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Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience

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In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown’s singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice. Brown shares, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”


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In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown’s singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice. Brown shares, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”

30 review for Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lila

    I was really disappointed that this book is basically just a list of emotions and their definitions... and not even as helpful for me on that topic as Brown's Unlocking Us episode with Marc Brackett. Definitely not at the level of The Gifts of Imperfection, or Dare to Lead, more of a coffee table book. I was really disappointed that this book is basically just a list of emotions and their definitions... and not even as helpful for me on that topic as Brown's Unlocking Us episode with Marc Brackett. Definitely not at the level of The Gifts of Imperfection, or Dare to Lead, more of a coffee table book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I'm about 100 pages into Atlas of the Heart so far and there are already a gazillion sticky notes all over it. This is an incredible compilation of not just Brene Brown's research findings, but an integration of research and data points from the world's top thought leaders on the human social/emotional experience. I love that the book is laid out as an "atlas", as we are all adventurers and travelers through our emotional world. The book itself is so beautiful--incredible illustrations, glossy p I'm about 100 pages into Atlas of the Heart so far and there are already a gazillion sticky notes all over it. This is an incredible compilation of not just Brene Brown's research findings, but an integration of research and data points from the world's top thought leaders on the human social/emotional experience. I love that the book is laid out as an "atlas", as we are all adventurers and travelers through our emotional world. The book itself is so beautiful--incredible illustrations, glossy pages, brilliant colors, and helpful graphics to help the reader better understand complex ideas. This is not necessarily a cover-to-cover read through, but rather I've been enjoying jumping around to a chapter that I find that I'm needing most. I anticipate that this will be a book that my family references often and we navigate through life's ups & downs of emotions, and one that I will reference often in my professional realm as well.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chantel Schieffer

    This is a lovely collection of approachable descriptions of human emotions and experiences, a must for emotional literacy work related to leadership.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Cooperstein

    Clear. Coherent. Necessary. This is my favorite Brené Brown book yet. Which is saying something, since I’ve read and reread most of her books. This book is strange and powerful. She literally goes through 87 important human emotions and experiences and defines them one at a time. It’s an invitation into greater connection with and understanding of our lived experiences and those of others.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Stone

    I regret the money spent on this book. I bought into the hype and pre-ordered it. I'm disappointed in the book and I agree with the critical reviews here on GoodReads and on Amazon. Until now, I bought into Brene Brown's self-improvement formula. I believed that I could read her books, understand my experience better, and shake off some of the traits she identified as the ones getting in the way of living a "whole-hearted" life. So, I purchased and read all of her previous best sellers. With this I regret the money spent on this book. I bought into the hype and pre-ordered it. I'm disappointed in the book and I agree with the critical reviews here on GoodReads and on Amazon. Until now, I bought into Brene Brown's self-improvement formula. I believed that I could read her books, understand my experience better, and shake off some of the traits she identified as the ones getting in the way of living a "whole-hearted" life. So, I purchased and read all of her previous best sellers. With this book, the falacy of self-improvement-by-reading is exposed for what it is: a complete dead-end. On the CBS Evening News, Brene Brown claimed that we need her new book because without her instuction about the correct meaning of terms like "grief" or "contempt" or "curiosity," we can't connect meaningfully with others. That claim is bullshit. The title of this book should have been called "Brene Brown's Dictionary of Emotions and Experiences." As a resource for elementary school teachers looking for a way to teach students how to discern one emotion from another, it might be helpful. But for grown adults, the money spent on this book would be money better spent elsewhere.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Boisvert

    In case if anyone is wondering - this book comes out November 30! I can't wait to read it! - https://brenebrown.com/atlas-of-the-h... In case if anyone is wondering - this book comes out November 30! I can't wait to read it! - https://brenebrown.com/atlas-of-the-h...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Julie Brenning

    I have read every Brené Brown book ever written. I love her work, which has literally changed my life. This books is actually quite good (I admit, I haven't finished the whole thing yet!). HOWEVER, it's not a book or a reader or even non-fiction. It's an encyclopedia of emotions. As one reviewer put it, it is an "emotional literacy work", great for counselors, teachers, etc. I will *maybe* reference this book sometimes with academic work or parenting. But it's purely a reference guide, hence the I have read every Brené Brown book ever written. I love her work, which has literally changed my life. This books is actually quite good (I admit, I haven't finished the whole thing yet!). HOWEVER, it's not a book or a reader or even non-fiction. It's an encyclopedia of emotions. As one reviewer put it, it is an "emotional literacy work", great for counselors, teachers, etc. I will *maybe* reference this book sometimes with academic work or parenting. But it's purely a reference guide, hence the 2 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Linscott

