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Contrary To. How To Be Yourself When Everything Is Against You - Reviews, Self-development
Contrary To. How To Be Yourself When Everything Is Against You - Reviews, Self-development

Video: Contrary To. How To Be Yourself When Everything Is Against You - Reviews, Self-development

Video: Contrary To. How To Be Yourself When Everything Is Against You - Reviews, Self-development
Video: Why self improvement is ruining your life 2023, April
  • Contrary to. How to be yourself when everything is against you
  • Author: Brené Brown
  • SPb.: Peter, 2019

In an era of imposed perfectionism and ostentatious politeness, it is so easy to hide behind cliches of decency, fearing criticism and rejection. But this is a wide road to nowhere. To become someone, you must first become yourself: look into the hidden corners of the soul, see your true nature

Contrary to. How to be yourself when everything is against you
Contrary to. How to be yourself when everything is against you

Brené Brown proposes to go on a difficult path to himself - through the concrete walls of conventions and misunderstandings into the harsh jungle of loneliness and inner search. You need to gain courage and go through it to the end in order to feel confidence, be filled with strength and find harmony.

Change without changing yourself! Raise your head, straighten your shoulders. Can you hear your wild heart beating? In the search for true belonging and true freedom, there is no place for deceitful tolerance. The price of freedom is high, the reward is great!

BRAVING - the seven elements of trust

To be alone with yourself, surrounded by strict critics and to resist pressure is possible only if you know how to trust … To conquer wildness and discover it in ourselves, we must learn to trust ourselves and others …

The best fit to my research was the definition of trust formulated by Charles Feltman. He describes trust as “the choice to take risks and show vulnerability, to give someone else access to something valuable to me,” and distrust as a solution: “what is important to me is insecure with this person.”

The seven elements of trust apply to both trusting others and trusting yourself. I have collected them in the abbreviation BRAVING, there are just seven letters in it. (BRAVING: boundaries, reliability, accountability, vault, integrity, nonjudgment, generosity.

I love using the acronym BRAVING as a checklist for exploring my wild conditions. She constantly reminds: trusting yourself or others is the path of vulnerability and courage.

Trust others

  1. Borders. You respect my boundaries, and when you don't understand how you can and cannot do with me, you ask a question. You can say no.
  2. Reliability. You do what you promise. In your work, you take into account your own limitations and competencies, so as not to promise more than what you are able to accomplish, and also always bring the matter to the end and understand the priorities.
  3. A responsibility. You admit your mistakes, apologize, and, if necessary, deal with what went wrong.
  4. Secret. You do not share information and experience if you do not have permission to do so. I need to know that you keep my secrets and do not reveal strangers to me.
  5. Integrity. You choose action, not peace. You will prefer what you think is right over what is fun, easy, and achievable. You keep your promise.
  6. Refusal to evaluate. I can ask for what I need, and you can ask for what you need. We will not judge the one who asks as weak, and the one who gives as strong.
  7. Nobility. You will try to interpret my intentions, words and actions as generously as possible. You believe that everyone is doing the best they can.

But the most important thing in the wild conditions of life is self-confidence. Fear will lead us astray, and arrogance will jeopardize what is important to us. Change the appeal, and you get an estimate of the level of confidence in yourself.

Trust yourself

  1. Borders. Am I defending my boundaries? Am I talking about how you can and cannot do with me?
  2. Reliability. Do I respect the agreements? Do I promise what I can deliver?
  3. A responsibility. Do I admit it's my fault when she's really mine? Am I responsible for my actions?
  4. Secret. Do I respect other people's secrets? Do I only share what I have the right to share?
  5. Integrity. Do my words match my deeds? Do I act when I feel it is important?
  6. Refusal to evaluate. Am I asking for what I need? Do I rate the person who asked for help?
  7. Nobility. Am I noble to myself? Do I interpret my actions, intentions and words with a kind heart?

The courage through which we choose real involvement comes to those who not only conquer the wild jungle of existence, but become these wild conditions themselves. It means tearing down the walls erected between people, leaving the cramped ideological bunkers - and feeling the beating of a wild, unconquered heart, and not old pain.

