“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories”
– Jonathan Gottschall
Everything in life is centered around stories. We teach and learn through stories. Smart businesses market to the masses through a compelling story. We connect with those in our lives by sharing stories. Even in our quietest moments, we spin the thoughts in our head into stories. But why are we so magnetized by both the telling and listening of stories?
The sharing of stories is a road to connection. In our telling of stories we don’t just aim to entertain, we share to be seen, understood, and ultimately to reassure ourselves that our thoughts and feelings have been experienced by those before us, those with us, and those generations to come. They serve as a reminder of the threads that connect us on a higher level, that of humanity.
The pull of a good story has the capacity of pushing us to donate to a cause, purchase a product that we find ourselves not needing, and even motivate us to change our lives in a way that we couldn’t have predicted.
When filling the shoes of the storyteller, the words in our stories undress us by peeling away the many layers that we wear to shield us from being too vulnerable. We use our story as a mirror that grants access to the privacy of our closely held authentic present state of being. As the story unravels, our emotional responses to the experience are exposed and we allow ourselves to be seen.