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  • James McPartland

Same conversation, different STORY...

"There are two sides to every connection - The story we have about ourselves and the story others have about us." — James McPartland

Access Point: Courageous Conversations | Blog post by James McPartland | Speaker, Author, Executive Coach

You've heard it said -- there are TWO sides to every story.

I like to say, in relationships, there are two sides to every connection: The story we have about ourselves, and the story OTHERS have about us.

So let's talk STORY for a minute...

Last week, in part 1 of STORY in this NO STRAIGHT LINE series, I talked about the stories we tell ourselves ABOUT ourselves. Today, I'm touching on the stories we write when we connect with others.

Rarely, the stories others have about us are totally off base. Neither are we coming from complete left field when we write stories in our heads about others.

Usually, there's SOME aspect of truth to both sides, even if that "truth" is merely "well..this was my experience."

When conflict arises, we should seek to understand how we might have come across to the other person. Because again, there are parallel stories happening...

There's how we intended to show up in the relationship, and how others actually experienced us. A healthy relational practice is to VALIDATE both.

We don't have to agree to establish enough of a connection to move forward after conflict. We only need to respect and understand how someone else may have come to their conclusions.

Oh and here's a bonus communication tip: The next time you go to exchange stories with someone, it'll go better for you to keep your communication in "I", "me" and "my" statements...

For example: "This was my experience..." or "Here's the story I have about why you did this, or when you said that... Tell me what I may have missed? " or "Is my story accurate?”

Give it a try next time you find yourself in a conflict. I bet you'll find the other person much less on the defensive and willing to have a productive conversation.

Until next time,



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