“In the absence of data, we make up stories.” – Brene Brown
She’s right, ya know?
Too often we look at people’s actions… or lack thereof, and make up an entire back story that justifies our thoughts and behaviors towards them.
Our realities are created by them… Our relationships impacted by them… and our behaviors dictated by them.
That’s powerful… and that can be dangerous.
We look at pictures on social media and see a couple who’s been together for 20 years and automatically think they are #relationshipgoals when in reality they may still be together out of convenience… because one of them doesn’t know how to leave… or for any other number of reasons. lol
Someone “looks at you funny” in the grocery store and you start with the storytelling… They’re jealous of you… they’re racist… they don’t like what you’re wearing… blah blah blah
When the fact might be that they weren’t really looking at you at all! lol (You ever done that? Been staring off into space in a particular direction thinking about something somewhere else and not even see the person in front of you? I know I have! lol) But we automatically start with the stories when it’s someone else!
Now, in the case of the stranger in the grocery store, your storytelling might not have that significant of an impact… but in the other areas of your life, what might it cost you?
Has it caused you to shift your view of someone you once considered a friend? Has it created distance, animosity, fear, or judgment in any of the relationships you consider to be of value?
Here’s the thing…
A good majority of the time, our “stories” are rooted in our own insecurities, fears, and doubts. They are the things we hope people don’t think about us or the things we wish we saw in ourselves….
No matter what it is… it’s usually OUR stuff that we’re projecting on others with no actual facts to back it up.
And if we simply took a moment to stop and ask ourselves, “What’s really happening here?” Versus “What am I making it mean?” – We might actually communicate better, see each other authentically, and be able to build genuine relationships.
Just something to consider.