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Make Up Negative Stories January 2, 2009

Posted by downton in Make Up Negative Stories.
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Make Up Negative Stories

     Humans are terrible story tellers. I say “terrible” because a lot of the stories they create make them feel terrible. The reason people make up stories is because they have to believe they know what’s going on, when, in reality, they’re often in a fog. Certainty makes them feel good, while uncertainty makes them feel like they’re on the verge of falling off a cliff. To avoid that danger, people make up stories. It’s an odd way to feel secure, but we do it anyway.

     There are two things that are true about humans and their storytelling. One is that they’re usually unaware that they’re making up stories. The other is that they can’t stop telling them. Telling stories is part of the equation of being human. So, if we can’t stop telling stories, what’s the point of discussing them? Well, it’s because, while we can’t live without making up stories, we do have some control over the stories we make up. For example, instead of living in a negative story, we can shift to a positive one. We’re still trying to nail down reality, but we just put a positive spin on it.

     What does negative storytelling have to do with screwing up love? Let’s start with the negative stories people tell about themselves, their careers, and their lives. Do you know someone like that? Is it fun to be around that person, or does it border on a nightmare? Of course it isn’t fun; it’s more like a nightmare because people who tell negative stories try to infect us with their negativity. What gives them that power is that they actually think that the negative stories they tell are true rather then stepping back to see them as their creations. One of my favorite bumper stickers reads: “Don’t believe everything you think.” If people paused to understand the power of this brief message, they could improve their relationships overnight.

     What kinds of stories help to undermine our romantic relationships? Any negative story we tell about ourselves, because when we feel bad about ourselves, we’ll feel bad about other things, like our mate, our job, you name it. Anytime we have a story that puts us down, it anchors us in a negative thought pattern that can spin out of control. In effect, we become a complainer. It’s hard to have a good relationship if you’re a person who complains a lot, because you’ll be constantly noticing what isn’t right about your mate and what isn’t right about your relationship. So, take a moment to think about how you make up negative stories and how they weaken love in your relationship.

     Sometimes people have positive stories about themselves and negative stories about their mates. This gets back to the issue of comparison. If we think we’re pretty great but our mates are nut cases, we’re saying, through comparison, “What’s wrong with you and why aren’t you more like me?” This attitude will be converted into arguments in a wink. No one likes to be looked down upon. If you’re looking down on your mate, there’s a good chance that you’re undermining love.

     Negative stories poison the mind. To screw up love big time, tell negative stories about yourself, your mate, your relationship, your job, and your life. You will see the love in your relationship blow up in no time. If you succeed in destroying love by believing the fiction you make up, you can purchase my tee shirt which says on the front, “I’m a negative storyteller.” On the back, it says:“Love has no chance against me.”

Coaching Tips

■ Notice the negative stories you tell that help to mess up love in your relationship. When you see what you’re doing and the price you pay for it, take the following step–put a stop to it.

■ Instead of making up negative stories about your mate and your relationship, make up positive ones. If that seems impossible, change the nature of your relationship. If that’s impossible, find a new mate.

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