Wonderful, powerful read. Lerner provides a new way to think of fear that we experience in day to day life: inescapable, inevitable, painful that can drive feelings of anxiety, shame & guilt.
Shame: She teaches that shame is a very powerful tool people use to manipulate and deflect their own, but it's usually not consciously seen by the shamer as such. Shaming another is usually a way of deflecting our own insecurities & fears. A mother afraid of what people may say about her overweight child may make guilt-ridden comments about her daughter's weight, and not realize that she is doing so from a place of trying to protect her own feelings
Anxiety: writes about how a company/group/relationship can be driven by anxiety and how the interconnectedness can influence the entire system. "You can learn to let other people's anxiety float by you, and to pass on less anxiety than you receive...we are not only moving in the direction of calming things down. We are also doing what the world desperately needs: creating a more peaceable, open-hearted place to live."
5 styles of managing anxiety: under-functioning (doing too little), overfunctioning (think bossy control freak mode), blaming (not taking responsibility for our share in the problem & placing it on another person), distancing (withdrawing and avoiding other people/situations at all costs), and GOSSIP (two people moving closer to each other at the expense of the person being gossiped about). ***lots of gossip indicates a lot of anxiety***
Shame: linked to an internal idea that we are not enough of love or even existence. Can be experienced secondhand.
+ "anxiety and fear push us to extremes, so we may feel like an emotional basket case on the one hand, or present ourselves as having no needs, problems, or loose ends on the other. Anxiety, by it's very nature will lead you to lose objectivity about the complex, wonderful, flawed, ever-changing person you are. When you can't see yourself objectively, you won't see anyone else objectively either."
+ "The process of self-observation, reflection and change is a self-loving task"
+ "Judging others is simply the flip side of judging yourself"