Real involvement is not passive. She does not come with a membership card issued by the group. It will not be the result of embedding in the crowd, the decision to become invisible, sell out and hide behind in search of safety. This practice requires showing vulnerability, being uncomfortable, and learning to be considerate around others without sacrificing who we are.

* * *

Real belonging does not force us to change, on the contrary: it requires that we remain ourselves. In our search for belonging, we will have to learn to withstand the pressure of paradoxes. Here is the most important one: it is equally important to be able to be with someone and to be alone

Real participation cannot be received from the outside - we carry it in our hearts. It is a sacred act, the intention to become part of something greater and conquer wild conditions alone. Reaching this state even for a split second, we feel that we belong to everything and at the same time do not belong to anything. It sounds absurd, but the meaning is correct!

When we hear someone else's song singing about the vicissitudes of love or unbearable grief, we instantly stop feeling lonely. We hear: the author of this song understands what is happening to us on this side of the sound.

The power of art lies in this transforming power, in the ability to establish a connection between the author and the viewer. Without this, there will be no liberation, because other people's experiences will turn out to be just information that someone is bad. Art is able to overcome interpersonal boundaries. The power that unites him whispers: "You are not alone."

All over the world now this high and lonely groan sounds. Our hearts are broken. We chose different factions based on our political and other ideological convictions. We turned our backs on each other. Our eyes are filled with rage, we seek to find the culprit. We are infinitely alone. And we are scared. Wildly scary!

We are no longer going to share our experiences to the sound of songs or storytelling. We swear, getting more and more inflamed, screaming louder and louder, we move one step further. Instead of inventing crazy new ways to change everything, we are silent, each locked ourselves in his bunker, and speak only in a closed world where everyone obviously agrees with each other.

When I look at the data collected by our research team - which is more than two hundred thousand interviews - it becomes obvious to me that our world is in a deep spiritual crisis.

Right now, we do not recognize and joyfully accept the unbreakable, powerful force that unites us. We have become separated from others in almost every aspect of life. We do not support each other by relying on internal communication.

Cynicism and mistrust have made nests in our hearts. Instead of moving towards a future in which power is shared between people, we, as a society, are reversed to a situation in which the power of dictators hangs over people.

To call such a crisis in your own words is unheard of courage. Most of us choose to either leave conflict, vulnerability and discomfort in silence, or firmly choose and defend one of the parties in an endless conflict, paradoxically turning into those with whom we were actually going to fight.

In any case, our ways of protecting our principles (and ourselves) turn into a loss of connections with other people, fear and loneliness. Few choose to talk to "them", mostly conversations are between "us".

Let's look at what the current crisis is based on.

First of all, it is the line dividing “ours” and “aliens”.


By limiting our circle to like-minded people, we become more radical and cut off from the rest of the world. Listening exclusively to what we already agree with, we see only the facts that support our point of view. It's easy for us to ignore our own wrong

Bill Bishop writes in his book The Big Sort: “We have built a perfect vicious circle for ourselves: we listen to opinions we agree with, watch TV shows and read books we agree with, buy newspapers and subscribe to blogs that we agree with, live in neighborhoods, where our neighbors agree with us."

This sorting provides us with assumptions, and they lead to disunity.

We sort ourselves so quickly that we do not notice how others are sorting us (to understand whether we can be trusted, and if not, why). We sort ourselves and others constantly and unconsciously. At best, unintentionally and reflectively. At worst, it is stereotypical, assuming what we do not know, putting some people above others. The paradox is that we all love to have a coherent system at hand in which to fit each new acquaintance, but we violently resist when labels are put on us.

The shady side of sorting is away from the people we know well. Communicating only with ideologically faithful strangers whom we don't really trust and whom we definitely don't love, who are unlikely to take us to chemotherapy or bring us dinner when children get sick, we lose other strong ties.

A family is people with whom each of us will try to negotiate many times before deciding to delete them from our life.

Obviously, picking like-minded neighbors and deliberately fleeing people with different beliefs does not bring the deep sense of belonging that we relentlessly strive for.

