“When we’re our best selves with each other, I don’t think that’s what’s possible between people; I believe that’s what’s true between people.” A wise thinker and writer, and a sought out teacher by leaders in many fields, Brené Brown is turning her attention ever more to how we walked into the crisis of our life together and how we can move beyond it. Our belonging to one another across every social divide, she says, can never be lost. But it can be forgotten. This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Brené Brown — Strong Back, Soft Front, Wild Heart.” Find more at onbeing.org.

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00:00:00one of the things that makes on being a little difference is that we release the unedited version of my entire conversation every week we do this for transparency but also so you can be with us from the very beginning of the production process if you'd like you can hear everything from what my guest had for breakfast to the small chat between questions to the gems that we just can't fit into the produced episode listen to my unedited interviews wherever you download your podcast or at onbeing.org
00:00:30support for on being with Krista Tippett comes from the Fetzer Institute helping build the spiritual foundation for a living world that certain visions of world that Embraces love as a guiding principle and animating Force for our lives a powerful love that helps us leaving sacred relationship with ourselves others and the natural world learn more by visiting Fetzer. Org
00:00:53I'm Krista Tippett and this is on being on her to cut your listening to my unedited conversation with brene brown listen to our produce show with her wherever you find your podcast and as always at onbeing.org hi it's Renee can you hear me hi Krista so glad to be talking to you oh God I just I've been looking forward to it I just I'm so happy thank you and I had to say I'm sorry for this delay although when I heard that you're a little bit late getting there I said oh good then I'm not late because I've been like just got off the road you know the drill and I said you know the girl
00:01:36Landing back to have this conversation with you I'll meet you I feel the same way I'm yeah I just I just been looking forward to it it's little and bomb when did this book come out braving the Wilderness September of this year so you're kind of over the big big push are you are you on tour still no I just wrapped up like the week before Thanksgiving all okay good good so are you rested we got arrested I have I have a couple more trips I have to I'm leaving this afternoon for San Francisco that I've got to go to Atlanta next week and then I'm done for the year but yeah I'm in awe of you
00:02:28LOL it's deep. It's mutual and the Osmond show on the Travel is overrated
00:02:36all right we should go here we could just keep going on this for an hour but okay so let's just punch right in here overnight I was I was amazed I looked back at the transcript of the conversation we had in 2015 and I did not ask you the question I always ask which is the spiritual fact background of your childhood I asked you about you know how how where you would Trace in your in your childhood in your earliest life experience of shame but but I was looking for what your answer was in that means we get to do it now so and and also it's all wrapped up in your writing about belonging so let's start rap. It's right there so it's so if I asked you about
00:03:31the spiritual background of your childhood expansively understood how how would you start to tell that story
00:03:41I would say that I was baptized in the Episcopal Church
00:03:46and we ended up moving to New Orleans when I was probably too
00:03:55and I was put into Catholic school early on kindergarten first grade
00:04:04I was one of the only non Catholics in the entire school because this is a school kind of Uptown New Orleans very Catholic area and so one day and there was a lot of struggle with the long and around not being Catholic Is Not only was like I was the only non Catholic in this Catholic School well and if I'm late 60s Orleans is that right yeah I mean people forget that in a 60 still I mean the whole Catholic it was for Catholics and Protestants to each other still friends I had friends that I remember from that I still have today from New Orleans who said her parents didn't let her date Christians and I was like what are we are we are Christians right you should know the other questions I'm like oh the non-fat non-catholic Christians got it okay but I had this very interesting experience in fourth grade when I got pool
00:05:04out of my classroom and brought into the small room and I was at Holy Name of Jesus and
00:05:12when I walk in the room I literally my breath just got pulled out of my lungs because I thought it was God when I first looked I was like oh my God this is the ultimate trip to the principal's office as his God but what I realized is it was a bishop
00:05:28the bishop kind of energy simself and asked me my name and then an assistant or someone brought in a freshly mimeograph copy of the Nicene Creed we went over the Nicene Creed line by line and then he said well done your Catholic and then sent a note home to my parents and I'm Catholic now and so
00:05:52I became Catholic I guess in fourth grade and my parents followed suit and kind of attended a Catholic Church off and on through high school I went to a Catholic college and then and that was kind of in the 80s where it was the birth of the religious right and there was this conflation happening between politics and religion that made no sense to me and so I completely left organized religion for maybe 25 years
00:06:27got my way back so you Biscuitville church and where I'm a member now that's why I first met you remember when I was at your house and a couple years ago
00:06:39unless you write about you've always been very I think I I think you're one of the many reasons that you were reaches people is that you
00:06:52you write the things you write about and do your research on your also completely open about how they are things you struggle with and I think that you know I'll send you your your research is a way for you to is is this is the very special way you have to delve into the things that you're navigating and then in fact we are all navigating temperature for the rest of us in your more recent writing a new book on braving the Wilderness you
00:07:26you talk about your childhood and and you know that that's the story you just told about religious belonging which was so much the Dynamics are so completely different in the 1960s even though it wasn't that long ago plus you had moved to New Orleans which in 1969 the whole notion of racial belonging was right at the new tumultuous stage but in a new toilet to a stage and and also your parents divorce and the feeling and the not belonging in your family like that then and and and how that you know one thing you say is that you do you name that as a spiritual
00:08:08spiritual crisis and you said and then not belonging in our families and of course so many of those have just so many different permutations on this you say is one of the most dangerous hurts
00:08:21and it somehow like right there behind the fact that belonging is such a crisis
00:08:27globally and in our culture and an are all of our institutions it's not really a question but I know you can take it I I I I never thought about it really I never thought about the concept of not belonging even though I lived it I never thought about the concept of not belonging it home as being such a universal experience of pain until I don't know how long ago maybe 8 or 9 years ago I was doing some research and I was in the middle school and I was doing focus groups with middle schoolers and I was I was actually just interested in trying to understand the difference between belonging and fitting in because I was very surprised
00:09:18to learn the one of the biggest barriers to belonging is fitting in is this need to kind of assess the situation acclimate change who we are and order to
00:09:30you don't control people into giving us a sense of connection in acceptance and so I was asking these middle schoolers what the difference was between what they thought the difference was between fitting in and belonging and they just had these like incredibly simple and profound answers you know fitting in is when you want to be a part of something belonging is what others want you did just they just rattled one off at the other and I was so taken aback and then a young girl raised her hand and said you know Miss it's really hard not to fit in our belongings at school but not belong in your home is the worst and when she said that probably half the kids are there burst into tears are just put their heads down like
00:10:16unable to speak and I said can you tell me more about not belonging at home
00:10:23and it just started this conversation where kids were like
00:10:27summer talking about the feeling of it that it's the one place they feel the most left out it's the one place they feel the least accepted other kids give examples you know my parents were really athletic and popular I'm not athletic I'm not popular I don't fit in with my family I don't belong there and just this thing washed over me of
00:10:52for a middle schooler and you know that age
00:10:57from middle schooler to say hey not belonging here is tough but there's nothing worse than not belonging it home
00:11:05you understood I felt the magnitude of it in my bones
00:11:11he makes us some this sisters that just the way you easy to make this alteration I think the way you make it so helpful I said you know it's partly because we are neuro biologically hardwired for belonging connection or Hardware to want it and need it so much that the first thing we do is sacrifice ourselves and who we are to achieve it
00:11:33the irony right yeah we were desperate for it I think if you look at if you look from a the lens of neurobiology are even evolutionary biology as a social species
00:11:48to not be wanted and to not belong to the tribe of the clan or the group Mint death I mean we don't we are wired for this it is is John cacioppo University of Chicago does incredible work on loneliness says you know that the only real biological Advantage we have over most other species is our connection are belonging are related collaborate Plan B in relationship with in special ways and so
00:12:22that desperate need to belong is not
00:12:28it's not a
00:12:31Neurosis or it's not a ego-driven thing that need to belong and be a part of something greater than us is who we are in our DNA to in fact that the genius that the source of the genius of our species
00:12:49hi honey that's the implication that's it I mean it is that what we do yet we do what we do to ensure that were accepted in fit in which is a totally Hollow substitute for belonging what we do to ensure that were accepted in fit in and Shores that we have no sense of belonging so you use this language of true belonging so talk about what are the qualities of true belonging as opposed to that that that is many things we do that feel like belonging that it is a r r a hollow substituted for True belonging what is that
00:13:35well you know what I started looking and to belonging and I started really wanting to understand the bones of belonging like what does it mean what how do how do we like from a freezer Church perspective and probably my own personal armored really is what it what are the date of here like what what exactly is happening here
00:13:59and I think the first thing that was surprising to me is that
00:14:07at the very heart and I think there's an amazing Synergy between my work and your work around this topic because I think it's a heart a belonging
00:14:19is spirituality and not religion not Dogma
00:14:25but spirituality and a very important specific tenets of spirituality which I believe cuts across faith in denomination and belief system and by spirituality I mean the deeply held belief that were in extra kabli connected to each other by something greater than us and that thing that is greater than us
00:14:49is rooted in love and compassion that there's something bigger than us and that we are connected to each other in a way that cannot be severed
00:14:59and so when I started to look at belonging what I realized is that
00:15:05it is a spiritual practice and it's the spiritual practice of believing in ourselves and belonging to ourselves so fully
00:15:18that we find what sacred and not only being a part of something like our DNA calls us to be but also we find Sacred
00:15:31the need an occasion to stand alone in our values in our beliefs when we're called to do that as well
00:15:41and so to me this idea of true belonging is a type of belonging that never requires us to be an authentic or change Who We Are
00:15:50but a type of belonging the demands who we are but we be who we are even when we jeopardize connection with other people
00:15:59even when we have to say I disagree that's not funny I'm not on board right
00:16:08so I think all the way through this dish thinking and writing you do and especially as it continues to develop their you use the word paradox a lot I also ever use the word paradox but the thing is like that sounds like a
00:16:26you know kind of an academic Canton like an academic word but in fact it is just a description of the way life works and the fact that we are not like we are not a combination of either ORS we are we are just this multitude of both ends like right at any given moment yes select so so so this thing belonging the spiritual practice of belonging is also being able to stand alone when called to do so and then also like so just in the whole idea of being alone and the difference so earlier this year I was on like the contrast of that with loneliness which is this crisis right but that that somehow also to combat this crisis of loneliness we have to learn the spiritual practice of being alone as part of being able to stand
00:17:19a long one more call to do that as part of belonging it's like I always think about the Latin like Paradox unlike the source of the word mean seemingly absurd but really true you don't like what we're both saying sounds like crazy but
00:17:43I think our I think our need to push away the word paradox and then need you I need for either or not and is driven by our lack of capacity for vulnerability it's really hard to start all the tension of yes and it's really hard to read all that yes I want a blonde I want to be a part of something bigger than me and I'm willing to stand alone when I need to and it's also hard to say look
00:18:12what is loneliness
00:18:16is driven often
00:18:21by changing who we are being perfect saying what we're supposed to say doing what we're supposed to do what if loneliness is driven in part
00:18:32but our lack of authenticity that I can go to a party and I can be the belle of the ball and come home completely disconnected lonely anxious because never once during that experience was I myself I was who I want I thought they wanted me to be
00:18:49you know and so I do think
00:18:55I don't want it to be true to be honest with you Crystal like I think in some ways that kind of sucks that you're level a true belonging can never be greater than your willingness to be brave and stand by yourself I kind of hate it LOL bad map
00:19:10that's just what I found it's just
00:19:13it's how men and women that have the highest levels of true belonging show up in their lives
00:19:20and you know to kind of get to the bigger picture here way earlier this year I was just talking to somebody about Hannah Arendt and the origins of totalitarianism are so amazed to go back into that book and read her talking about loneliness as a modern phenomenon and saying things like loneliness is the breeding ground of Terror
00:19:44you think it's really important you and I are both connected in some ways with these wonderful young people Casper Tire Kyle Anderson her working you know who ending loneliness as a calling of their generation yeah they're amazing right because of the crisis in that generation and all of us again like words like you yeah you make this distinction that I think are helpful between standing alone and Lonesome and lonely and that those are not all the same thing
00:20:20no I think
00:20:27you know for me
00:20:31I think I feel more connected
00:20:37to myself
00:20:39and everyone who matters to me
00:20:42in those moments when I am standing alone
00:20:47in the wilderness
00:20:50because that's what I have to do to stand up for my values in my beliefs when I'm not backing down when I'm not kissing someone's ass when I'm not agreeing to just to shut down an argument archives when I'm really saying I hear you I want to keep having the conversation I just don't see it that way
00:21:11in those moments
00:21:15I feel connected to myself I feel connected to other people I feel connected to something that is just a current that runs under the ground that were all standing up but in those moments when I sell myself out
00:21:32when I choose fitting in with someone over belonging to myself I just don't know that there's a more lonely on the outside feeling that I can that I can imagine in my life
00:21:48I mean when you're with people and everyone knows if I can my family we call the lonely feeling like we we named it's our kids could articulate it like yeah I already knew you'll say I've got that lonely feeling are your kids will say I had that lonely feeling yeah it'll say you know I was with a group of friends and I had the lonely feeling and I think we all know everyone knows that experience of being surrounded by people and feeling completely alone
00:22:20because I think you can be alone and with people because you're not connected to those people there's no connection there and so I love again at you opposed definition of loneliness is being on the outside looking in
00:22:37when I stand up alone in the wilderness and take a stand on something I believe in or stand up for something I don't think is right I do think is right I feel connected to every other person who's made that pilgrimage through the Wilderness people I know people I don't know but at Meijer I don't feel lonely
00:22:59so let's talk about how again we're in this deep territory Paradox how what you're a scribing
00:23:09is not the kind it is absolutely the opposite of the standoffs that we have on every side of every that young across the spectrum of our culture right now it's like standing standing up for what we believe in as a way of moving behind our defenses so so I think one way a good way to get into that as you have done this research on the elements of belonging true belonging when that's really happening and one and so the first the first element is people are hard to hate close-up move in
00:23:47so let's hope so getting what you're talking about is not the stance of moving through the world being solitary and righteous self-righteous
00:23:57I mean I think one of the things that we've seen and you know I write about this in this chapter call Highlands and which is like my favorite tradition in bluegrass is high Lonesome it's kind of Bill Monroe and this kind of wailing and and sorrow captured in music and I I talk about this High Lonesome culture that we're living in right now where we are
00:24:19the most sorted
00:24:21that we'd ever been in terms of most of us no longer even hang out with people that disagree with us political or ideological e s o r t sorting sorted as opposed to sort of yes we sort ourselves into kind of ideological bunkers and more and more we live next to people who believe like us we worship with we go to school if we go grocery shopping and we have really because we find
00:25:04because it's such a find other people's believe so culturally offencive that we really don't want to be around people that think differently than us and what's so crazy as hell that kind of social demographic changing of sorting into these ideological Bunker's tracks exactly with increasing rates of loneliness and so I would argue that
00:25:31and this goes back to your Paradox I would argue that when we build ideological bunkers and we hide out behind them 9 times out of 10 the only thing I have in common with the people behind those bunkers is that we all hate the same people and
00:25:52having shared hatred of the same people or the same I call it common enemy intimacy is just an intimacy created by hating the same people is absolutely not sustainable it's counterfeit connection it's not real and the moment that you disagree you
00:26:16question you get curious you lean into the other side quote on quote to try to understand more and build Bridges you're in dangerous territory with the people behind this month so it's not true belonging. It's not true belonging it's hustling of the worst magnitude
00:26:36I mean it's just hustling
00:26:39and so my question was for the men and women who really carry the sense of true belonging in their hearts they didn't negotiate it with the world They carried it internally they brought belonging wherever they went because they're
00:26:53because of their strength in their spiritual practice around it what did they have in common into this first practice of true belonging is is you people are hate their hard to hate close-up move like when you
00:27:10are really struggling with someone and it's someone you're supposed to hate because of Audiology Audiology or belief
00:27:19move in get curious get closer ask questions try to connect find something remind yourself
00:27:29of that spiritual belief of inextricable connection how am I connected to you
00:27:34in a way
00:27:36that is
00:27:38bigger and more Primal than our politics so you know what I'm what I want to say here may just be so obvious but I feel like saying it just to underline it took you know again a minute ago we're talking about belonging and you were talking about
00:27:56the spiritual plaque practice of standing alone and standing up for what you believe
00:28:04when one more call to do so
00:28:07language like that right now in our culture
00:28:11poinsettia lot of posturing over and against right or not just Posh driving there are things to stand up against in about right but but but actually I think the real spiritual or at least hand-in-hand with that the spiritual practice you're pointing at is reclaiming our belongings are human belonging and Having the courage to stand alone in our own groups to transcend that the kind of private politics is that their gas it's exactly like it's exactly it's exactly right so that we defy the Sorting so we just say I'm not going to live this way
00:28:52you know I probably been in front of Honey think realistically
00:28:5625000 people since this book came out on a book tour across the United States and every time I ask audiences raise your hand if you deeply love someone whose vote in 2016 you find in comprehensible and 99% of hands go up them
00:29:22we have to find a way like air that I ask how many of you are willing to sever permanently your relationship with the person you love because of their vote
00:29:32and maybe one or two hands goes up I'm not I am personally not willing to do that I have people I love family members whose their politics and so on some issues I find it really not I just can't wrap my head my head or my heart around it but I'm going to keep leaning in I'm going to keep staying up for what I believe in and I'm going to keep and weenie now with curiosity questions conversation because I'm working from a premise that I'm in extra kabli connected to that person buy something greater than me now I'm not going to tolerate
00:30:13abuse or I'm not going to tolerate dehumanizing language I'm not going to have a curious and open dialogue with someone who's politics and sis on diminishing myhumana those are lines that were very clear with a research participants
00:30:31but short of that I'm going to lean in and I'm going to stay curious
00:30:38yeah I mean boundaries is a big word and in your right arm now that and it again it it can sound like a paradox. Of course we all know it's true like boundaries and true belonging go together
00:30:51you know Britney I was
00:30:54I the question I wrote down when I was thinking it's like I was thinking I want to ask Renee if she surprised that were in this place because I'm one of the few people I feel one of the few people I know who is constantly in conversations about like how did this happen is saying just because I think you and I both have always been watching The Human Condition angle of things and from The Human Condition walking into this I was looking at at at the the transcript of our conversation in 2015 and
00:31:28you know I quoted something at you that you said that feeling vulnerable and perfect and frayed is human it's when we lose our capacity to hold space for the struggles that we become dangerous and then I said it seemed to me now that's one way to describe what is happening in our culture and political life and I feel like we have continued to walk into that to an extreme that I mean not being on when I say I'm not surprised I'm just made heartbroken right but we could have seen this coming
00:32:03and you I want to read what you said then too because it's it's just so it's more turn now you said I'm hoping it's not wishful thinking but I'm thinking we've grown
00:32:14yeah you was kind of agree that on this micro-level we're not our best selves in fear and the national conversation has been centered on what we are supposed to be afraid of and who's to blame for it and then you said I'm hoping it's not wishful thinking but I'm thinking we are worried about I think we're sick of being afraid and I think there's a growing silent majority of people who are really kind of thinking at a very basic human level I don't want to spend my days like this I don't want to spend every ounce of energy I have ducking and weaving I don't know where we're going next but I really believe with every fiber of my professional and personal self that we won't move forward without some honest conversation about who we are when we're in fear and what we're capable of doing to each other when we're afraid
00:32:58and then I take it back to you if you want to
00:33:03no I'm not surprised about where we are at all I mean is it possible to me that's heartbroken and not surprised yeah you mean that hopefully that we were going to have such a short time I mean no no I still Sargon yeah I definitely stand by what I said and I do believe in the longer you know and the longer story I think that's true but we are
00:33:27I only want to take it back because
00:33:33you know I just
00:33:37I'm not surprised at mall remember there was a day I remember there was a day where I looked at Steve and I said my husband and sad
00:33:46let me tell you how this is going to go and he's like yeah I think you're crazy and I was like I know but he's like but I'm scared because you know people
00:33:56and I said yeah because the thing is we have been in such deep fear and let me tell you something when people are in in in fear
00:34:06and in uncertainty and we live in we live in a culture that has no capacity for the vulnerable conversations that have to come around that fear actually facing the fear right now actually Stacy that is right and that tear show themselves as pain and fear that's right if you have if you have a leader
00:34:34well leverages that fear
00:34:39gives you people to blame for it and then promises to deliver you from your pain and your fear
00:34:47I hurting the people that you blame that person will always win
00:34:54I mean that person will always went and back and that and that is if we are not otherwise tending to that fear in our midst right yes he is sitting there waiting to be spoken to you somehow if it's burrowed metastasized then it can be leveraged now you hold fear in front of you
00:35:15and you say
00:35:18we're fearful
00:35:20we're in so much uncertainty there so much change at such a rapid rate if you hold here in front of you it doesn't dictate your behavior
00:35:32but I don't
00:35:36you know I think there's there's two things and it's interesting so I was hoping we could talk about this cuz I would love to know what you think about this
00:35:44and I think about it from not just politics and ideology right now but also things like the opiate addiction I think we've lost
00:35:53because we've lost our capacity for pain and discomfort
00:36:00we have transformed that pain into hatred and blame it's like it's so much easier for people to cause pain that is for them to feel their own pain out right when you talk about that but it it takes courage and it to allow yourself to allow yourself to feel pain it's not it's not a comfortable option
00:36:24I'm in the other thing I think is that we actually we reward outrage Retreat out rage and anger or an argument as powerful respected Tools in our life together
00:36:45and we don't reward or make or create spaces where it would be actually trustworthy or reasonable to invite people to show their fear and their pain just as that right that vulnerability
00:37:01it's funny because I think that's changing and I don't know what other things I'm super curious about can I just interview you now I've got a lot of questions for you Krista LOL I do have a lot of? Track alright here's my question for you
00:37:23that. Kind of respect for the bombastic pastured raging kind of thing as opposed to
00:37:32putting value on hard tension Paradox field Converse conversation that you just talked about so the one place I see this shifting is more and more in the corporate sector more and more there's there there is a waning tolerance for that kind of behavior and Leadership
00:37:56and it just for me beg the question that
00:38:01right now with the with the me-too movement and this Reckoning we're having around sexual violence and sexual harassment and assault of women
00:38:10we see again
00:38:13the corporate sector taking really firm hard stands on this while we see Zero movement in the government and politicians yeah
00:38:24and we see corporate sector really questioning that their tolerance for the bombastic raging
00:38:34air shut people down
00:38:36speak. Not to
00:38:39it's unusual
00:38:43I guess for me
00:38:46I wonder what that man can you tell me what's happening
00:38:50no I'm not well just a little bit and then I'm going to agree with you that the I ain't there's not a generational shift all together and and ironically workplaces and corporate sphere is more sensitive to that like it's bubbling up and having an effect where as our political life is just such a
00:39:13in such a tangle so like that one place unfortunately that one place is where we look to see where leadership is and what's important and what's powerful but like I feel like if we can just go buckle are seat belts like this is a 20-year process right so like I do think it's coming up in all kinds of places and it's real I agree with you like you said this it's the silent majority to Growing silent majority people I think that is still there I think it's stronger than it was 2 years ago but I don't miss this metastasize thing you know we have to somehow it has to work its way through our system alright so we're going to move on from me like so so
00:39:57so I think this gets also too
00:40:02so the second element belong from a research again feels like
00:40:10like a contradiction
00:40:13but it's exactly what we need now or just like you say speak truth and I'm going to because this is public radio I'm going to say it here but then we will speak truth to bullshit speak truth to BS and be civil
00:40:27which also like we're going to have to come up with a whole new understanding of what civilities I was using like words like muscular and adventurous like how do you what is the civility we have to develop which will let in pain and fear and true belonging
00:40:45so I really wrestle but that is it just for just for my knowledge so I should say BS is that right is that the better way to do that has her don't have to believe him now okay it will be my first believe it'll he definitely my most highbrow bleed for sure on public radio I was really curious about
00:41:07what's ability is and what it looks like to I didn't I didn't come into the research I mean I didn't expect the village emerge in the research as a big construction so when it did like this idea that we have to speak truth to be asked we have to find a way in culture where truth is becoming less and less important we have to wait find a way to speak truth
00:41:36the empirical evidence truth to BS but we have to do it while we're while we're simple we have to say civil while we're doing it otherwise we're not accomplishing it so as I started looking and doing a research review and trying to understand what civility was I mean I came across this definition from a non profit based in Houston The Institute for civility and government
00:42:01that it's Cassandra donkey and, I think it's from I spy both I think I might go on a limb here I think you're both Presbyterian ministers actually I'm getting a yes yes I have to have crafted the definition of stability they think it's brilliant that stability is claiming and carry for caring for one's identity needs and beliefs without degrading someone else's in the process I mean it goes on for another like 10 lines but if we could just get that part I think we'd have it nailed so claiming and caring for my identity and my needs and my beliefs without degrading yours
00:42:47and I feel like you're like the third the third leg of these fees for elementary blowing strong back soft front wild heart kind of starts to get at what that looks like yeah I mean
00:43:05I think that to me I first heard that the I first heard that the same strong back soft front from Joan Halifax who's the Buddhist teacher and it spoke to me at the time and I thought I don't know what that is but it sounds of course paradoxical I don't like it because it sounds hard I'd rather have a strong front and a strong back and a strong everything right but then when I was doing this research I just
00:43:39it went back to my work on daring greatly and Rising strong that what we need is a strong back we need the courage and we need the saw front of vulnerability I have to our deepest human need is to be seen by other people
00:43:55to really be seen and known by someone else
00:44:00and if we're so armored up and we walk to the world with an armored front we can't be seen and so I think when you go back to speaking truth to be after being soul
00:44:18it requires that strong back but it requires that soft rides that
00:44:24is it okay
00:44:26am I crazy or do I remember reading in your book something that said
00:44:32one of the greatest acts of courage is to be vulnerable with someone with whom we disagree right that's why I read it and I remember thinking when I read it boy now that's a measure of Courage right there
00:44:52yeah and I think that is that soft front but it is also the strong back I'm going to be vulnerable which means I'll lean into uncertainty I'll lean into some rest I'll lean into some emotional exposure but I have a strong back and the wild heart for me
00:45:10is Ghost back to the Wilderness that I'm not afraid of the wilderness
00:45:18I'm not afraid of that space where I share an opinion and I look around and I'm just surrounded by ghetto the Wilderness I don't see anybody standing next to me or behind me it's just my opinion and it's my belief and it's me
00:45:39and so I do think that's required for civility and the courage to speak truth that wild heart I love that language in that runs by sending that you you you actually said when we spoke last time in and it's funny cuz I I think of this as a poem it's five lines is like most of us are brave and Afraid exactly the same time all day long and you talk about the wild heart is that one in the same time tough & tender and brave and Afraid all at the same time
00:46:19it is that's that's that's why I'm literally if I raise my kids
00:46:28to have that wild heart
00:46:31that can be you know grit and Grace tough & tender excited and scared you know they can hold the tension of those things that's all I can ask
00:46:48I'm sure this question comes up in as you're out there in the world talking to people
00:46:54when you when you talk about softness and vulnerability and when we're talking about something like that in the context of our fairy heated at times dangerous
00:47:08public space you're not I think that's about it talk about why you are saying we have we have to be brave we have to be adventurous but it's not about making yourself unsafe
00:47:26a remedy is it is and it's not like we're not all Clips in certain situations like everybody is not called to have a soft heart and every situation and I was saying like I struggle with this and this question comes up because there are people who are on front lines of danger
00:47:41how do you like talk about I can't wear those boundaries are and how to think about that distinction yummy I think there are some real cultural issues I think one of the greatest casualties of trauma is the loss of the ability to be vulnerable and so when we Define trauma as you know oppression sexism racism I I have no choice but to leave my house with my armor on and carry the 20 tons of that through my day no matter how crippling it is no matter how heavy it is because I am not physically safe
00:48:21in a world or this environment I mean that's why I do know I work with teachers I tell them all the time
00:48:29you may be creating the only space in a child's life where he or she can walk in hang up their backpack and hang up their armor only for the hour or two hours this child is with you can they literally take that off
00:48:47but what's I think again the tension is that you know the data driven definition of vulnerability is uncertainty risk and emotional exposure and one of the things I talked about all the time when I'm working with leaders I mean I've from CEOs to Special Forces troops I always ask the same question most recently NFL teams
00:49:12give me an example of Courage that you've seen in your life or that you yourself have engaged in any active bravery that did that was not completely defined by boner ability give me one example of Courage that you ever witnessed that did not require require uncertainty risk and emotional exposure no one has to this day even Special Forces even when they can't tell you then no one can tell you like because the problem is there is no courage without vulnerability
00:49:46but we're all we're all taught to be brave and there were all warned growing up to not be vulnerable and so that's the rub you know that's that's until when you have bravery
00:50:03without vulnerability
00:50:07that's when you get what we're looking at today
00:50:12all Blaster all posturing
00:50:15no real courage
00:50:24you know I thought I just recently entered it conversation with two people including them
00:50:34Whitney chemical symbol Co who's part of something called the national rural assembly which I had never heard of before and it's just composed of a lot of people who are they call themselves homecomers Sciences people in these in these in our Talons and you know we're all areas all over the country that are you know very simplistically put on the losing side of globalization's equation on the losing side of
00:51:01a lot of what's happened so quickly in this early century
00:51:08and that we got this email and I was so I was moved by it and I thought I can bring this to brene so it can about here yeah she said
00:51:23I just listened to the episode after someone living in a small western town it was a lifesaver I would really love to hear something that is focused directly on how to cope with fear
00:51:33she said especially for Progressive living in small real conservative leaning leaning towns with very little ethnic diversity there can be a pervading sense of fear both for ethnic minorities and Progressive activist in addition is a writer I received my fair share of troll attacks on Twitter and well this isn't uncommon I struggle a great deal with carrying fear while trying to continue doing my work I want to say I want I want you to respond to and I also want to see your you're very careful and I appreciate this took to say that you know this kind of their sphere on every side of our of our cultural equation so it's so this happens to be a progressive so how would you feel to me like such an important question right that line between just staying safe and being courageous
00:52:22yeah I mean I think that
00:52:27I think your is fear on every side and I think we are are very worst selves and fear we are the most dangerous to ourselves and to each other and even to the people we Love and War and fear
00:52:41and so
00:52:43when you have a situation where you've got your in a small town you're either an ethnic minority you're a progressive or whoever you are. There's got to here's the thing that I thought
00:53:00was so important that while the inextricable connection between human beings cannot be severed
00:53:10it can be forgotten and
00:53:14we need moments of collective joy and we need moments an experience as a collective pain we need to find ways to come together
00:53:23in those moments and in small towns
00:53:29there have to be coming in big towns in there we have to start having conversations this is this is where the only place I can think of in small towns where people can come together and actually have conversations where people can make and hold space for that are our faith communities and we're not doing it
00:53:54yeah you're not doing it 10 day off and get divided they're off and divided bubbles to right now but I would call upon I mean I think physical safety look when I asked the men and women in the end that we research that who the participants for the research what are the limits of moving close to people that you disagree with
00:54:17the two big pieces were physical safety and dehumanization and so I would say if your physical safety is at risk I don't think it's smart I mean I think if your physical safety is at risk that I think you're strong back in your soft front is about safety for you and for your family and do not understand that that's the truth for people
00:54:42it's privileged a lot of people don't understand that that's a reality for a lot of folks but it is absolutely a reality but this is also when I would call upon you know you said something interesting earlier when I asked you the question about why is Corporate America out of head right now of what's happening in politics and you said well they are except we keep looking to politics for what at leadership should look like
00:55:12there's something around local Civic leaders bringing together people in small room rule town about leap Faith leaders bringing together people I mean here's the thing this is my dad Chrissy this is maybe in two years will be talking again yeah okay we'll pull the transcript Ingleside Dad making it right now
00:55:38he or she
00:55:40who chooses Comfort over
00:55:46courage and facilitating real conversations in towns and cities and synagogues and areas who need it when you choose your own Comfort over trying to bring people together and you're a leader either a Civic leader or faith leader
00:56:03your days of relevance are numbered
00:56:08I like really and truly again yeah it is it is one of those things that
00:56:16you bring together people
00:56:21are in conflict in fear of each other
00:56:25you're not going to do it perfectly you're going to get your it's going to be messy it's not going to be great you're going to be on the receiving in a bunch of criticism for how you handled it but did not opt into facilitating that when that's your role as a leader is the definition of privilege to say I'm not going to do it because I can't do it perfectly and I can't insure it an ending that deserves a bow
00:56:49that's just not right and I I do believe in it I do believe in this this this idea you know what you said to me again this girl growing silent majority like I think I think the cross are Spectrum across the political Spectrum across every all of these chasms that we can name there so many more of us who longed for that connection let's get that tube for this belonging to to stitch that back together again are so many more of us who want that that who made who wants this division really think it's wants that right it's
00:57:28is that rhetorical is your meeting at Jimmy give it a shot I'll give it a shot I think that I think there are people who want it and I'll tell you I'll tell you why
00:57:41I think
00:57:43. There is a huge silent majority
00:57:47on both sides of the aisle who desperately want reconnection
00:57:53to come together to solve bigger problems and hating each other I think that there are people that most of us the vast majority of us are desperate for it that doesn't mean we have the skills to do it but I think we're desperate for it which is why it's such a call to leaders of every sector to stand up
00:58:13create some space call it help if you need it and start having the conversations but I absolutely believe
00:58:23that there is a small sliver of people with a tremendous amount of power
00:58:30who's power rest completely
00:58:34on a stain divided
00:58:38right I absolutely think that when you see an Administration throwing fuel on Fires around race around the NFL around poverty around around simple things where the only the only if you stand back and watch it and don't engage in it what you see is the purposeful creation
00:59:06of a device of Union a divided Union
00:59:10and there are absolutely people whose power rests on that
00:59:16and so
00:59:19but I don't think those people represent the majority of liberals conservatives progressives Republicans Democrats I think we're all much more the same than different and I think this is a good way to to come into that fourth pillar of true belonging from your research soup like bring this really close to the ground which is also where it happens right I mean like humans probably in physical spaces hold hands with strangers there's a period in there hold hands with strangers
00:59:56talk about what what that is what
01:00:00yeah it's about
01:00:03the research participants who had the highest levels of true belonging sought-out experiences of collective joy and Collective paint durkheim the French sociologist call this experience Collective effervescence and interesting Lee he was trying to understand kind of the voodoo magic that he believed happened in church like what is this thing that we're where people seem Transcendent they're connected their kind of moving in unison there's a Cadence and song and rhythm
01:00:39and he tried to understand what it was and what he realized is and that's what he named Collective effervescence it's the coming together
01:00:50and shared emotion and we have that today we have opportunity like like trust me I'm from Houston variances where this Rises up in a $1 to 4222 so I've gone through Harvey which you know there we are 6 feet of water in our street my husband's in a kayak that happen to be in our garage because my son had a Boy Scout kayak trip so he's in a kayak pulley neighbors and pets out of houses where one of only four houses left on our street everything else has been torn down since Harvey everyone lost everything you have the yolk the Cajun Navy which is 400 Fisher men and women coming from Louisiana and swamp boats and Jet Skis at fishing boat pulling people out of houses never once during this tragedy which is still unfolding here in Houston will be in pain for a long time around it
01:01:50I never wanted someone to hey I'm here to help who did you vote for that just didn't happen we just reached out and it was Collective it was Collective pain it was Collective struggle but we saw hope in each other's eyes and stories and then you fast forward you know
01:02:10baseball season and we've had this incredible experience of collective Joy with the Astros winning the World Series that's alright yes it was it was really it was you know I can give just a short story like I'm at the the last game playoff game against the Yankees I'm standing and with a had a couple me and Steve and the game of inches as they say watching every pitch watching every bad I cannot take my eyes off I'm a big Sports person so I am glued and it's like the second to last batter and I stick my hand in the I should my hand down in my husband's back pocket and I'm like kind of hold on to his rear you know like ready and the guy next week excuse me ma'am it wasn't even my husband she got up to go to the bathroom and when I came back you still at the end of the aisle but this guy was like but go Astros and it was just this what else are you singing with strangers
01:03:09hugging strangers high-fiving people around you like these moments of collective joy and they sound and their moments of Oliver Sacks says you know music needs no mediation at Pierce's the heart directly like at a concert you know you're just singing your lungs out to you too I'm holding hands with my kids have never seen them before and they know one of my favorites you know and I start crying cuz he play one of my favorite songs from The War album and then my son Charlie gets teary-eyed because I know you love this Mom it's so great
01:03:42again the connection between people is you can't separate but you can forget it so Define moments a collective Joy and Pain and to lean in those into those with strangers reminds us of that something bigger
01:04:00trust is another subject you've done a lot of research on women talking about and you know I have to say right we start a little late but we're trying to close but like like we are are we okay Chris to be like 15 more minutes okay cuz we obviously can't go into a trust in a big way here but I do like it seems to me that
01:04:23in order for that those moments also too
01:04:29to continue to be to have to start a restitched us as a people took three stitches together or help us remember that that are belong to each other like you view note in your research that trust is made in very small moments it seems to me it's also I'm done and you know it but but but but when it's on done like how do you what do you know about the can we I don't know it just feels like that's a big one for us because so much there's been through it's been so much there was so many hateful things said and again like if everybody even if everybody wasn't saying that they've landed all across the spectrum of us
01:05:11that's so beautifully put it's true no matter you know who said that they've landed on us haven't they
01:05:19you know I think one of the reasons I dug into trust is because again in my work was leaders and teams and organizations what I what I have observed and found is that if I work for you when you come into your office and you say look for that we've got to work on some trust issues basically everything after the word trust is like the Peanut's parents like won't won't won't won't won't I can't hear anything after the word trust because when you question someone's trustworthiness it just makes us really limbic it just makes us shutdown I can't hear and so my goal was just try to understand kind of what is the anatomy of the elements of trust what is what are we talkin about behaviorally when we talk about whether we trust someone or not and so what we found is that trust is really about seven elements and we use the acronym braving so trusses about boundaries reliability accountability
01:06:15confidentiality or what we call the Vault Integrity non judgement and generosity and I generous and my sections towards you and something goes wrong or do I need it we assume the worst about your intentions and so when I think trust is falling apart
01:06:32on a cultural level it's like one of those conversations were having right now about again the sexual harassment and sexual violence Reckoning in the me-too movement and everyone's like complaining about the lack of legitimacy in the in the apologies will we're so far away from apology time like like
01:06:55we haven't even acknowledged
01:06:58what the hurt is we haven't even acknowledged the pain that it's caused people we would knowledge and it's happened
01:07:06but there's been a reckoning about the cost to these women and his men to their careers to their lives their self worth I mean and so to build trust again we have to think about this elements how and where do we start building boundaries again and down trees is like a big Ghazi word but it's a really simple thing what's okay and what's not okay that's it here's what's okay here's what's not okay that's reliable that's really helpful for level but you don't like his face really practical steps towards that super practical reliability reestablishing that you do what you say and you say what you do. There's reliabilities accountability rather than blame are excuses are rationalizing
01:08:00you own it you acknowledge the pain it caused and you make amends
01:08:08you may commence
01:08:11and what those are going to look like I don't know I think it's probably up for civil court in the case of the me-too movement but you make amends there has to be a men's if if you don't acknowledge the pain that you caused specifically and you don't make amends for it there's no apology
01:08:27cats meow meow The Vault I mean to me that's about two things the vault is about confidentiality and not only is it you know if if I work for you you may call me in and say you never name
01:08:43which and a lot of good trust work there's one area we need to work on this is the Vault I look at you and say, Krista and five years I've never repeated one thing that you shared with me to someone outside I've never I've always held your confidence you know completely and then you say to me I believe you have Renee but the problem is you coming to my office and you share information with me that's not yours to share people don't understand the other side of confidentiality which is
01:09:11appropriate sharing whose story is that to own in chair and then Integrity about practicing the values that we believe and we Professor most important to us
