A Lesson from Cooperative Communication: Telling Ourselves Big-Picture Stories
Here’s a sample lesson from the Cooperative Communication course. I’m posting it here to give more folks a chance to see the course materials.
If you have questions or comments, please post them below. I’m delighted to learn what you’re thinking!
Types of Stories
When we tell ourselves stories about other people, very often the story we tell ourselves revolves around ourselves and our experience. The advantage to this tactic is that we have some power over a story if we are involved. If someone’s story is all about them and their experience, we have little or no power or influence over their story. Because we are trained to avoid our feelings of powerlessness, the idea that someone’s story could have nothing to do with us may be frightening or overwhelming. Yet most people are having their own experiences and telling themselves stories that put themselves at the center of the action. When we can differentiate between our stories about ourselves (self-centric stories) and stories that are genuinely about other people (other-centric stories) we are much more likely to create a whole picture that includes everyone (a big-picture story.)