September 5, 2012

how do you tell your stories?

Our lives are full of events, every day.   People we see, news we hear, things we experience.  Sometimes it might seem that the day has been uneventful, with nothing to tell.  Most days, though, contain a couple of events that we turn into stories to share with friends and family.

How do you decide which events to share with others?  What language do you use to describe those events?

It is interesting to pay attention how you typically frame your stories.  It is possible to get a lot of mileage from talking about how challenging a co-worker was, or about how terrible a driver was on a commute to work.  However, what is the impact of those stories on your listener?  Think about your own experience.

When people share positive stories with us, we usually leave the conversation uplifted, inspired.  The opposite is usually true of negative stories, although we might not fully be aware of the impact.  We might just feel a little more tired or disillusioned than usual, without attributing it to the conversations we have had.

If your listener is someone important to you, you likely prefer to leave them more uplifted and positive after talking to you than before.  What would it be like if you shifted your lens and told your story from another perspective?  If at the end of the day, instead of a story complaining about your cranky coworker, you had a story of how you helped them to finish an overdue project, relieving their burden and stress?

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