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Atlas of the Heart Book Summary, Review, Notes

The book walks through a new framework for fostering genuine connection and covers eighty-seven feelings and experiences that characterize what it means to be human. 


Book Title: Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience
Author: Brené Brown
Date of Reading: July 2023
Rating: 9/10

Table of Contents

What Is Being Said In Detail

INTRODUCTION: The Hidden Side of Everything

This mysterious book starts with storytelling. It goes like this: Imagine experiencing severe shooting pain in your left shoulder, preventing you from working, sleeping, and engaging in life. 

At the doctor’s office, you find yourself tied to your mouth and hands, unable to communicate or explain the pain. In such a situation, most people would either fall to the ground in despair or fling themselves around in uncontrollable rage.

This is similar to the situation when we cannot articulate our emotions, leading to hopelessness or destructive anger. Finding our way back to ourselves and each other is almost impossible without knowing how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors interact.

CHAPTER 1: Places We Go When Things Are Uncertain or Too Much: Stress, Overwhelm, Anxiety, Worry, Avoidance, Excitement, Dread, Fear, Vulnerability.

Stress and overwhelm. In the restaurant industry, stress and overwhelm are often referred to as “in the weeds” and “blown.” When a waiter was in the weeds, they would ask for assistance, such as taking bread to tables 2 and 4. However, walking into the kitchen and saying, “I’m blown,” is different.

The kitchen becomes quiet, and no one asks what you need. Typically, someone runs to the hostess stand to find out what tables you’re running that shift. 

When you’re blown away, you can either step outside, go to the cooler, or go to the bathroom. You’re expected back in ten minutes, ready to go, but for ten minutes, there’s a complete takeover.

Anxiety. Anxiety lasting over six months can cause restlessness, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping. Coping mechanisms include worry or avoidance, which are not effective. 

To feel comfortable, individuals avoid triggering fear and difficult emotions. I felt so called out when I read this. Furthermore, while avoidance may make you feel less vulnerable in the short run, it does not reduce fear. 

This highlights the importance of understanding and managing anxiety effectively, as well as asking for professional help.

Vulnerability. Have you felt vulnerable on your first date after your divorce or watching your child leave for college? Although some of these experiences are unpleasant, there is no evidence that they are signs of weakness. 

In fact, this is one of the most common myths about vulnerability. Regardless of culture, the majority of people are taught to associate vulnerability with weakness. Rather, it is our greatest measure of courage.

CHAPTER 2: Places We Go When We Compare:  Comparison, Admiration, Reverence, Envy, Jealousy, Resentment, Schadenfreude, Freudenfreude. 

Comparison. Most of the time, social comparison falls outside of our awareness. Rather, it says fit in, but win. As someone who trained track and field, I always appreciated the ‘me time’. No calls and no disturbance. 

The only thing that can ruin my training is when I shift my attention from my field to what’s happening next to me.

Sometimes I found myself racing the person next to me, comparing speed and clothes. Suddenly, I have lost meditation time. In this chapter, I learned how to raise my awareness about how and why this is happening so I can name it and think about it. 

Afterwards, I look at the person next to me and whisper, “Have a good run.” I am able to accept what is coming and choose to wish them well before continuing on with my run. It’s working quite well so far.

Admiration and Reverence. Fascinatingly, adoration frequently motivates us to strive for personal improvement; it doesn’t make us want to be like the person or object we admire. For instance, I respect a lot of female athletes. 

They motivate me to be the best athlete I can be, even if I don’t want to be a professional on the tour. In contrast to appreciation, which promotes self-improvement, reverence appears to promote a desire for connection with that person. 

Envy and jealousy. I want that, and I don’t want you to have it. I also want you pulled down.” Clearly, envy involves wanting something that another person has, while jealousy involves fearing losing a relationship or a valued part. 

Envy typically involves two people and targets a specific target, such as a person or group, while jealousy involves three people and fears losing someone to another person.