    I didn’t get a lot out of this. I became incredibly bored reading the definitions of 80+ emotions. I really enjoy her podcast and other books and was expecting more. Visually it’s a beautiful book. I don’t need another book for my coffee table though and didn’t realize that’s what I was pre-ordering.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Monica Kim: musings of monica

    I cannot wait to read it! I have read all of Brene Brown’s books and use it as guide for my life, especially when things get challenging & tough. Her books have given me hope, inspiration, and strength. And look at that cover! ❤️ — mo✌️

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ron Giddings

    I would consider myself top 1% of Brown's devotees. I teach several of her works in my classroom and have followed her since the initial TED talk. This was a huge disappointment and made me sad to think that it felt like a money grab. Sure it's gorgeous and well done, as expected, but it feels recycled, which is so disappointing after anticipating this book since its announcement. It could be because I'm so deep into her work, but this didn't feel like anything new or actionable, which is what I I would consider myself top 1% of Brown's devotees. I teach several of her works in my classroom and have followed her since the initial TED talk. This was a huge disappointment and made me sad to think that it felt like a money grab. Sure it's gorgeous and well done, as expected, but it feels recycled, which is so disappointing after anticipating this book since its announcement. It could be because I'm so deep into her work, but this didn't feel like anything new or actionable, which is what I'm looking for in these times, which are ripe for Brown's lens.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I've loved everything I've ever read by Brené Brown, and this was no exception! The concept of learning the nuance behind emotions to be able to accurate name them was super interesting, and there were a lot of things I learned. Because of the way it's structured, it's easy to read this in small chunks, and the writing is very clear and easy to understand. Highly recommend! I've loved everything I've ever read by Brené Brown, and this was no exception! The concept of learning the nuance behind emotions to be able to accurate name them was super interesting, and there were a lot of things I learned. Because of the way it's structured, it's easy to read this in small chunks, and the writing is very clear and easy to understand. Highly recommend!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    This is a really useful book that I need some time to ruminate in. While some felt annoyed by the number of definitions in it—the whole first part are basically a glossary of emotions—I found them helpful in how they helped clarify things. And I appreciate that it did not shy away from political implications and applications of its points.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    AMAZING. Required reading for good human-ing. As a therapist, I live and navigate in the emotions world constantly and yet I learned SO SO much from this book. I will reference it often, and it’s going on my “keep forever” shelf. Can’t recommend highly enough.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Phew! I’ve finished the brand new (and very dense) Brené Brown. At first I was skeptical because it’s produced like a (quite nice) coffee table book. It’s got glossy pages and tons of full-page quotes in big fonts (clearly meant to be Instagrammed). Nonetheless, it’s full of good information. Several insights had me shook, particularly about emotions like nostalgia and contempt. Not pleasant to learn that the sole ways your parents communicated were 4 negative patterns that indicate unhealthy re Phew! I’ve finished the brand new (and very dense) Brené Brown. At first I was skeptical because it’s produced like a (quite nice) coffee table book. It’s got glossy pages and tons of full-page quotes in big fonts (clearly meant to be Instagrammed). Nonetheless, it’s full of good information. Several insights had me shook, particularly about emotions like nostalgia and contempt. Not pleasant to learn that the sole ways your parents communicated were 4 negative patterns that indicate unhealthy relationships 😂🥴 This is essentially an explainer on literally 87 different human emotions, so it seems a bit dry at times. It’s best read in small doses over many days. Really useful overall though! And the illustrations add a lot to it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This book was disappointing in that it turned out to be an encyclopedia of emotions, a gorgeous coffee table book/reference guide to 80+ emotions clustered into groupings - interesting, but not very useful or actionable for me. I wish the author had taken her usual focused, deep-dive approach, as she had on her earlier works on shame and vulnerability. In the end, I found this guide tedious to read and began to question the value of spending so much time on differentiating various related emotio This book was disappointing in that it turned out to be an encyclopedia of emotions, a gorgeous coffee table book/reference guide to 80+ emotions clustered into groupings - interesting, but not very useful or actionable for me. I wish the author had taken her usual focused, deep-dive approach, as she had on her earlier works on shame and vulnerability. In the end, I found this guide tedious to read and began to question the value of spending so much time on differentiating various related emotions (stress vs. overwhelm; compassion vs. empathy.) That said, I appreciate that Brown's goal was to help readers build their emotional literacy, so perhaps these discussions were just too in-the-weeds for me. I confess that my 3 star rating may not be entirely fair, as I did find myself losing patience and skimming portions of this guide. Criticisms aside, I always appreciate Brown's extensive research and find her work fascinating.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Blaine

