Happiness, shame and vulnerability

Happiness, shame and vulnerability

This is another very interesting article from the team at Positive Psychology News Daily and although it doesn’t directly address the issue of happiness it does address some emotions often associated with unhappiness but notes how important they can be and, well, I’ll leave it to you to read on if you’re interested (which I’d recommend you do)…

by Steve Safigan

 Brenê© Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She_ã_s a writer, a speaker, a story-teller, and_ã”as it turns out_ã”a minor internet phenomenon. Perhaps it_ã_s only because of the field in which I work, but her _ã–TED talk_㝠video keeps being recommended to me from various people who do not know each other and therefore are finding the video independently. I_ã_m apparently not alone, as more than a quarter million people have viewed the 20-minute video through YouTube at a rate of about 10,000 views per week.

The video is attached at the bottom of this article, and it can also be found on the TED site

Messy Concepts

Brown has dedicated her research career to scientific study of the inner workings of such messy and hard-to-quantify concepts as shame, vulnerability, worthiness, and connection. Because these concepts are difficult to measure using quantitative methods such as questionnaires and surveys, Brown uses qualitative methods such as formal in-depth research interviews. Brown claims, _ã–I hack into other peoples_ã_ lives for a living._㝠I_ã_ll have more to say about the utility of qualitative methods for these hard-to-define concepts in a follow-up article…

…the article continues with

Key Points of her Video (for Reference)

Brown_ã_s video is densely packed with important concepts and personal insights. After all, she has to summarize her life_ã_s work in 20 minutes. Here are some of the primary points from her talk:

  • Connection is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives; we_ã_re neurobiologically wired for connection.
  • Shame is best understood as the fear of disconnection.
  • Underlying shame is the feeling of excruciating vulnerability.
  • In order for connection to happen, we must be vulnerable and allow ourselves to be really seen.

And there’s more…

Here at The Happiness Institute we very much believe that the so called “negative emotions” are important and that they need to be accepted as normal and healthy at times but also managed and addressed where appropriate. Shame and vulnerability, like all emotions, have their good and bad side and this article, along with the great TED talk that we’ve posted previously on our Facebook page can help with the understanding of these issues and, therefore, with more happiness.

Let us know what you think – HERE