Stories are powerful.
I’ve seen the way that story can mobilize people around a common cause.
When my kids get in trouble, coming up with a good story is always their first response in trying to get out of it.
Counselors encourage people to tell their story, and in telling it, gain freedom to change it.
Coaches use the story of what could be to create a map and motivation for people to acheive amazing goals.
But, as with anything powerful, it has to be used responsibly, because the thing is, it’s rarely ever just YOUR story.
Just as it’s true that you are often a very different character in someone else’s story, not everyone is ready to face the role they’ve played in yours.
Nobody likes being the villain of the piece. Or the clueless dork. Or any of a hundred less-than-flattering archetypes.
I wrote a post last week that was glorious. It was honest. It was funny. It was …
… probably going to leave someone feeling hurt and betrayed. So it’s on draft status, until I can figure out a way to tell that story without blindsiding that person.
Sometimes people need to see the part they play(ed) in your story. A reality check can be a powerful, if painful, catalyst for needed change.
Sometimes, you need to tell your story, whether the other people involved are ready to hear it or not.
When it comes right down to it, transformative storytelling is just like standup comedy. It’s as much in the timing and delivery as the words.