    Honestly, kind of disappointed. Maybe I'm just not in the right mind set for it. But reading emotion after emotion was not doing it for me. DNF -23% Honestly, kind of disappointed. Maybe I'm just not in the right mind set for it. But reading emotion after emotion was not doing it for me. DNF -23%

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christine Sokomba

    I loved how this book is set up. There are 13 chapters grouping 87 different emotions and experiences that we need to understand for greater connection. The last section ties it all together and there is just so much goodness in here. Brown's research is fascinating and everything is so relatable. I got this from the library but already bought myself a copy to be able to refer back to (and lend to others). I loved how she brought in pieces from her other books to connect everything! I loved how this book is set up. There are 13 chapters grouping 87 different emotions and experiences that we need to understand for greater connection. The last section ties it all together and there is just so much goodness in here. Brown's research is fascinating and everything is so relatable. I got this from the library but already bought myself a copy to be able to refer back to (and lend to others). I loved how she brought in pieces from her other books to connect everything!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Claire Carnes

    Some of my favorite takeaways: “Longing is not conscious wanting; it’s an involuntary yearning for wholeness, for understanding, for meaning, for the opportunity to regain or even simply touch what we’ve lost.” “What everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to poin Some of my favorite takeaways: “Longing is not conscious wanting; it’s an involuntary yearning for wholeness, for understanding, for meaning, for the opportunity to regain or even simply touch what we’ve lost.” “What everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.” “Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.” “Compassion does not mean immersing ourselves in the suffering of others to the point of anguish.” This covered everything from the culture of fixing over connecting, dangers of thinking or rationalizing away pain, near enemies of empathy, and a lot more that I’m going to keep thinking about. What makes her books about emotion different than others out there is that everything is based on extensive research, and she’s upfront about her assertions that are not. Her agenda isn’t to make our culture feel for the sake of feeling but more educated with tools to unlearn harmful ways of being. The only reason I couldn’t give it 5 stars is because I found the structure a bit rigid, but I do appreciate she was upfront about what the book was and what we are all getting into. It will change the way I think about grief and loss, and it’s a good reminder there’s always something behind behavior we don’t understand. Great job, per usual, Brené 🥂

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alis Anagnostakis

    My favourite of all of Brene’s books I have been a huge fan of Brené Brown since her first best-selling book - "The Gifts of Imperfection", published 10 years ago. I've read every single book she's written since and each left me transformed in a different way. She's been one of the guiding lights on both my personal and professional journeys over the past decade. It was hard for me to believe she'd ever write something else that would turn my world completely upside down, yet I have to say that " My favourite of all of Brene’s books I have been a huge fan of Brené Brown since her first best-selling book - "The Gifts of Imperfection", published 10 years ago. I've read every single book she's written since and each left me transformed in a different way. She's been one of the guiding lights on both my personal and professional journeys over the past decade. It was hard for me to believe she'd ever write something else that would turn my world completely upside down, yet I have to say that "Atlas of the Heart" might just be that book. Of all of Brene's books, this has to be my favourite! It is truly a map for voicing feelings we often don't have the right words for. A map for understanding our feelings and making friends with them - even the painful ones that we usually would do anything to avoid. It's a treasure-trove of language to map out the most important inner landscape of our humanity. I think it should be a must-read for parents, teachers and any human who's ever asked themselves - "What's gotten into me? Why am I reacting this way? How can I understand myself better?" If you're not sure whether you need this book, listen to the three "Unlocking Us" podcast episodes (on Spotify) where Brene discusses the book with her sisters, Ashley and Barrett. Such a treat! #atlasoftheheart #emotions #greatbooks