CHAPTER 3: Places We Go When Things Don’t Go as Planned: Boredom, Disappointment, Expectations, Regret, Discouragement, Resignation, Frustration.

Boredom. Boredom is the feeling of wanting to engage in satisfying activities but being unable to do so. It can lead to a lack of stimulation, a slow time passage, and tasks lacking challenge and meaning. 

However, boredom can also be beneficial, as simple, boring tasks can allow our minds to wander, daydream, and create. In other words, boredom is your imagination calling to you.

Disappointment. Some research shows that disappointment is the most frequently experienced emotion. We develop expectations by painting a picture in our minds of how things will look, feel, taste, and smell. 

This picture holds great value for us, as we set expectations based on our fit in the picture and the actions of others.

These expectations are often set based on outcomes beyond our control, such as others’ thoughts, feelings, or reactions. 

The movie in our minds is wonderful, but no one else knows its parts or role. When the picture fails to come true in real life, we feel disappointed.

Regret. The concept of “no regrets” doesn’t imply living with courage but rather living without reflection. To live without regret, we must believe we have nothing to learn or opportunities to be braver. It may be that we dislike the accountability that comes with regret.

Discouraged, Resigned, and Frustrated. Disappointed means “I’m beginning to lose faith in myself and my ability to succeed in any future tasks.” 

Resigned means “I no longer have any enthusiasm or faith in my ability to succeed in any future endeavors.” While frustrated implies “I’m not getting the results I want because of something that feels out of my control.”

CHAPTER 4: Places We Go When It’s Beyond Us: Awe, Wonder, Confusion, Curiosity, Interest, Surprise.

Awe and wonder. The human experience is not complete without wonder and awe. Our desire for adventure, curiosity, and learning is fueled by wonder. 

According to research, awe “inspires humility” and “leads people to cooperate, share resources, and sacrifice for others.” It also “causes people to fully appreciate the value of others and see themselves more accurately.”

Confusion. It turns out that confusion—like many unpleasant experiences—is essential for learning. Confusion has been shown to have the ability to inspire, promote deep learning, and stimulate problem solving.

Curiosity and interest. Curiosity is a trait or state that allows individuals to feel curious about something in the moment. Interest is a state involving both emotion and thinking, while curiosity involves both feeling and thinking.

Surprise. My introversion and spotlight piece contribute to my dislike for surprises in movies and TV series. I typically read the entire plot before watching, which doesn’t ruin the experience. 

I can enjoy the movie better without being thrown off the surprise bridge into amplified emotion. After all, surprise is the shortest-duration emotion, lasting more than a few seconds.

CHAPTER 5: Places We Go When Things Aren’t What They Seem: Amusement, Bittersweetness, Nostalgia, Cognitive Dissonance, Paradox, Irony, Sarcasm.

Amusement. Research defines amusement as a pleasant, relaxed excitation lasting only a few seconds.

Bittersweet. Bittersweetness is a mixed feeling of happiness and sadness. You can be proud of your child’s new apartment in a different city but still be sad while crossing the empty child’s room.

Nostalgia. In the late 1600s, Swiss medical student Johannes Hofer discovered a pattern in patients living far from home, leading to physical and sometimes fatal illness. He coined the medical term nostalgia,” combining the Greek words nostos (homecoming) and alga (pain). 

The disease’s symptoms included loss of appetite, fainting, increased suicide risk, and hallucinations of missed people and places. Today, nostalgia is a positive, context-specific, bittersweet emotion combining happiness, sadness, yearning, and loss.

Cognitive Dissonance. Smoking is dangerous and can lead to death. The direct way for smokers to reduce dissonance is by quitting. If unsuccessful, a smoker may convince themselves that smoking is worth the risk, as it helps relax or prevents weight gain. However, we need to resist choosing comfort over courage. 

Paradox. Vulnerability is often the first thing we seek in others, while self-disclosure is the last thing we want to show. This tension reveals our attraction to authentic, imperfect people and fear of revealing our true selves. We desire to experience vulnerability but don’t want to be vulnerable.

