WATCH: Dr. Brené Brown On Why Shame Is ‘Lethal’ and the Antidote is Empathy.

Shame and vulnerability researcher Dr. Brené Brown has studied the power of these intensely painful feelings as a professor at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work.


By keeping quiet, Brown says your shame will grow exponentially. “It will creep into every corner and crevice of your life,” she says.


The antidote, Brown says, is empathy. She explains that by talking about your shame with a friend who expresses empathy, the painful feeling cannot survive. “Shame depends on me buying into the belief that I’m alone,” she says.

Here’s the bottom line: “Shame cannot survive being spoken,” Brown says. “It cannot survive empathy.”