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Houk

    I have never reviewed a book on here before but I feel called to because this book has left me broken and put together in a way that I can not begin to put into words. After reading this, I felt split open and buoyed by hope and joy. I can feel my heart opening itself to the treasure of meaningful connection and recklessly pursuing what brings me that. In a year of global hardship heading into another assumably challenging year, hope has felt fleeting. But Brene has shown me once again how extrao I have never reviewed a book on here before but I feel called to because this book has left me broken and put together in a way that I can not begin to put into words. After reading this, I felt split open and buoyed by hope and joy. I can feel my heart opening itself to the treasure of meaningful connection and recklessly pursuing what brings me that. In a year of global hardship heading into another assumably challenging year, hope has felt fleeting. But Brene has shown me once again how extraordinary humans can be and how all hope is not lost but can be planted and cultivated in each one of us each day. In this deep exploration of human emotion, Brene has shown the unfathomable capacity humans have for emotion and the power that emotions can harness within all of us. I have walked away feeling alive in a way that I can only categorize as reckless joy paired with a sense of anticipation of all the ways that I can put these tools Brene has shown me to use. I know people throw around "essential reading" but goodness this book feels like the first deep breath of air I have had this year-- thankful to carry all of the wisdom and levity with me into this new one. Happy New Year.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kaiti Yoo

    i love everything brene brown. rather than this being a linear read, it's sort of an encyclopedia of emotions, which has never been done before. currently on hold. i love everything brene brown. rather than this being a linear read, it's sort of an encyclopedia of emotions, which has never been done before. currently on hold.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Goodman

    Atlas of the Heart is a 4 star read. I gave the 5th star in anticipation of having and needing the book for the rest of my life. The book gives us language to understand and name our emotions to help process them and give us power to use them to connect with ourselves and others. One of Dr. Brown’s amazing talents is the ability to take hyper-academic themes and research and make them readable, accessible, and digestible. I enjoyed reading the book. But, I will come back to it when I have those Atlas of the Heart is a 4 star read. I gave the 5th star in anticipation of having and needing the book for the rest of my life. The book gives us language to understand and name our emotions to help process them and give us power to use them to connect with ourselves and others. One of Dr. Brown’s amazing talents is the ability to take hyper-academic themes and research and make them readable, accessible, and digestible. I enjoyed reading the book. But, I will come back to it when I have those rushes of emotions, like the ones that present as anger or sadness, to better understand what is going on inside my body and mind. This is a powerful tool for introspection and to connect with myself. But, the more important layer is being able to connect with others. Understanding “the Language of Human Experience,” will, I hope, help me to show up for the people I care about, those who need support, and help me do it in a way that serves their needs and not my own. It’s a beautiful book that I expect to destroy as I use it time and again.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Research, wisdom, and vulnerability infuse each of Brene Brown's books. This latest is a thoughtful examination of emotions and the ways in which they impact human connections. I found this to be a fascinating read. Research, wisdom, and vulnerability infuse each of Brene Brown's books. This latest is a thoughtful examination of emotions and the ways in which they impact human connections. I found this to be a fascinating read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sienna

    Fantastic! Bravo Brené & team. I would keep this book on my coffee table & refer to it frequently. It's beautiful. I'm not a super fan but I admire Brené's research work & whole heart. I have benefited from her clear, thoughtful, evolving explanations & definitions. She's become one of my white heroes. I love that she listens to Prentis Hemphill. I don't read nonfiction quickly but this one flew by in a week, even allowing for breaks after a couple of the more intense sections. I'm pretty sure I' Fantastic! Bravo Brené & team. I would keep this book on my coffee table & refer to it frequently. It's beautiful. I'm not a super fan but I admire Brené's research work & whole heart. I have benefited from her clear, thoughtful, evolving explanations & definitions. She's become one of my white heroes. I love that she listens to Prentis Hemphill. I don't read nonfiction quickly but this one flew by in a week, even allowing for breaks after a couple of the more intense sections. I'm pretty sure I'll read it again, maybe several times, maybe read it aloud with my partner. "Just an encyclopedia of emotions" some of the reviews say? Isn't that what is so wonderful about it? Does such a thing exist elsewhere? If it does I'd guess it is not so coherent & well-organized. It's a superficial reading if you see only a list of emotions. It's obviously a life's work (ongoing). Highly recommend for those who want to understand self & communicate with others.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Moran

