The Gifts of Imperfection

Has anyone read this book? What did you think? I was intrigued at one of the concepts from the book, namely the six friends you don’t want to share your shame with:

the six types of friends who can make a shameful situation worse, not better:
1.The friend who actually feels shame for you, gasps and confirms how horrified you should be.
2.The friend who responds with sympathy (“I feel so sorry for you.”) rather than empathy (“I get it, I feel with you and I’ve been there.”)
3.The friend who needs you to be the pillar of worthiness and authenticity, who can’t help because she’s too disappointed in your imperfections.
4.The friend who is so uncomfortable with vulnerability that she scolds, “How did you let this happen?”
5.The friend who is all about making it better and, out of her own discomfort, refuses to acknowledge that you can actually make terrible choices (“You’re exaggerating. It wasn’t that bad.”)
6.The friend who confuses connection with the opportunity to one-up you. (“Well, that’s nothing. Listen what happened to me…”)

If you’ve read this book, do you think it is worth buying? Could you expand on what the author had to say about the list above? Our library has it, but since Oprah seems to have pushed it there is a line of about 20 people waiting to check it out!

(As an aside: Do you think this book (or this little list from it) has anything to say about what kind of responses to make here on this forum? Do you think that is sort of apples and oranges, since this forum is anonymous and not face-to-face?)

It sounds like an interesting book. Our public library has it, so I just put a hold on it. Since Oprah is recommending the book, it might be a good idea to wait and read it for free.

You’re probably right; the library may have 20 copies of it going begging within the year.

I haven’t read the book but have heard the author speaking. I think these are all good points to keep in mind for responses, it might make a good sticky or something, but I don’t think strangers online have the connection of friends. A lot of people seem to be surprised at the kind of honesty they get since it’s so easy to write without really knowing the person. If anything is posted here I’d suggest writing it as guidelines for being charitable (please try to keep in mind that this is better) and take out the references to friendship. There may be copyright issues.

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