Irony and Sarcasm. Neurological findings reveal that successful irony comprehension relies on perceivers’ ability to infer others’ mental states, thoughts, and feelings, making it challenging to comprehend through text and email.

CHAPTER 6: Places We Go When We’re Hurting: Anguish, Hopelessness, Despair, Sadness, Grief.

Anguish. For those of us who have experienced it, will experience it, or may witness it, pain is a unique feeling and experience that must be recognized and named. Anguish is a terrible, nearly intolerable whirl of shock, disbelief, anguish, and helplessness.

Hope, Hopelessness, and Despair. We need hope like we need air. Snyder’s theory says that hope is a trilogy of goals, pathways, and agency. 

First, we experience hope when we set realistic and measurable goals (I know where I want to go). Second, we find a way to achieve it (and I know how to get there). In the end, we believe in ourselves (I can do this).

Sadness. For all movie lovers: What is your favorite sad movie? Life is beautiful. The color purple? P.S. I love you. Inside out? Up? Julian Hanich and colleagues explored the sad-film paradox, examining how negative emotions like sadness can be linked to aesthetic liking and pleasure.

Their findings align with the community’s desire to be moved and connected to one another. 

The study found a significant positive correlation between sadness and enjoyment, but this association is sequential. Sadness leads to feeling moved, which in turn leads to enjoyment. After all, to be human is to know sadness.

CHAPTER 7: Places We Go with Others: Compassion, Pity, Empathy, Sympathy, Boundaries, Comparative Suffering.

Compassion and Empathy. Debates are ongoing about the role of compassion and empathy in connecting with struggling individuals. Some argue that compassion is the best response, while others believe both are necessary. Compassion is a relationship between equals, and understanding one’s own darkness is crucial for being present with the darkness of others.

Brené Brown Quote

Pity. Pity, which sees others as different from ourselves, says, „Oh, that poor person. I feel sorry for people like that.” 

Compassion, on the other hand, recognizes the suffering of others as a reflection of our own pain, acknowledging that we suffer in the same way. This separation can be affirming and gratifying to the self.

Empathy. Empathy involves understanding someone’s feelings. If someone is feeling lonely, empathy means connecting with them by reliving our own experiences of loneliness, allowing us to understand and connect.

Sympathy. Sympathy in data is seen as a form of disconnection, as it removes the powerful “me too” of empathy. It communicates “not me,” then adds “I do feel sorry for you.”

Boundaries. Kelly Rae Roberts, an oncology social worker and artist, defined boundaries in her blog post “What’s OK and What’s Not OK” for her art community. 

She emphasized that it’s okay to be inspired by her work but not copy it. This simple yet profound way to set boundaries is a powerful way to protect the integrity of art and its creators.

Comparative Suffering. You may be worried that your child is isolated during quarantine when thousands of people in India are dying. What you need to know is that the Indian doesn’t benefit more if you conserve your concern only for them but withhold it from your own child, who is also struggling. 

Hurt is hurt, and when we respond to the suffering of others and ourselves by showing compassion and understanding, we all experience healing.

CHAPTER 8: Places We Go When We Fall Short: Shame, Self-Compassion, Perfectionism, Guilt, Humiliation, Embarrassment.

Shame. When we hear the term “shame,” we often have one of two reactions: either we have no clue what it means and don’t want to find out, or we know exactly what it is and are unwilling to talk about it. 

But we all have shame. Shame is keeping her current state of recovery a secret. Being bankrupt is shameful. Shame is having to inform your pregnant wife that you were laid off. To sum up, shame is a fear of disconnection. It happens between people and heals between them.

Perfectionism. Please. Perform. Perfect. These are the words that support perfectionism. Perfectionism is not about striving for excellence but rather a self-imposed external pressure to conform to others’ expectations. 

It is driven by the desire to avoid shame, judgment, and blame by achieving perfection in appearance, life, work, and other aspects.

Guilt. Guilt is an emotion experienced when we fall short of expectations, focus on wrongdoing, and seek corrective actions like apologizing or changing behavior.

Humiliation. We hide shame when we believe we deserve it. Thus, we’re not enough. In contrast, when we feel humiliated, we believe we didn’t deserve to be in that situation.

Embarrassment. Embarrassed individuals may feel exposed, flustered, and clumsy, but often respond with nonthreatening humor, an apology, or moving on without acknowledging it.

CHAPTER 9: Places We Go When We Search for Connection: Belonging, Fitting In, Connection, Disconnection, Insecurity, Invisibility, Loneliness.

Belonging. Be here. Be you. Belong. Expanding on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, recent research highlights the importance of belonging in social relationships and community for well-being, as we are social species and depend on one another for survival.

Connection and disconnection. Connection is the energy between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued, can give and receive without judgment, and derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. 

It is inherent in our neurobiology, making disconnection painful and leading to social isolation, loneliness, and feelings of powerlessness. 

Current neuroscience research reveals that emotional pain is often as real as physical pain, and healing it requires describing, talking about, and seeking professional help.

Insecurity. The term “insecure” is commonly used to describe self-doubt or a lack of confidence.

Invisibility. Invisibility is a form of stigmatization, causing marginalized individuals to experience dehumanization through stereotypes and invisibility, highlighting the growing tension between these two forms.

Loneliness. Hunger signals low blood sugar levels, while thirst indicates dehydration. Pain indicates potential tissue damage. Loneliness is a crucial aspect of well-being, as it requires social connection. 

A meta-analysis of studies found that living with air pollution, obesity, excessive drinking, and loneliness increases the odds of dying early by 5 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, and 45%, respectively.

CHAPTER 10: Places We Go When the Heart Is Open: Love, Lovelessness, Heartbreak, Trust, Self-Trust, Betrayal, Defensiveness, Flooding, Hurt.

Love. Love is a nurtured connection between two people, only cultivated when it exists within each person. We can love others only as much as we love ourselves.

Lovelessness. We need more genuine, gritty, and justice-seeking love, not just between us but also among us, while avoiding commercialized love.

Heartbreak. Heartbreak occurs when love is lost, and it can only be broken by someone or something to whom we gave a heart. While expectations may be met or unmet in a relationship, disappointment is not the cause. Failed relationships may lead to failure, but they do not cause heartbreak. Heartbreak is the result of love being lost.

Trust. Self-trust is often shattered by failure or mistakes, leading to self-doubt when hurting others, feeling shame, or questioning our worth.

Betrayal. The author confesses that there were times when she made untrue statements or actions to avoid feeling excluded, leading to her own betrayal as the harshest consequence.

Defensiveness. Defensiveness hinders us from hearing feedback and evaluating meaningful changes in our thinking or behavior based on input from others. It leads to overjustification, excuses, and blame.

Flooding. Flooding is a phenomenon where the body becomes overwhelmed when it senses danger, leading to feelings of overwhelming, attack, and confusion. 

The Gottman Institute defines flooding as a psychological and physical sensation experienced during conflict, making it difficult for productive problem-solving discussions.

Hurt. “My feelings are hurt” is a simple, vulnerable, and honest statement that is rarely used. We often get upset, get hurt back, or internalize the hurt until we believe we deserve it. However, it is rare to express hurt in this way truly.

CHAPTER 11: Places We Go When Life Is Good: Joy, Happiness, Calm, Contentment, Gratitude, Foreboding Joy, Relief, Tranquility.

Joy. Joy is a sudden, intense, and short-lasting connection with others, God, nature, or the universe, enhancing our thinking and attention and fostering freedom and abandonment.

Happiness. Happiness is stable, long-lasting, and self-focused; it is lower in intensity than joy and provides a sense of control. It appears external and circumstantial, unlike joy, which is more internal.

