Event Navigation Empathy reduces shame, whereas sympathy exacerbates it. The connection is what breathes meaning into our lives,” Brown says, “Empathy and shame are on either end of the continuum of connection.” Shame stems from a fear of disconnection. “Empathy is connecting to the feeling under the experience, not the experience itself.” (140) She reassures us that “Empathy is infinite and renewable. Brown references Theresa Wiseman’s four defining attributes of empathy: to be able to see the world as others see it. It’s probably better to keep it to one of Dr. Brown’s simple empathy-expanding phrases: “I’ve been in a similar place and it’s really hard.” (161) Expand to specifics if it’s warranted, but not as a first move: best to always “engage, stay curious, stay connected.” (150), “I’m also not a fan of anything that’s brutal, including honesty. This article will unpack the chapter, discuss its implications specifically for choral leaders, and then ask you the questions I’ve been asking myself … Did you have a creative shaming experience in music class growing up? Neurobiology of Shame and Empathy. Honesty is the best policy, but honesty that’s motivated by shame, anger, fear, or hurt is not ‘honesty.’ It’s shame, anger fear, or hurt disguised as honesty.” (163), She gives an example that rings true from adjudications, choral rehearsals, coach speeches I’ve heard about or witnessed: “Sorry. Dr Brown faces head-on the universal experience of shame, and then moves into shame’s antidote, empathy. “We cannot practice empathy if we need to be knowers; if we can’t be learners, we cannot be empathic.” (145) How do you navigate between the need to be the knower as conductor to the need to be the learner in interacting with students? Because as children they do not develop normative empathy for others, narcissists lack the compassion and sense of … On the other side of the continuum connection [gestures to right] is shame. Unlike shame, empathy actually does work to create long-term behavioral change. And that is why we do not want to talk about it. Additionally, I recorded and coded field notes on the experience of taking approximately 400 master and doctoral social-worker students through my graduate course on shame, vulnerability, and empathy, and training an estimated 15,000 mental health and addiction professionals. That can work okay, but it’s easy to cross the line into competing rather than connecting. January 12, 2021. I’m just telling you the truth. I do want to highlight two Empathy Misses that seem like pitfalls to me in our choral world. (152-156). No problem. Empathy is more than simple sympathy, which is being able to understand and support others with compassion or sensitivity. • We know that shame proneness (versus guilt proneness) can develop rapidly during the primary school years. When you do your own work to release shame and move through vulnerability, you are better able to help others. We need to have a safe space for honest feedback, but the motivation for that honesty–how we use it–can transform it from constructive to shaming. Shame is a serious obstacle to white people’s ability to empathize across racial lines. Guilt feelings may mediate the relationship‐enhancing effects of empathy. But they make up a holistic pieces and are better experienced through the book. Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Many of us aren’t naturally empathetic. There is a huge difference between feeling with someone and feeling for someone. This understanding will give a deeper understanding of how we can get access to more empathy for ourselves and others. Path analysis suggested that trait guilt‐proneness leads to perspective taking, which leads to actual guilt feelings, which produces beneficial relationship outcomes. There’s just one more section in this part of Dare to Lead focusing on ideas of vulnerability and trust. These are just the facts.”. Be respectful. The vicious cycle of white racial shame and disconnection from people of color is a dead end. And we continue to see the human beings in whom we’ve just triggered shame, unlike Mann’s executives, who have literally just terminated contact. The fourth section of Dare To Lead is “Shame and Empathy” (it’s the fourth of five sections in Part One, “Rumbling With Vulnerability”). Some suggestions from Mann on pages 133-134: Can we agree that holding space to be generous, kind, respectful is challenging in our busy choral programs? What “Empathy Miss” are you most likely to resort to when interacting with a student feeling shame? These are super-valuable…I’ve got a lot highlighted in my book! Empathy requires that you face your own inner shadow and acknowledge your own points of shame. Second, “If You Think That’s Bad.” In this Empathy Miss, a “person confuses connection with the opportunity to one-up.” (155) I know I’ve been guilty of this empathy-blocking move. “Empathy is the antidote to shame.” She says the most powerful words one person can say to another are, “Me too.” More from her interview with Roman Krznaric: But if shame is such a burden, what are we supposed to do about it? Shame results in fear, blame (of self or others), and disconnection. Understanding shame means getting understanding of interdependence, sensitivity and human connection. I’ll publish my reflections on Section 5, “Curiosity and Grounded Confidence” on Monday, July 15. Those sound like descriptions I’ve heard of choral, instrumental, and athletic programs…and not the ones I want to emulate! Be clear. She says, “in most cases, shame is hidden behind the walls of organizations. The more you give, the more we all have.” (140) Whereas our work is often about solving problems and working towards proficiency, “Empathy isn’t about fixing, it’s the brave choice to be with someone in their darkness–not to race to turn on the light so we feel better.” (142), “If we share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.” (136). Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Be respectful. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Empathy is the antidote to shame. 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