The Story Gives the Clue

 In Intention

What story are you telling?

Women reading a with a very confused expression on her face

Relationship expert John Gottman says that the best predictor of the quality of a relationship is the story you tell about it. One of my online faves, blogger Eric Barker, interviewed Gottman in a post where he challenges us to ask “Does the story minimize the negatives and celebrate the positives? Does it make the other person sound great? Or does it dwell on what’s wrong?”

Stories are terrific tools to engage others, but they are also transparent indicators of how we see the world. This holiday season, reflect on the stories you tell about the relationships in your life. Although Gottman’s approach focuses on family and couples, it’s also good to notice what stories you tell about your colleagues, your boss, your company or your community. If they are positive stories, they indicate a successful relationship. But if not, how can you change the storyline to make it better, both in the telling and in the living?

For more on creating meaningful relationships through better communication, please see my post 3 Essential Ingredients of a Meaningful Conversation.

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