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Publisher's Summary

The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. We spend too much precious time and energy managing perception and creating carefully edited versions of ourselves to show to the world. As hard as we try, we can't seem to turn off the tapes that fill our heads with messages like, Never good enough! and What will people think?

Why? What fuels this unattainable need to look like we always have it all together? At first glance, we might think its because we admire perfection, but that's not the case. We are actually the most attracted to people we consider to be authentic and down-to-earth. We love people who are real; we're drawn to those who both embrace their imperfections and radiate self-acceptance.

There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what, and how were supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism, and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection.

Based on seven years of ground-breaking research and hundreds of interviews, I Thought It Was Just Me shines a long-overdue light on an important truth: Our imperfections are what connect us to each other and to our humanity. Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses; they are powerful reminders to keep our hearts and minds open to the reality that we're all in this together.

As Dr. Brown writes, "We need our lives back. It's time to reclaim the gifts of imperfection - the courage to be real, the compassion we need to love ourselves and others, and the connection that gives true purpose and meaning to life. These are the gifts that bring love, laughter, gratitude, empathy and joy into our lives."

©2007 Brené Brown (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Brené Brown’s ability to explore shame and resilience with humor, vulnerability and honesty is both uplifting and liberating. If we want to change our lives, our relationships or even the world, we must start by understanding and overcoming the shame that keeps us silent. This important and hopeful book offers a bold new perspective on the power of telling our stories." (Professor Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient; Campaign Ambassador, International Campaign to Ban Landmines)
"Grounded in exceptional scholarship and filled with inspiring stories, this is one of those rare books that has the potential to turn lives around." (Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., author of The Dance of Anger)
"I Thought It Was Just Me can be a doorway to freedom and self-esteem for many, many readers. (Martha Beck, Ph.D., columnist, O, The Oprah Magazine, and author of Finding Your Own North Star)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • S. K.
  • Seattle, WA
  • 07-24-15

A transformative journey through ordinary encourage, connection, compassion, shame and resilience

This book was transformative for me personally, professionally, and in my parenting. I am so grateful to Brene Brown for her research, writing, storytelling and perspective. I will be sharing this book with my friends and family for many years to come.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Bart
  • Dallas, Texas
  • 02-27-15

AMAZING Treatise on Shame !!!!!

Brene's work has revolutionized my life!! 35-40 years in personal growth (along with a degree in Psychology), and so much now makes sense!! This was a major, missing, foundational piece. Thanks, Brene'!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tina
  • Nibley, UT, United States
  • 02-24-15

The last book

Any additional comments?

I have a friend who is always saying he is looking for his last book, meaning something so good and powerful that searching for another perspective is not worth the time. I suggested I have found the last author, but not the last book. Brene Brown is moving, enlightening and so real. I have re-read her books several times. I feel like I was swallowed up as a broken soul and soothed until I could stand on my feet again. I'm not alone, I'm not perfect, I'm just me. I learned that practicing what I believe means loving myself and those around me for who they are, not what they are. Practicing each day means making my life fulfilling and happy. Practicing the art of loving without constraint, without parameters, without any restriction at all is what I want in my life. WOW! Incredible author.

I started with The Gifts of Imperfection. I listened 3 times (in a row no less!) and I have given away 20 copies of the book.

I suggest that if you are looking for your last good book then you have found your last author instead.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Help you feel Normal

This was great to learn how to deal with shame and fear. A must read for everyone particularly parents and teachers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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eye opening book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I struggled with a situation that for years I couldn't figure out what was happening. This book gave me the knowledge to understand the situation. Shame can be such a subtle thing especially when you feel like the person/people are well intended. If you have ever walked away from conversations not knowing why you feel like crap after talking to certain people then this book my help you. Also if you struggle with perfectionism then this book might help you get to the root of it.

What was one of the most memorable moments of I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)?

When she explained the difference between empathy and sympathy.

What did you learn from I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) that you would use in your daily life?

I think I will practice more empathy with others. I'm better able to spot shame even if it's subtle.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Inna
  • Kiryat Ono, Israel
  • 12-17-12

This booken helped me a lot, very deep and step by

I loved this book very much, it helped me a lot. It's not easy to read book, because of the main subject of the book - shame, you know.. Very deep and detailed book about this not so comfortable subject. In this book you will find many personal stories about shaming, judgement etc, and practic ways how to deal with those things best. As the title of the book says, you begin to understand that it's actually universal thing and you are NOT THE ONLY ONE handling this issues - for me it vas very relieving.. The author, Brene is AMAZING - human, touching and professional, some stories in this book are her personal experiences. One thing you may take into consideration, this book in my opinion mostly written for women, because all the stories and the examples are about women...

17 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Susana
  • Arenys de Munt, Spain
  • 12-02-13

THOUGHT - PROVOKING AND LIBERATING

Where does I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is one of the books that has impressed me most lately. I enjoy the fact that helps you look at things in a different way, it makes you reconsider some of your own opinions and behaviours.When I read it, I saw so many little ways in which I could be a better person, more approachable, and certainly a lot more understanding with myself.Brené not only explains the theory and science behind the topic, she is also very good at including real life stories that most of us relate to. Her approach is very kind, understanding and practical. I liked it very much.A book everyone should read at least once in a lifetime.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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All the people need this!

This is an incredible book! I even bought a paper copy so I can go into the depths of shame even farther. It isn't super cutesie and fluffy... it isn't hard, mean, and demanding either. This book is informative and very real. It's suggestions are obtainable and not far fetched. After talking with people in my own life, I'm thinking about starting a woman's group and 'doing' this book. Taking each chapter and discussing and really investigating shame in our own lives! Please take this information and use it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Duh

Enlightenment =0
Helpful=0
Hours lost forever =about 7.

Skip this one. Really not helpful.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A Must Read For Everyone Interrested in Self Help

If you could sum up I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) in three words, what would they be?

How about 4 words? It happens to Everyone!

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

I didn't even know that SHAME was a category that people need help with. And I certainly didn't know that almost every person has to struggle with it.

Which character – as performed by Lauren Fortgang – was your favorite?

N/A

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but it took me 3 days. I'm going to listen to it again right away. There was so much information that was new to me, I know I didn't grasp it all the first time through.

Any additional comments?

The beginning seems a bit technical talking about other peoples books and reports on the subject, but you can get through it and then it's life changing information. Well it was to me anyways. I think this book should be on a list of books everyone should read early in life. I wish I had read this book 15 years ago. I can't recommend it enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful