The Gifts of Imperfection

I recently finished the book, the Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, in one day!  It is a fast read – about 130 pages.  I was introduced to her by a fellow blogger – Barbara – Thank you!

Here are my thoughts on this book (no spoilers):

1. It is not directly related to healing from NPD and not intended for ACoNs (but rather for everyone)

2. It is based on research – which I love – my analytical mind absorbed this stuff; she shares with you her research in a non-researchy way, which I loved even more.

3.  Her approach is to talk about what gets in the way – not how-to; my first impression was a little disappointed but her point on focusing on what gets in the way was terrific!  And I changed my first impression.  She has a great analogy – we all know how to be physically healthy, there are plenty of tools – weight watchers, etc. – but we don’t focus on what stops us from doing the things that are healthy.  To me, this can speak to everyone whereas ‘how-to’ stuff doesn’t because each person is different.

4.  She shares with you her own struggles.  It made the read that much faster.

5. She researched wholehearted people – which is her word for people who I would say are emotionally healthy.  It is a positive book that talks about the ugly.

Her main focus is on self-love, you are worthy just as you are.  And something we as ACoNs struggle with in an ‘unnatural’ way.  What really surprised me was how much wholehearted people deal with the message of unworthiness.  They have moments where self-doubt is there and that is natural and they know what to do to deal with it.  And that is what we struggle with a lot.  That very message of our own worthiness.  Our ‘natural’ message of self-worthiness were validated over and over again turning us to a point of ‘unnatural’ messages in our head.  Heck, my mother, frequently, if not daily, told me I was worthless – literally.

It was great to understand how wholehearted people live and it was eye-opening.  I guess I had the idea of wholehearted people being completely different from me emotionally.  It kind of helped me see that my messages were just numerous but well, ‘normal’.  Reaffirming her message, we are not alone or separated from emotionally healthy people.

I enjoyed it so much that I pre-ordered her next book, Daring Greatly.  It is being launched this week and I hope I get my copy soon!



5 thoughts on “The Gifts of Imperfection

  1. Yes! I saw her on Katie Couric’s new show promoting her new book “Daring Greatly” which sounds equally as good! I just wanted to crawl up into her lap and just rock!


    • I’m so excited! I just got the message today that the book is being shipped! She is terrific and her research has been so eye-opening! Looking forward to hearing what you think of the new book! Happy reading!
      P.S. She is doing a read along on her blog –


  2. Hi T Reddy,
    Thanks for the review. It made me think of how anyone who comes across narcissistic behaviour is affected even in a smaller scale. Because ultimately the narcissist aim is one of one-upmanship and the effects it produces are insecurity, self doubt and feeling like we’re not good enough. I wonder whether the difference is the level of exposure, but that anybody subjected to that influence for long enough without realising what is going on would end up emotionally injured. I had a look at Brene’s web page and I’m glad she’s speaking up agains the quest of perfection (which personally I feel it has been imposed on us by narcissists all along, I hate the pressure we get from others to look like we have it all together lest we be looked down upon).


    • Hi Kara,

      The level of exposure is a very good point – we were exposed during a young age repeatedly and did not develop ways to handle messages that could come in later in our lives – leaving us with an emotionally injury. I have seen my emotionally healthy friends encounter narcissists – they don’t know about narcissism but they use other words like you mention ‘they are trying to one-up me’. When the narcissism is daily like with one friend who worked with one she went to therapy to deal with it. She didn’t know how to handle a person that did the one-upmanship daily even through she had encountered others here and there in small doses.

      I like how you put it – perfectionism has ‘been imposed on us by narcissists all along’. Their own lack of self-compassion translates to others and forcing others into their perfect scripts of life.



      • “Their own lack of self-compassion translates to others and forcing others into their perfect scripts of life.” Boy, isn’t that the truth. Since life for them is a competition, they are ruthless players.
        I thought your friend’s experience was very interesting. The big difference with people who don’t grow up with narcissistic parents is that when they encounter this type of behaviour, even though they might get wounded, they realise that ultimately the problem is with the other person, whereas us tend to blame ourselves and think that something we did caused the person to be a jerk, and that if we changed ourselves everything would be ok. What a long con. Until now. Now we know it’s not us, and all we need is a course on narc-management 😉



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s