When you tell stories, you influence your audience. In business and in life, you're encouraged to share stories that reflect your audience's reality.
But all too often, you're faced with someone who projects their reality onto your story.
In this episode, I'm joined by Nicole Lewis-Keeber, a life coach who's also a licensed therapist, with special expertise in trauma. She will explain how foisting a story on your listener can create a great deal of harm. It can even be considered a micro-trauma.
I was inspired to create this podcast when I read comments in a Facebook group, Community of Single People: people who are happily single with no interest in changing their status.
They reported therapists and doctors who seriously advised them, "If you just start dating and get married, your problems will go away." Nicole dismisses this story as nonsense. Bringing a new person into your life, she says, can add even more problems!
Even worse, these authority figures are projecting their story into someone else's narrative.
If you're single without children, they assume your story will be, "I'm lonely and depressed." That's their belief about single people - a belief, Nicole says, will be created and reinforced by the surrounding society.
It's not just about being single.
If you're older than sixty, your story must be, "I'm weak and frail and helpless...and maybe broke, too."
If you're a new business owner, your story must be, "I don't know how to do anything and I'll probably fail."
These stories are especially harmful when we hear them from authority figures (such as doctors and therapists), who are supposed to be the experts.
They're also harmful when we hear them from friends and coworkers. We don't want to make them feel bad or disrupt a relationship. But when a coworker expresses dismay at a single coworker's life, she's imposing her story: "Being alone on a holiday will make you feel depressed." The single person's real story is, "I clove being alone on holidays and wouldn't want it any other way."
At 17:00 Nicole talks about the ways these forced stories can create trauma. Some even create negative trauma adaptations, with the need to cope through substance abuse and self-destructive actions.
At 21:54 - Nicole suggests appropriate ways to respond when someone forces their story into your narrative. She encourages us to be direct and not accept the forced story.
Nicole can be found at https://nicole.lewis-keeber.com/