    Personally and professionally, I truly appreciate Brené Brown. Collectively and historically, Dr. Brown’s work has been transformative in the ways in which we connect to ourselves and one another. Her career work has been pivotal in helping us to find the language for overcoming shame and vulnerability through connection and courage. ‘Atlas of the Heart’ is a bit of different work than we are accustomed to from Dr. Brown, although it is right in alignment with her previous books. ‘Atlas of the H Personally and professionally, I truly appreciate Brené Brown. Collectively and historically, Dr. Brown’s work has been transformative in the ways in which we connect to ourselves and one another. Her career work has been pivotal in helping us to find the language for overcoming shame and vulnerability through connection and courage. ‘Atlas of the Heart’ is a bit of different work than we are accustomed to from Dr. Brown, although it is right in alignment with her previous books. ‘Atlas of the Heart’ is intended to serve as an encyclopedia reference of the 87 primary emotions humans experience. The essence of the book is to provide a resource for folx to more appropriately name the emotions they are authentically experiencing to then provide an opportunity to cultivate meaningful connection with one another as a result. To me, this book is a good jumping off point. I feel Dr. Brown is able to successfully begin working toward the intention she has through the book; however, I do feel like there are parts missing where, at times, the book felt rushed to production. I definitely think more could have been explained regarding the various groupings of emotions and why they are categorized in the way they are. Also, I would have liked to see more of Brené’s thoughts on each emotion; in most of the emotional descriptions, Dr. Brown uses other people’s research instead of her own. While this is helpful, it would have been helpful for me to hear more of her personal and professional understanding of what differs one emotion from the next, especially emotions that are similar in nature. All in all, it’s a good start. I’d love to see a re-release of this book in the future with additional research that helps to achieve her intention even further. I have hopes that this book can be a helpful tool for people to find appropriate language for describing emotion.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    When asked to identify all the emotions that they could recognize, people can identify an average of three: glad, sad, and mad. This extremely limited emotional vocabulary coupled with the importance of emotional literacy is the crux of Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience, which explores eighty-seven emotions and experiences! “….emotions and experiences are layers of biology, biography, behavior, and backstory…. Understanding these emotions and When asked to identify all the emotions that they could recognize, people can identify an average of three: glad, sad, and mad. This extremely limited emotional vocabulary coupled with the importance of emotional literacy is the crux of Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience, which explores eighty-seven emotions and experiences! “….emotions and experiences are layers of biology, biography, behavior, and backstory…. Understanding these emotions and experiences our life's work” (272). One of the primary arguments of the book is that language matters (236). And it matters so that we can have healthier, happier relationships. This is more than a book of eighty-seven emotions lucidly defined. The pictures, illustrations, and cartoons are powerful to aiding understanding of complex ideas. Brown's iconic storytelling stitches the entire book together into a coherent and enlightening learning experience. Two intriguing things are the emotion of “flooding” and the idea of anger being a “secondary emotion.” ***I wholeheartedly agree with Brené Brown: “Tranquility may be my new favorite emotion…'Tranquility is associated with the absence of demand' and 'no pressure to do anything'” (217). {As a teacher, this is the emotion I have about summer, and I've struggled to put it into words.}

