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‘The way to live is with vulnerability, to stop controlling and predicting’: Brené Brown

"We can't practise compassion for others unless we can be kind to ourselves," says the researcher on the importance of embracing vulnerabilities

Written by Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
May 18, 2021 8:15:13 am
Vulnerability, Brene Brown, TED Talk, Connections, Struggle, Emotions, life positive, indian express news"Vulnerability is the core of shame and fear, but it is also the birthplace of joy, happiness, creativity, belonging and love." (Photo: Instagram/Brene Brown)

“When you ask people about love, they tell you about heartbreak, when you ask people about belonging, they’ll tell you their most excruciating experiences of being excluded. When you ask people about connection, the stories they told me were about disconnection,” said Brené Brown in her TEDx Talk on the power of vulnerability.

The American researcher said when she was exploring the concept of connection, she realised building connections came down to shame, the question loomed whether they were ‘worthy of connection’.

She said, “The thing that underpinned this was excruciating vulnerability. In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.” She added that those who don’t experience shame, cannot experience human empathy or compassion.

In her research — when she began looking at the behaviours of ‘whole-hearted’ people — she realised these people “have a strong sense of love and belonging, believe that they are worthy of love and connection. These people fully embrace vulnerability, vulnerability made them beautiful”.

Brown said when we choose to numb hard, negative and uncomfortable emotions, we also numb joy, happiness and gratitude, and then lack purpose and meaning, leading us to feel vulnerable. She said it’s important to understand that “you’re imperfect and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging”.

Brown said when we embrace our vulnerabilities, believe that we worthy and enough. “Then, we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

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