Calm. Next time you feel fear or panic rising, ask yourself, Do I have enough information to freak out? The answer is always no. Will freaking out help? Once again, the correct answer is no.

Contentment. “All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?” This chapter will teach you whether we should pursue activities that will make us content or stop taking for granted what we have to experience real contentment and enoughness.

Gratitude. “Remember the day you prayed for the things you have now.” This quote highlights that adapting to goodness without feeling gratitude is a function of scarcity. 

Scarcity can lead to wanting things for the wrong reasons, leading to disappointment when acquired, or accumulating enough to feel whole without valuing or appreciating them.

Brené Brown Quote 2

Foreboding Joy. You are not alone if you find yourself holding back when great things happen. Most of us experience what is known as “foreboding joy.”

Relief. Exhaling and inhaling “Whew” is a powerful way to experience relief, signaling relief to the body, enhancing it, and reducing muscle tension.

Tranquility. Tranquility may be people’s favorite emotion. Why? “Tranquility is associated with the absence of demand” and “no pressure to do anything.” No demands? No pressure? Sounds great! 

CHAPTER 12: Places We Go When We Feel Wronged: Anger, Contempt, Disgust, Dehumanization, Hate, Self-Righteousness.

Anger. Anger arises when we believe someone or something is responsible for an unfair situation and that something can be done to resolve the problem.

Contempt. John Gottman and his research team observed thousands of couples’ and were able to predict with over 90% accuracy which couples would eventually divorce. 

They found that contempt is one of the four negative communication patterns that predict divorce, along with criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling.

Disgust. Disgust can be caused by what we experience via our bodily senses (sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste), by other people’s behavior or appearance, or even by concepts.

Dehumanization. Dehumanization, as explained by David Livingstone Smith, arises from conflicting motives. Humans desire to harm others, but it goes against our social species wiring. Dehumanization subverts these inhibitions, treating them as animals or dangerous predators.

Hate. Hate is fueled by our need for connection, creating a common enemy: intimacy. We may not know everything about each other, but we hate the same people, which creates a counterfeit bond and sense of belonging.

Self-Righteousness. Self-righteousness is the assumption that one’s attitudes and actions are the best.

CHAPTER 13: Places We Go to Self-Assess: Pride, Hubris, Humility.

Pride. Lisa Williams and Joel Davies highlight that pride extends beyond personal accomplishments, as a “family of pride experiences” can lead to feelings of pride in ourselves and others.

Hubris. What does hubris look like? Hubris resembles dominance display patterns, with a downward tilt, widened stance, and less smiling head, reflecting dominance patterns.

Humility. Humility is a key aspect of leadership, enabling individuals to admit their mistakes and recognize that achieving the right outcome is more important than proving their rightness. This research emphasizes the importance of humility in achieving success.

Most Important Keywords, Sentences, Quotes


„With an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves. Even when we don’t know where we are.“

„If we don’t have a sufficient emotional vocabulary, it is difficult to communicate our needs and to get the support that we need from others.“


„We feel stressed when we evaluate environmental demand as beyond our ability to cope successfully. This includes elements of unpredictability, uncontrollability, and feeling overloaded.“

„Stressed is being in the weeds. Overwhelmed is being blown.“

„Generalized anxiety disorder is a condition of excessive worry about everyday issues and situations.”

„It is not fear that stops you from doing the brave and true thing in your daily life. Rather, the problem is avoidance. 

You want to feel comfortable, so you avoid doing or saying the thing that will evoke fear and other difficult emotions. Avoidance will make you feel less vulnerable in the short run, but it will never make you less afraid.”

„If we can’t handle uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure in a way that aligns with our values and furthers our organizational goals, we can’t lead.“

„Vulnerability is not oversharing, it’s sharing with people who have earned the right to hear our stories and our experiences.“


„Comparison is the crush of conformity from one side and competition from the other—it’s trying to simultaneously fit in and stand out.“

„The more we know, the more we can choose connection over comparison.“

„Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.“


Boredom is your imagination calling to you.