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hoffman Brauman

    The set up of this Brene Brown book is different than her others - it is essentially a collection of emotions, grouped by when we often experience them (ex. "Places We Go When Things are Uncertain or Too Much: Stress, Overwhelm, Anxiety, Worry, Avoidance, Excitement, Dread, Fear, Vulnerabiltiy). I appreciated the focus on breaking down the overall feeling someone might experience into the component emotions - for me, it makes it easier to think about why I am feeling the way I am and what some o The set up of this Brene Brown book is different than her others - it is essentially a collection of emotions, grouped by when we often experience them (ex. "Places We Go When Things are Uncertain or Too Much: Stress, Overwhelm, Anxiety, Worry, Avoidance, Excitement, Dread, Fear, Vulnerabiltiy). I appreciated the focus on breaking down the overall feeling someone might experience into the component emotions - for me, it makes it easier to think about why I am feeling the way I am and what some options might be if it is not working well for me. This, however, also made the book feel more like a reference guide that you would go back to rather than a cohesive narrative. I also would have liked more time on some of the emotions discussed within - if it's an area that I need to do some work on, a section of additional resources or strategies would have been helpful. Overall, though, I took a lot away from the book and it will be something I return to. As with all of her books, there are numerous passages that I highlighted because they resonated with me and I will go back to them again. "We need to dispel the myth that empathy is walking in someone else's shoes. Rather than walking in your shoes, I need to learn how to listen to the story you tell about what it is like in your shoes and believe you even when it doesn't match my experiences." "In these challenging moments of dissonance, we need to stay curious and resist choosing comfort over courage. It's brave to invite new information to the table, to sit with it and hear it out. It's also rare these days."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Not my favorite BB but some helpful definitional work. And some important reminders about connection. I also like that she played around with form making some of her examples visual and graphic.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chandra

    I’m a middle-aged white woman so, yes, of course I love Brené, but until now I didn’t LOVE Brené. I’ve really only dabbled in her work up to now - TED talks, the occasional podcast, etc., but I’ve never actually finished one of her books. I started The Gifts of Imperfection a few months ago, but it felt frustratingly incomplete, and I eventually put it down. (This book has made me think I might need to reassess that.) But my very dear friend told me I really MUST try this one and so I did. First, I’m a middle-aged white woman so, yes, of course I love Brené, but until now I didn’t LOVE Brené. I’ve really only dabbled in her work up to now - TED talks, the occasional podcast, etc., but I’ve never actually finished one of her books. I started The Gifts of Imperfection a few months ago, but it felt frustratingly incomplete, and I eventually put it down. (This book has made me think I might need to reassess that.) But my very dear friend told me I really MUST try this one and so I did. First, you need to know that this is just an absolutely gorgeous book. I really wish more books for adults were so substantial and aesthetically pleasing. This is case where I say you really must get the print version vs kindle or audio. There is an accompanying podcast that might be worth checking out. Next, the contents are really quite simple. It’s essentially a glossary of human emotions (backed up, of course, by Brené’s signature research and data) which I think might have a lot of readers saying, “So what?” I get that, but it’s a really an exhaustive and in depth glossary, and to be quite frank, I think this book is addressing a pretty significant need right now. We’re in the midst of a global mental health crisis, and I think a fair share of adults could do with some schooling in the *ahem* basics, so to speak. At first I even found myself at first saying, “Hmmm, okay, and now what?” because the thing is she doesn’t really outline a comprehensive way of managing all these emotions. But then it hit me, that’s not the point of the book. The power is in the naming and the knowing. As the title explains, this is really more of an atlas - a way for you to pinpoint where you are and where you might what to go, but everything in between is up to you and the hand fate deals you - the route, the side trips, the unexpected diversions and roadblocks. I recommend this to people who are committed to learning and growing and nurturing meaningful connections with others.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Blair

    Definitely not for everyone, as it reads as a glossary for various emotions/experiences, has repetition from her previous works, and may come across as action-less self-help to some… BUT for me, in a state of heightened emotion and in a period of transition/change, it resonated deeply. — I highlighted the heck out of this book and will be journaling about various sections throughout 2022. Some of them include: comparison, resentment, disappointment, expectations, hopelessness, sadness, compassion Definitely not for everyone, as it reads as a glossary for various emotions/experiences, has repetition from her previous works, and may come across as action-less self-help to some… BUT for me, in a state of heightened emotion and in a period of transition/change, it resonated deeply. — I highlighted the heck out of this book and will be journaling about various sections throughout 2022. Some of them include: comparison, resentment, disappointment, expectations, hopelessness, sadness, compassion, comparative suffering, shame, perfectionism, belonging, love, contentment, foreboding joy, tranquility, humility, and grounded confidence. Here is one quote from the final pages of this book that hit home with me: — “Our connection with others can only be as deep as our connection with ourselves. If I don’t know and understand who I am and what I need, want, and believe, I can’t share myself with you. I need to be connected to myself, in my own body, and learning what makes me work. This is how I start to develop the grounded confidence I need to move through the world and cultivate meaningful connection with others (p.272).”

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