Vulnerability, Shame and Numbing Emotions

Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work discusses in an insightful and entertaining manner how we tend to numb our emotions to protect ourselves from Vulnerability and Shame.

In her videos, filmed at the TED conferences, Brené Brown talks about how we tend to numb our vulnerability in this world through spending (debt), overeating (obesity), addictions (alcohol, drugs, etc) or through medications.

Yet, we cannot selectively numb emotion. If you numb yourself to all the bad feelings and emotions in your life, then you will not be able to feel other emotions such as joy, gratitude, and happiness.

“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.”

The Power of Vulnerability

20:16 minutes


Brené Brown studies the human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love.

In a poignant, funny talk filmed at TEDx Houston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.


Listening to Shame

20:35 minutes


Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.

Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior.

Brené Brown explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity, and vulnerability shine through every word.

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable. Human-behavior researcher and author Brené Brown has made a career out of studying difficult emotions such as fear and shame. Brown believes shame underlies the spread of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and much more. She believes the point is to embrace life and oneself with all the imperfections, releasing the stress of overdoing and overworking.