The Importance of Sharing Our Stories Without Judgment


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I rarely talk to people. My social anxiety prevented me from getting too close to people for many years, and my anger and fear prevented the rest of those relationships. Another reason I used to avoid talking to people is because I hate small talk; I don't see the point. But lately, I'm trying to talk to people more. I'm sharing my story and listening to the stories of others.

Stories are data.

When we have more data, we can draw better conclusions.

We are all experts in ourselves and our own experiences. Most arguments happen because there is a difference of opinion. Opinions are drawn from the data we have available, which is primarily made up of our own life experiences. But if I consider only my own experiences, my sample size is one, and I don't have much power to draw meaningful conclusions. My conclusions run the risk of only being applicable to me. But if I ask you about your life experiences, and if I start to consider what made you to draw your conclusions that you have, now my sample size is two. And in this way we can learn from each other.

Judgment happens when someone says or does something that is different from what you would do in that situation. That being said, you can't say for sure what you would do in that situation, because you are a different person with different exposures throughout the course of your lifetime. Similarly, you can never truly understand someone, until you get to know all of the things that make them human. In the best relationships, learning about the other person is a constant, never-ending process.

When I talk about exposures, I mean things like how you were raised, your religious/spiritual beliefs, what books and media you've consumed, where you grew up, and so on.

if you know you grow

© if you know you grow 2023.