We (you, me) are obliged to tell stories in the name of commerce. We are all telling one â€“ and itâ€™s our job to do it, like it or not.
But as people, Iâ€™m not sure we have the same responsibility. Often times, when a profound or still-unfolding experience happens, itâ€™s hard to put punctuation around it. It can feel so big â€“ with aspects known, and others still unknown, that itâ€™s hard to know how to answer:
â€œHow are you?â€
â€œHow was the trip?â€
â€œHow was your year?â€
These seem like innocuous questions. But often they force us to prematurely disclose at the cost of an invaluable plot line: that which isâ€¦
How am I (really)?
What do I ( really) think?
What does this (really) mean for me?
Which leads toâ€¦what to do?
A short answer feels untrue.
A long (more real one) might cost you the much-needed conversation youâ€™re having internally, by assigning a story to something you donâ€™t know yet.
Hereâ€™s the thing. We donâ€™t owe marketing, messaging or status updates to the general public of our personal lives, and maintaining the vital membrane that holds genuine reflection together can take a conscious act of restraint.
Sometimes saying less â€“ even if itâ€™s not super true – is the right-est thing you can do. It may be your only hope in knowing what you really think.