Relationship Minute: The story I’m making up

Your experience is just that—your own, personal experience.

Your past, unconscious biases, and even the literal perspective you see things from can color an event different from the way your partner experiences that exact same thing.

In her Netflix special, “The Call to Courage” and in this Tech Insider interview, Brené Brown suggests that rather than assume the other person’s intentions or thoughts, we share our experiences using the preface, “The story I’m making up” or “The story I’m telling myself is…”

It’s a great way to acknowledge that your reality is subjective, and check in with your partner to share how you’re experiencing something in a way they may not have intended.

“Basically, you’re telling the other person your reading of the situation—and simultaneously admitting that you know it can’t be 100% accurate,” Brown says. “[It conveys] I want you to see me and understand me and hear me, and knowing what you really mean is more important to me than being right or self-protecting.”

What stories might you be making up?

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 6 August 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Relationship Minute: Escape

“Escape (the Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes is a beachy, karaoke favorite about a husband and wife who discover they were planning to cheat on each other.

A less catchy title for the song could be, “We Never Talked to Each Other Then Assumed Infidelity Was the Only Solution Rather Than Changing Our Communication Strategy (the Piña Colada Song)”

Everyone’s sense of relief is shared as the couple in the song updates their Love Maps and laugh about how they basically Catfished each other.

Their “same old dull routine” didn’t include room for champagne, piña coladas, or midnight lovemaking. Their relationship was, according to the lyrics, “a worn-out recording of a favorite song.”

How do you re-heat things in your relationship before deciding to take out a personal ad (or, more likely, downloading Tinder)? How do you keep monogamy from becoming monotony?

Create opportunities for adventure. Try new things together. Write a personal ad detailing things you’d like to try with your partner (then share it with them, rather than posting it).

Find a new tune. Together.

Related blog posts

The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 1 August 2019. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.