We are born of The Creator; therefore, we are all creators ourselves. The problem arises when we use our creative muscle in not so positive ways. We accumulate a backlog of ideas that which to find homes.
We tell ourselves stories continuously. When someone says something to us, and their tone of voice has an edge to it, or they are short with us, we start making assumptions about why that is. We might decide that the person is annoyed with us; then we dig around in our minds to find reasons to support how we may have annoyed them. We might get defensive and respond in kind. Next thing we know, there is conflict for possibly no reason at all. There is a good chance the other person did not even realize their voice had a tone.
The pandemic has created isolation for many people, if not complete isolation, at the very least, reduced human interaction. The wearing of masks further reduces the view of one another’s facial expressions, removing important social queues which our subconscious mind uses to determine intent. Add to that the increase of communication over video now plus increased alone time and we have the perfect environment for creative thinking. Unfortunately, the stories we produce are often filled with victims and villains.
Our ancestors used storytelling to keep track of their history before the advent of written records. Humanity has a long line of storytellers before us.
How often do you tell a story to yourself where all the characters are good guys and all their intentions are for the greater good? How often are the stories filled with victims and bad guys? Even an event so small as another driver cutting in front of us in traffic can result in a fantastic tale, woven with generalization, assumption, and colour characters, never mind colourful language.
These stories generally don’t make us feel good.
What if we made a conscious effort to tell ourselves stories filled with understanding and compassion instead? Tales where we are the hero instead of the victim, or at least just another player on the life’s stage…
Maybe that person who cut in front of us didn’t see us at all? Perhaps they are having a rough day or rushing to some type of emergency. How kind of you to allow them in front of you in line…
I once listened to a speaker whose name I have long forgotten, who said he blesses everyone he sees on his morning commute. He believes that we are all equal, all masters of our lives. He says to himself “Bless you, master” to every pedestrian, driver, passenger he sees. What if sending blessings lovingly from our hearts is felt and changes that person’s day for the better?
The worst time we tell stories is with those we love; our friends, family and even our life partners. There is a lack of education of proper communication in our schools. We don’t even know how to be active listeners, how to use our words to conduct ourselves in a manner leading to safe, trusting communication.
Instead of whispering stories inside our minds, we could be brave. We could step out of our comfort zone to ask for clarification. “When you said this, I felt like maybe you were upset with me. Did I misinterpret you?” “When you said this, what did you mean?” “When I heard you say this, I thought you meant that and my feelings were hurt. Did you intend for it to come across that way?”
This type of communication requires that we check our preconceived notions and stories at the door. We need to be vulnerable and open to hear the answers to our questions, with an open heart and mind.
Wouldn’t a few minutes of open, honest, brave communication be better than hours or days of obsession, worry and pain while we replay conversations and concoct ideas of what might have been meant?
There are many books on open communication such as “Crucial Conversations” by authors Patterson, Grenny, McMillan & Switzler or “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD.
If you need a more personal touch to explore the tough relationships in your life, you might like to book a channeled coaching session with me where I will help you explore your communication style, thought patterns, and relationship struggles.
Take a change, open your heart, and live a more peaceful life.