I just finished reading Brene Brown’s new book Rising Strong. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly recommend it. The whole book was worth it for me when I read the portion where she talks about the stories or lies we tell ourselves when we get into familiar patterns with people. She tells a story about going for a swim with her husband. She reaches out to him in an emotional bid for connection, he sort of ignores her, and she feels hurt. The verbiage she uses is something like this:
I reached out to him. He rebuffed me. The story I’m telling myself is that he doesn’t think I look good in a bathing suit.
This might sound silly, but as I read the book I recognized this pattern of thinking in myself.
- I post something I think is witty and clever on Facebook and no one responds. The story I’m telling myself is “That was a dumb thing to post. People must think I’m an idiot.”
- I call my husband while he’s at work. He’s busy doing something and is short with me. The story I’m telling myself is “He must be angry with me. I wonder what I’ve done to tick him off.”
- I make plans with a friend to have lunch. At the last minute, she cancels. The story I’m telling myself is “She doesn’t really care about me and spending time with me doesn’t matter to her.”
I have a tendency to tell myself stories that aren’t necessarily true. My “go to” thought usually is blaming and self-critical. Where did I learn this habit? Brene’s use of words in this book have changed the way I think about the stories I have a tendency to tell myself. I’m trying to tell myself a different story going forward.
What are your go-to stories? What are the lies you tell yourself are true when your feelings are hurt? I’d love to hear your thoughts!