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?
- John Gottman and Brené Brown on Running Headlong Into Heartbreak
- Hurt Feelings Do Not Mean You Did Something Wrong
- How to Repair the Little Things So They Don’t Become Big Things
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.