„Disappointment is unmet expectations. The more significant the expectations, the more significant the disappointment.”

„There are too many people in the world today who decide to live disappointed rather than risk feeling disappointment.”

„It takes courage to reality-check, communicate, and dig into the intentions behind our expectations, but that exercise in vulnerability helps us maintain meaningful connection with ourselves and others.”

„We more often regret the actions we didn’t take—what we didn’t do—and we think of those as missed opportunities.”

„Regret is one of our most powerful emotional reminders that reflection, change, and growth are necessary.”


“Wonder inspires the wish to understand; awe inspires the wish to let shine, to acknowledge and to unite.”

„When feeling awe, we tend to simply stand back and observe, “to provide a stage for the phenomenon to shine.”

„Confusion can be a cue that there’s new territory to be explored or a fresh puzzle to be solved.”

„Interest is a cognitive openness to engaging with a topic or experience. Curiosity is recognizing a gap in our knowledge about something that interests us, and becoming emotionally and cognitively invested in closing that gap through exploration and learning. 

Curiosity often starts with interest and can range from mild curiosity to passionate investigation.”

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.”


 „There’s nothing more limiting than tapping out of tension and oversimplifying the thoughts and feelings that have the power to help us understand who we are and what we need.”

„The bittersweet side of appreciating life’s most precious moments is the unbearable awareness that those moments are passing.” — MARC PARENT, Believing It All

„There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the good things in our past. But memories, like witnesses, do not always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. 

We need to cross-examine them, recognizing and accepting the inconsistencies and gaps in those that make us proud and happy as well as those that cause us pain.” — STEPHANIE COONTZ, historian

„We define nostalgia as a yearning for the way things used to be in our often idealized and self-protective version of the past.”

„Intelligence is traditionally viewed as the ability to think and learn. Yet in a turbulent world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.”

„The paradox is one of our most valuable spiritual possessions… only the paradox comes anywhere near to comprehending the fullness of life.” — CARL JUNG

A paradox is the appearance of contradiction between two related components.

„Irony and sarcasm are forms of communication in which the literal meaning of the words is different, often opposite, from the intended message. 

In both irony and sarcasm, there may be an element of criticism and humor. However, sarcasm is a particular type of irony in which the underlying message is normally meant to ridicule, tease, or criticize.”


„Anguish…It’s one of those words you understand the meaning of just by the way that it sounds. It has this snarling rasp to it as you twist your mouth around to say it…kind of like what feeling it does to your insides. It’s an awful, drawn out, knotted up word. It’s also one of the things I feel without you.” — RANATA SUZUKI

„We develop hope not during the easy or comfortable times, but through adversity and discomfort.”

„Hopelessness arises out of a combination of negative life events and negative thought patterns, particularly self-blame and the perceived inability to change our circumstances.”

„Despair is a sense of hopelessness about a person’s entire life and future. When extreme hopelessness seeps into all the corners of our lives and combines with extreme sadness, we feel despair.”

„To be human is to know sadness.”

„Grief does not obey your plans, or your wishes. Grief will do whatever it wants to you, whenever it wants to. In that regard, Grief has a lot in common with Love.” — ELIZABETH GILBERT


„Compassion is the daily practice of recognizing and accepting our shared humanity so that we treat ourselves and others with loving-kindness, and we take action in the face of suffering.”

„Empathy, the most powerful tool of compassion, is an emotional skill set that allows us to understand what someone is experiencing and to reflect back that understanding.”

„We can respond empathically only if we are willing to be present to someone’s pain. If we’re not willing to do that, it’s not real empathy”


„I hated the internal wounds, the words that said I was worthless and unwanted, the teasing, the ridicule that echoed in my ears and shattered my insides into dust. If given the choice, I’d have picked a beating over being shamed.” — ANTWONE QUENTON FISHER, Finding Fish

„The less we talk about it, the more control it has over us. Shame hates being spoken.”

„Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.”

