Atlas of the Heart Book Summary - Atlas of the Heart Book explained in key points
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Atlas of the Heart summary

Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience

4.6 (1531 ratings)
27 mins

Brief summary

Atlas Of The Heart by Brené Brown is a guide to understanding emotions, helping readers build meaningful connections and lead more empathetic lives.
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    Atlas of the Heart
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    A child with magic powers.

    Growing up, Brené Brown was sure she had magic powers – that she could predict the future, and make connections no one else around her could.

    She remembers how her high-school swim coach had an explosive temper, and that all her classmates were terrified of him. They couldn’t quite figure out why he would suddenly get so angry all the time. But Brené knew. She’d noticed he’d freak out when people weren’t trying hard in practice. It didn’t matter how talented you were – if you weren’t one hundred percent committed to improvement, you’d set him off. On the other hand, if he saw you were taking the practice seriously, he’d never get angry at you, even if you were a mediocre swimmer. And he loved the backstroke. 

    So, Brené worked on her backstroke. In order to stay under the radar and not piss off her teacher, she gave it her all.

    Staying under the radar was the main function of the heightened levels of awareness she'd developed as a kid – what felt like her magic powers. It helped her navigate her home life, with her complicated parents. In public, her parents were sociable, kind, and fun. But, behind closed doors at home, their behavior was unpredictable. Their moods would swing wildly, and they could get pretty angry without much, if any, warning. It was confusing, and it made Brené and her four siblings feel ashamed. After all, their parents only behaved like this when they were at home – so it was only natural that it made Brené and her siblings feel it was their fault that they got so upset. On top of that, Brené was the oldest of the kids, so she felt like it was her job to protect everyone else from their outbursts. 

    And so she became very observant. She learned to identify people’s soft spots, or what she now calls everyone’s “shame triggers” – like the ill-timed jokes or misjudged requests that might set someone off. 

    Besides just her parents, she began to notice how other adults around her would channel their anger into everyday moments, like watching sports or road rage. She understood that those situations were often completely unrelated to what was really making them angry. 

    At the time, Brené didn't know what to do with all this emotional awareness. Nobody at home talked about their feelings, or expressed them much at all. The only acceptable emotion was anger – and just because Brené could predict the outbursts, it wasn't any less painful when she was on the receiving end of them.

    Of course, emotional awareness is precisely what Brené Brown is known for today. It's a superpower she's honed over a stellar career, and a skill she passes on in Atlas of the Heart.

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    What is Atlas of the Heart about?

    Atlas of the Heart (2021) is a guide to understanding your emotions and learning how to regulate them. Everyone experiences strong emotions, but most people can’t identify what it is they’re feeling, or work out where the feelings come from. Developing your emotional vocabulary will transform your relationship to yourself, and the people around you.

    Atlas of the Heart Review

    Atlas Of The Heart (2021) explores the world of emotions and their impact on our lives. Here's why it's a must-read:

    • The book provides a comprehensive map of human emotions, enhancing self-awareness and empathy.
    • It offers practical tools to navigate complex feelings and build stronger connections with others.
    • The author's research-based approach makes the content accessible and applicable to real-life situations.

    Unlock the power of empathy and emotional intelligence by reading Atlas Of The Heart.

    Who should read Atlas of the Heart?

    • Curious adventurers interested in exploring their own emotional landscapes
    • Anyone who feels flooded by painful emotions that they can’t understand or control
    • Fans of Brené Brown’s work wanting to learn more about her latest insightful theories of emotion

    About the Author

    Brené Brown is a research professor at The University of Houston and a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. She’s spent the past two decades researching emotions like vulnerability and shame, and her TEDx talk on the subject has been viewed more than 50 million times. Her previous New York Times best-selling books include Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, and The Gifts of Imperfection

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    Atlas of the Heart FAQs 

    What is the main message of Atlas Of The Heart?

    The main message of Atlas Of The Heart is to understand emotions and build meaningful connections through empathy and self-awareness.

    How long does it take to read Atlas Of The Heart?

    The estimated reading time for Atlas Of The Heart is around 5-6 hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in about 15 minutes.

    Is Atlas Of The Heart a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Atlas Of The Heart is worth reading for its insights on emotions, empathy, and building meaningful connections.

    Who is the author of Atlas Of The Heart?

    The author of Atlas Of The Heart is Brené Brown.

    How many chapters are in Atlas Of The Heart?

    Atlas Of The Heart by Brené Brown has 5 chapters:

    1. The Heart of Connection
    2. The Language of Emotion
    3. The Heartlines
    4. The Heart of Resilience
    5. The Heart of Wholeheartedness

    How many pages are in Atlas Of The Heart?

    Atlas Of The Heart has 336 pages.

    When was Atlas Of The Heart published?

    Atlas Of The Heart was published in 2021.

    What to read after Atlas of the Heart?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Atlas of the Heart, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) by Brené Brown
    • Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
    • Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
    • Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
    • You Are Your Best Thing by Edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown
    • Rising Strong by Brené Brown
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga
    • How to Tell a Story by The Moth