Why We Love It
This question forces us to reflect on why we avoid certain conversations, questions, or topics. If we are feeling avoidant, it likely comes from a place of protection. That protection may be "armor" that we have built over years or even decades.
That armor likely played a role in our protection at one time – but that may no longer be necessary. In fact, it may become a new problem that prevents us from connecting with others.
Brene Brown calls this the developmental milestone of midlife.
By asking how not talking about something is serving you, you are challenged to reflect on where the avoidance comes from, what it was protecting you from in the past, and whether that is still true.
Brene Brown shared this question on episode #409 of the Tim Ferriss Show:
"We all grew up and experienced varying degrees of trauma, disappointment, and hard stuff. We armored up, and at some point that armor no longer serves us. So how is NOT talking about this serving you?"...it's not serving anymore, and the weight of the armor is too heavy. It's not protecting you, it's keeping you from being seen and known by others."
Casandra Brené Brown is an American professor, author, and podcast host. Brown is known for her work on shame, vulnerability, and leadership, and for her widely viewed TEDx talk in 2010. She has written six number-one New York Times bestselling books and hosted two podcasts on Spotify.
She appears on the 2019 documentary, Brené Brown: The Call to Courage, on Netflix. In 2022, HBO Max released a documentary series based on her book, Atlas of the Heart.