„All the cruel and brutal things, even genocide, start with the humiliation of one individual.” — KOFI ANNAN, Ghanaian diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize recipient

„Never allow anyone to be humiliated in your presence.”

„Embarrassment is a fleeting feeling of self-conscious discomfort in response to a minor incident that was witnessed by others.”


„Belonging is a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who we are. “

„People who have strong connections with others are happier, healthier, and better able to cope with the stresses of everyday life.”

„To avoid the pain and vulnerability that may result when their efforts to achieve connection are unsuccessful, individuals may enact their own disconnection strategies, such as hiding parts of themselves or discounting their need for others. 

They may learn that it is safer to keep their feelings and thoughts to themselves, rather than sharing them in their relationships.”

To grow into adulthood for a social species, including humans, is not to become autonomous and solitary, it’s to become the one on whom others can depend. Whether we know it or not, our brain and biology have been shaped to favor this outcome.”


„Love is an emotion that we’re capable of feeling in many different contexts—from intimate partner relationships and family bonds to friends and pets.”

„Heartbreak is unavoidable unless we choose not to love at all.”

„For there to be betrayal, there would have to have been trust first.” — SUZANNE COLLINS, The Hunger Games

Brené Brown Quote 3

“We each have a sort of built-in meter that measures how much negativity accumulates during such interactions. 

When the level gets too high for you, the needle starts going haywire and flooding begins. Just how readily people become flooded is individual.”

“Individuals who are hurt experience a combination of sadness at having been emotionally wounded and fear of being vulnerable to harm. When people feel hurt, they have praised something that someone said or did as causing them emotional pain.”

„It’s impossible to be in relationships and avoid ever feeling hurt, just as it’s impossible to know love without knowing what it feels like to have a broken heart.”


„While experiencing joy, we don’t lose ourselves, we become more truly ourselves.”

„When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, “Oh yes—I already have everything that I really need.” — The 14th DALAI LAMA


„When someone is angry at you, you’ve still got traction with them, but when they display contempt, you’ve been dismissed.” — PAMELA MEYER

„Hatred will always motivate people for destructive action.” — AGNETA FISCHER, ERAN HALPERIN, DAPHNA CANETTI, AND ALBA JASINI, “Why We Hate”

„The self-righteous scream judgments against others to hide the noise of skeletons dancing in their own closets.” — JOHN MARK GREEN


„Humility is openness to new learning combined with a balanced and accurate assessment of our contributions, including our strengths, imperfections, and opportunities for growth.”

Book Review (Personal Opinion)

All through these years of studying economics, I have learned that the only constant in the market is change. Reading this book, I notice that the only constant in the emotion field is that no one agrees on how to define emotion. 

Observation alone cannot determine if tears are from grief, despair, hopelessness, or resentment. While some universal facial expressions exist for certain emotions, how we express our feelings and experiences is unique. I have learned that the best way to know what others are feeling is to ask them.

Rating: 9/10

This Book Is For:

  • People with an adventurous heart
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Anyone curious about interpersonal relationships

If You Want To Learn More

Watch an interview with Brene Brown and Lewis Howes:
5 REASONS You Feel Lost In Life & How To FIND YOURSELF! | Brene Brown & Lewis Howes

How I’ve Implemented The Ideas From The Book

Our connection with others is as deep as our connection with ourselves. To share ourselves, we must understand our needs, desires, and beliefs. 

Connecting with ourselves in our own bodies and learning what makes us work is crucial for developing grounded confidence and cultivating meaningful connections. Prior to this work, I neglected the importance of spending time and energy connecting with ourselves.

One Small Actionable Step You Can Do

Most people struggle with being the knower, advice giver, and problem solver. Problem-solving can be challenging, but effective story stewardship involves expressing gratitude for sharing information and offering support. 

Next time, say: “I’m grateful you’re sharing this with me. What does support look like? I can listen and be with you; I can help solve problems; or I can do whatever else you need. You tell me.”

Atlas of the Heart - Summary-Infographic