* * *

There are always boundaries

Deciding to get closer to people, we find ourselves face to face with them and sometimes inevitably get involved in conflicts. At lunch, at work, in line in a store - it is difficult and uncomfortable to experience conflicts every time. What can we say about family quarrels

If your family is even a little like mine, you have been taught to remain polite and loving while everyone else is bombarded with emotions ranging from frustration to rage.

Remaining yourself in the midst of a family dispute, in conflict with a stranger or with a friend - these are untamed, wild conditions. Sometimes I think: “It's gone to hell! It's too difficult."

Analyzing the results of the study, I thought:

  • Is there a border in the wild that you shouldn't go beyond?
  • How can I tell a decent dialogue from a conversation in which I'm being attacked?
  • The reward may be great, but am I obliged to listen to considerations that people like me should be destroyed, and it would be better if I were not originally in this world?
  • When is it time to stop having difficult conversations and start caring for yourself, moving away from the aggressor?

The answer to the first question is unequivocal: yes.

Participants in my study, for whom real involvement is a daily practice, talk a lot about psychological boundaries. Over and over again my long-standing finding is confirmed: the more transparent and clear the boundaries, the higher the level of empathy and empathy. Fewer clear boundaries means less transparency. It is difficult to remain kind when you feel that people are taking advantage of you or that they are a threat.

Diving into the data, I found two important boundaries beyond which openness hurts: first, it is physical security, and secondly, it is emotional. Physical security is clear. There is no vulnerability without it. We cannot afford to be open if we feel insecure.

Emotional security is more difficult. Sometimes it is called the ostrich approach: "I am not going to listen to anything that can influence my opinion, that will upset me, what seems to me wrong, what does not fall within my standards and may seem not politically correct." But it didn't fit into the data I collected.

I asked participants for examples of emotional security and lack thereof. This is how a clear pattern appeared. Participants did not say that their feelings should not be hurt, they did not refuse to listen to opinions different from their own. They only talked about the loss of a human face - about dehumanization (in behavior or words). I immediately understood what it was about. I have studied dehumanization for over a decade and am familiar with the concept.

David Smith, philosopher and author of The Subhuman: Why We Humiliate, Serve, and Destroy Others, argues that dehumanization is a reaction to a conflict of principles

When we are going to harm a group of people, the following difficulty arises: wounding, killing, torturing, destroying another person seems to our brain a monstrous act. Smith explains that it is our innate ability to perceive another person as a creature whose life and whose health are valuable (and not as animals, predators or prey). Smith writes, "Dehumanization is a way to overcome these beliefs."

When we take opposite sides in the ideological struggle, we not only become entrenched in the idea of who our enemy is, but we also lose the ability to listen, discuss and show even a little empathy.

Once we convince ourselves that “they” on the other side of the barricades are immoral and dangerous, the conflict turns into an epic battle between good and evil.

Dehumanization is responsible for countless acts of atrocities, human rights violations, war crimes, genocides. It allows slavery, torture, and human trafficking to exist. Dehumanization is a process that justifies violence against human nature and spirit.

How does this happen? Most of us believe that basic human rights cannot be violated, that is, crimes like murder, rape, torture are illegal. Successful dehumanization helps create a moral exception to the rule.

Groups united by identity, be it gender, ideology, skin color, race, religion, age, are labeled as not good enough compared to the rest, or criminals, or even devil spawn. In this case, this group drops out of the list of protected by moral standards. Dehumanization suits and justifies moral exclusion

Dehumanization begins with words and is supported by images. You can trace her path in history. During the Holocaust, the Nazis called Jews Untermenschen - subhuman. And they were also called rats and a rodent was painted - the spread of infection everywhere, from propaganda booklets to children's books.

During the genocide in Rwanda, the Hutus were called Tutsis cockroaches. The natives were often called barbarians, which helped to exterminate them and seize new lands. The Serbs called the Bosnians aliens. Slaves were called animals, which made it possible to calmly use their labor.

I know it's hard to believe that you and I, too, could put living people in inhuman conditions, but such is the human structure: we associate what we see with the words we pronounce.

It would be untrue to say that every participant or observer of the above atrocities was a notorious psychopath. This insane assumption distracts from the underlying problem. We are all vulnerable to slow and treacherous dehumanization, so we are all responsible for recognizing and stopping it.

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