Friday, April 4, 2014

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Stories belong on bookshelves
You don’t have to be a writer to be a storyteller. As a matter of fact, all of us are storytellers, even if we do not realize it. Don’t believe me? See if any if any of these sound familiar.

“I have asked him to put his socks in the dirty clothes hamper a dozen times. He is purposefully trying to piss me off.”

“Why are they looking at me like that? They think they are better than me and can do whatever they want.”

“I’m the only one whoever takes out the trash. They just think I’m the servant in this house.”

“I told them to be here at ten, but oh no, they don’t care if I’m sitting here waiting for fifteen minutes. They only want to do what they want to do.”

Stories. We tell ourselves these stories to explain the actions of others and quite often none of it is true. Our stories quite often paint the other person as the bad guy, allowing us to feel self-righteous in our stories and justified.

There is a photo going around Facebook with a tongue in cheek look at the difference between men and women writing in journals. The male was quiet and the female wrote page after page trying to ascertain the meaning behind his solitude and had their relationship in the toilet by the time she finished writing and him running off with another woman. In his journal, he was trying to figure out why his motorcycle wasn’t running.

We can allow our imaginations to run pretty wild at times, creating more drama than what was there in the first place. We would rather assume than to speak up and ask what is truly going on and getting the truth about a situation. Someone’s behavior is annoying us so we make up a story explaining it, but that story may be nowhere near what is actually going on with the person. We run the risk of running the relationship into the ground if we don’t ask. Their bad mood may have nothing to do with us. It may simply be an upset stomach.

We naturally tell stories. It’s how we explain things. These stories develop our view of the world around us and if we don’t investigate the truth, the trash not being taken out could lead to divorce because we just assume they are trying to irritate us, instead of realizing there is three feet of snow on the ground.

Stories are meant for the pages of books or the big screen, not for relationships. Don’t allow yourself to be a creator of fiction and ruin a perfectly good real life love story. Communication is the key to harmony. Find a resolution. Talk it out. Ask questions. Cease the imaginations of your mind from taking you down a path that leads to a cliff overlooking the jagged rocks of destruction below.

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  1. Unfortunately, most folks would prefer to find something bad to think rather than good. Somehow passing blame or buck is much more soothing. This isn't going to change. I abhor it but there it is. The internal dialogue is the most dangerous when it becomes an excuse. The good news? The folks listening usually aren't buying. So...mitigated harm? One can hope.

    But you are right and I only hope the message gets out. I will help you shout it.

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