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  • nanettewinter

I Thought It Was Just Me

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

I have been reading I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Dr. Brene Brown as research for the book I’m writing. I wanted to understand more about what holds us back from expressing ourselves fully.

It has been a challenge to read about shame without getting triggered. I have been learning about shame resilience and am not sure if I have all the steps down yet, but I am very interested in practicing them more.

Four Key Elements to Shame Resilience

1. Recognizing, naming, and understanding our shame triggers

2. Identifying external factors that led to the feelings of shame

3. Connecting with others to receive and offer empathy

4. Speaking about our feelings of shame with others

In telling our stories of shame – it is important to talk to someone you trust. I learned that people can be triggered themselves and respond in a couple of different ways.

There is the:

A. the “You have not been heard and they are not going there” response


B. the “I’m bringing it back to me” response

Both responses lack concern and empathy, and they can leave you feeling like you’re being judged. This throws more shame on top of shame. The best thing someone can do is listen and reflect back what was heard to make sure they understand.

I have been on the receiving end of response B so many times and never knew why I felt so bad after sharing my story. I didn’t want to continue the conversation oftentimes because it went nowhere, and I just felt like crap afterward. Now I get it.

What has your experience been? I am hoping to create a safe space where you can express yourself fully without judgment. It may be an uphill battle to change our culture, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to try!

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