Great talk. She really starts killing it at 17:00.
I will grant the glib, oversimplified statement that I once read through tears “shame is lame”. But a lack of shame is sociopathic. They say guilt is okay. ”Guilt” holds you to an ideal, but does not lock you in.
Brené does have a very interesting point regarding the manifestations of shame between male and female (also touched upon here). I am not attracted to the prototypical female as defined in the constraints discussed at the end, and I’ve not been the prototypical male - though I have experimented with it. Oscillating between emotional effusiveness and stolid withholding, violent tension and passivity, letting work take over my life and ignoring my partner during the day to playing hookey, dodging contracting calls, and collecting unemployment. A good part of these decisions in some form a reaction to a female presence in my life. An availing combo has yet to make itself known. Then you’ve got this cadré of dicknoses suggesting it’s an all-female cast. The brat in me would just love to embrace that hypothesis.
Even with this commitment gene, what men and women want in each other, and what men and women respond to in each other, and what men and women think they want in each other … the pot is already pretty fucking murky. At the end of the day, it’s not about sex drive or mating for life, but it is about connecting to one another, making it last, and yes, taking risk. We live in a place where those that take risk are often richly rewarded, but just so often viciously burned for going out there. There is a murmur of complaint about the dilution and subversion of male energy out there these days, particularly in Japan or even here in Brooklyn. But there’s something that is begging for this compromise. There is a bipolar sexual tearing, each of us is being pulled in two different directions. There is what the animal in us wants, and what the human in us wants. My last serious woman, someone just as torn by this modern psychosexual gender calamity, wanted a strong, sensitive, artistic, violent, gentle manimal.
As most (but not all) of human history and civilization has proven, the steps we take against overcoming our more basic animal urges and brainstem-endocrine definitions are often the steps that benefit the species as a whole. Or to be even more anthropocentric, consciousness as a whole. It’s becoming more and more apparent that men and women share the same problems, and that doesn’t bode well with our gonads.
This is the part where one just says “easy there, it takes a balance. simple as that”. Fair enough, balance is the great moderator of the universe both physical and meta, but where is the absolute scale? Who (or what) is there to tell you that you’re taking this sensitivity thing too far, or that you’re being too obtuse and macho?
Risking in itself gets harder the more you do it, because the heart does remember … but that also seems to be the most effective eradicator of shame. Practically executed emotional discomfort and worry. aka Bravery.