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Brené Brown: How Vulnerability Holds the Key to Emotional Intimacy

And shame sabotages our desire for closeness.

Heal

Photo by Andrea Scher

She may not be a household name just yet, but when you refer to “the woman who talks about vulnerability,” the seven million viewers of her TEDTalks videos know you mean Brené Brown. A research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, Brown has been studying shame, fear, and vulnerability for 12 years. She has presented her findings in three books, on national television, and in lectures across the country. A mix of no-nonsense Texan and best-friend warmth, Brown shines a light into the inner chambers of our hearts—and illuminates a reason to hope. She discusses her new book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, with S&H’s Karen Bouris.S&H: In your new book Daring Greatly, you introduce the idea of a shame-based emotion that seems unique to our contemporary society. One aspect you name is the “fear of being ordinary.”Brené Brown: The overwhelming message in our culture today is that an ordinary life is a meaningless life unless you are grabbing a lot of attention and you have lots of Twitter followers …

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