How do shame and empathy go together? For one, Brene Brown believes that “connection is the essence of the human experience. It is what gives meaning to our lives.” If you think about connection on a continuum, shame is on one side while empathy is on the other. Bridging the gap between us and allowing for the connection of our human experience is the discussion of shame and empathy – and doing so is practicing vulnerability. Being able to open up and discuss our inner most fears with one another enlivens the empathic side our nature. Think about how good it feels to sit with a good friend and open up, getting reassuring nods, gestures of understanding. On the other hand, when we fear this vulnerability and experience shame, we are closing ourselves off to any sort of empathic nature – even from ourselves.