Brown asserts that empathy and shame are on opposite ends of a continuum. Shame results in fear, blame (of self or others), and disconnection. Empathy is cultivated by courage, compassion, and connection, and is the most powerful antidote to shame.
Brown references Theresa Wiseman’s four defining attributes of empathy:
1. to be able to see the world as others see it
2. to be nonjudgmental
3. to understand another person’s feelings
to communicate your understanding of that person’s feelings
4. Brown defines empathy as a skill, and so she stresses actively practicing giving and receiving empathy.
..Shame separates and isolates. Practicing shame resilience reconnects us, where we find courage, empathy, and compassion.
By Steve Safigan
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