Brené Brown and it might be my favorite. She has a down-to-earth way of writing that I just love.

In her book I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t), Brené looks at the difference between shame and guilt, explores the triggers to these feelings, and how to recognize and overcome these strong emotions. She dives deep to get to the root of what triggers fear and shame within us and why we feel certain situations more strongly than others. She also discusses emp
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I have read by this author, and found it just as insightful as the first book I read. I'm not a fan of the title (although that might just be my own 'shame' seeping through), this is an important book for people to read concerning the topic of shame and how it affects us and our relationships with the rest of the world. Well-written and heavily researched, Dr. Brown does an excellent job of laying out a convincing argument for her Shame Resilience Theory and how we can co ...more
Nov 28, 2019 added it
Shelves: 2019
"Change begins when we practice ordinary courage."
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every Woman I Know
Recommended to Chavonne by: Amy, Allison
I want to give this a 4.95, but as I cannot I'll have to round up. This book has already changed me. I have been trying this year to acknowledge and move away from the shame that motivates a lot of my behavior. While reading this book, I had two very applications of the idea of "sharing your story". Firstly, I admitted my anxiety and another person reflected how her not being the only feeling this way about our work helped her feel less shame. Secondly, I admitted how someone's comment at work c ...more
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about myself reading this book. It was hard and powerful, and I think all my other high-achieving perfectionist female friends would benefit from the self-study also. I think that I will have to re-read parts of it to help me in the future. It is not a quick and easy self help book, but the kind that sparks a journey and a lot of work.

When I finished, I moved on to Brown's other book, "The Gifts of Imperfection," and got a lot out of that one also. This book was a zoomed in view
Despite the fact that the writing style is too verbose, this book has some great insight into shame and how to deal with it.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love Brene Brown's work. I hope to develop shame resilience and contribute to a culture of authenticity, compassion & connection. ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I read "Daring Greatly" and listened to "Power of Vulnerability" I thought, "Easier said than done". Her TED talks were to me too much of a motivational speech that made me think "I can do it!" for a week before I stopped even trying. I now know why it didn't work for me. I had to understand "shame". This book explains what shame is, what triggers shame and how you can be "resilient" of shame. She derives examples from diverse women (though could have been more diverse in race and generatio ...more
Paola Quiros
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Better late than ever- I feel less alone in this "successful women" world, eye-opening on shame consequences all over the world, especially in my day to day life. Brenee makes you feel everything it's easier when you identify the root cause of your feelings, as usual, she shares best practices here.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest t fear is that we are powerful beyond measure, it's our light, not our darkness that most frightens us, we ask ourselves who am I to be bri
Laura Cason
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this and wish I had more time to digest it before it was due at the library. Going to get on the rotation to borrow it again!
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really really interesting book that teaches "shame resilience." Brown explains exactly what shame is; differentiates it from guilt, embarrassment, and humiliation; shares stories that illustrate 12 or so areas of potential shame (eg, appearance and body image, motherhood, sex, religion, career, family history, addictions); and goes through 4 elements of being resilient to shame. Her main point is that shame separates people by preventing them from being authentic with one another.

I don't think
One of the most amazing things on the Internet (in my opinion) is the existence of TED talks. I have been sent to this site of Ideas Worth Spreading by friends, by other librarians, and bloggers. There are a lot of useless things on the 'Net, but these videos are not useless. They are inspiring, educational and sometimes just plain fun.

So I encountered Brene Brown on her TED talk thanks to Dave Lose ( After listening to her, I had to read this book and I was not disappo
For me, this is a 2.5-star book. Brene Brown writes well and offers insights into how people deal with shame. She focuses primarily on women and shame in this book; in later works, I know she expands this topic into something more general.

Her point is that shame is bad (oh, of course!) and that no one improves because of negative feelings. I'm not sure I agree 100 percent. I mean, I don't advocate people shaming others, particularly intentionally (and there are a lot of examples of that in this
Lori Hart
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this book on an end cap at B&N. Walking past, another brightly colored cover initially caught my eye, but the subtitle on this one quickly grabbed my attention (and my pocketbook): Making The Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough." I am not sure about everyone else, but boy, that spoke to me. I was raised in a "you don't want others to think you are..." family culture. As much as I have grown and adulted over the years, I still struggle with worrying how I am perceived / ...more
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Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. Brené is also a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business.

She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of

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