01:09:23non judgement and asking for help are delivering help so hard to trust is that I can ask you for help without feeling judged and I can need help about judging myself and then yeah which is hard I'm a much better helper than I am asked her for help right that I had I probably need help more than I can offer help to it which is really a conundrum and then the last one is generosity I work from a hypothesis of generosity with you and things are not going well I assume the best I can about your intention in your behavior and I asked you about it
01:10:04so very specific behavioral things there's going to be no Hallmark movie of
01:10:13reground trust in this culture. So I meant to bring your book into the studio with me tonight I forgot that there I did want to and I'm and just we're trying to close now but there was a part of it where you you were you were interviewing somebody who who your drawing out on these things are learning about how we do all this stuff and I think one thing I really appreciate about your writing is in new like to hear that I did actually write this down and you'll see things like this were in your questions to her you say one of my worst defenses when I get anxious or fearful in conflict is to put people on the stand I break into vicious lawyer mode and depose people rather than listening you know it's terrible they're always ends badly that's how I get to being right and there was another one
01:11:13what I was going to read where you you talked about how you realize that when you're sitting with somebody having me hard and counters you're just thinking ahead what you're going to say next and then when people do that to you you hate it and I think the cookie was a conversation was also also felt like this happens in our families right it's me know it's yes it is about whether when we if we go to civil Gatherings so tell me about some of them like really practical things you know I'm in about how do how do I crack that back and like regain be your be the people we want to be in those moments
01:11:50yeah I think you're talking about interview that I did with Michelle Buck who teaches at Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern and she was she teaches I love the name of this it doesn't it's not conflict resolution is conflict formation which I think is great and so she I asked her specifically for the Practical tips because I needed them for the holidays but I
01:12:12yeah I think it's practical to me
01:12:16the biggest take away that it sounds fluffy but it's actually very tangible the biggest take away from me and this book and it actually change how I parent my kids as well is we've got to stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that we do not belong because we will always find it and you have to start walking we have to start walking to the world looking for confirmation that we're not enough because you will always find that you will always it's a confirmation by she will if you are looking for confirmation you don't belong you're going to find it you look for confirmation you're not good enough you're going to find it
01:12:57we don't negotiate
01:13:00our belonging externally
01:13:04it's not something that we negotiate with other people or groups of people with somebody else can give you her heart
01:13:15and so
01:13:17the most tangible behaviors that I have found stay curious
01:13:25be kind
01:13:27and as Harriet Lerner has taught me
01:13:32listen with the exact same amount of passion that you want to be heard like really listen passionately like I think you got thank you but I've heard you call generous listening in your listening like wheelie
01:13:50even if it so it's it's I really try to change out of my life and it's been such a game-changer the only thing that's cause I have to pause a lot now because I'm not working it I'm not working out my response in advance now but I'm actually listening to people ask me something hard he has to be talking that then hard I'll be really focusing listening I'll be saying what did you mean this or this and I'll be following up now I can't what do you think I'm like I don't know I might have to take a minute cuz I wasn't formulating that's why I plan usually but I I think it's key I think curiosity kindness
01:14:25and not negotiating are belonging our self-worth externally I think that could do a lot
01:14:31to move us in the right direction
01:14:35you know right I just I'm I'm going to keep chewing on this what you said when we first started talking about how
01:14:41our capacity for belonging not to start desire but our capacity is is like the genius of our species lies and that and said that's the large context of what we're talking about and also about what we're talking about like hopefully is unfolding in generational time if not him election cycle time I want to ask you like a minnow you say this I love
01:15:11I am going to talk about how we need to find points of connection and joy even with strangers especially with strangers right now see if that help Dorothy Day I love this you know this picture of her with the San Francisco earthquake she's 8 years old I think watching people coming over and boats from Oakland and that she has as a child like she sees that everybody around her all these adults know how to take care of strangers they knew how to do this all along and then her question was why can't we live this way all the time I know but I feel like what you're doing with your research and in a very practical way is like kind of shining a light on like what it would take
01:15:55like the actually actually that we have it in us and kind of breaking that down right I mean talking about the anatomy of trust or these these very practical tools of behavior and how we are with each other so and so I know you're out there having that conversation with that long and that is so alive so I just want to ask you like this because you know what right now and this may be very different this week from what it was last week like we are right now what what makes you Despair and and where where are you finding your help
01:16:31I think my despair
01:16:40yeah that movie I remember what movie it was where the line was I can see dead people
01:16:52The Sixth Sense yes I feel like I think my despair as I can see fear in people like I think that's kind of a maybe a gift for my work and maybe a curse I don't know that I think my despair is people still opt for causing pain rather than feeling it
01:17:12and that is such as hard for me to see if I can see it I I just don't see the Bull story confident blustery person I see the scared to death person holding on and a very desperate way that's causing people paying so I think that's hard to help is that what I think about Harvey and I think about the Dorothy Day thing the quote I don't think would wear our best selves with each other I don't think that's what's possible between people I believe that's what's true between people
01:17:51and I don't think we have to work to make it true between people I think we just have to get the stuff out of the way that stopping it from happening
01:18:01such a joy thank you so much I have so many more questions for you Krista I would love that
01:18:14my colleague said there's no chance in hell she's going to let you try that. Yeah I don't I don't have a trip planned to Houston anytime soon but I'm I would love to I hope we just got it we can surely our paths will cross in the flashlight will try I mean I feel like I kind of feel like I'm crossing paths with you all the time right like that you and I'm having conversations about you so thank you so much just for continuing to do this and yeah I'm just so glad you're out there and then we will talk again soon I'm sure I can't wait thank you I hope you have a beautiful rest of your day. Have a great season thank you holiday bye bye

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