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This Skill We Learned In Childhood Determines Our Happiness In Life, Study Finds

This Skill We Learned In Childhood Determines Our Happiness In Life, Study Finds

Storytelling is one of the oldest ways of human expression, dating back to ancient times. Considering that fact, it’s no wonder that storytelling skills can be of great value even today. According to a research[1] by John Donahue from University of North Carolina and Melanie Green from University at Buffalo, storytelling abilities have an influence on women when choosing long-term partners. The research consists of three studies conducted on 388 undergraduate students (55% women) where they were asked to rate the attractiveness of potential partners whose picture they were shown while providing information about their storytelling skills at the same time. It appears that one of the qualities women look for in long-term partners is the ability to tell a good story.  Why is storytelling so important?

Good story can go a long way in improving relationships

When you are in a long-term relationship, you tend to stop telling stories and end up exchanging ordinary small talks. That can lead to the extinction of all that is romantic, but you want to keep the spark burning. Is there a better way to bond than over telling stories about the moments you shared together? It will help you relive the great moments and remind you why you fell for each other.

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When you hit the rocks in your relationship, telling stories can help resolve the conflict. By retelling your story, it helps you observe it from a different angle and have a better grasp on what has happened. If couples can tell their individual perspectives on a certain event, and then make it into a single story, it helps them create a bond and overcome the difficulties.

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Storytelling can empower both speaker and the listener

It is quite an intimate experience when you share your story with someone. Thus getting recognition from the listener in terms of understanding what you’ve gone through is empowering. In return, sharing your emotions weaved into intimate stories provides an insight to the listener into your real self, which empowers the listener. It creates a sense of mutual trust and understanding.

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How you tell your story can impact your health

When something unexpected or traumatic happens, you try to make sense of it. By retelling your story it will help you cope with it and feel less traumatized each time you share it. Telling your story starts the healing process and it sets you on the path of overcoming the trauma.

Furthermore, how you approach your personal narratives can help you become a happier person. The way you construct your personal story helps you come to terms with your true self, thus it is important to always take a positive approach in telling your story. Even when you ponder about some mistakes you’ve made, approach them in your story as a learning experience rather than a negative experience. By presenting yourself in a positive light, you will be able to envision a positive future and start the road to reach it.

How you can improve your storytelling skills

  • Include real emotions: The best way to capture someone’s attention is to include the real emotions, even if the main narrative is constructed around an unrealistic event. Capturing real emotions will help listeners feel included in the story, and empathize.
  • Follow the basic structure: Your story needs to be crafted so as to have an introductory beginning, a middle with some plot twist, and an end where all the issues resolve and we learn a certain lesson. It also needs to communicate a unique voice.
  • Reminisce the past and look forward to the future: Bring out the great memories you shared with your partner to revive the connection. Also, tell stories about the future events you wish to take place, picturing the great moments you want to share together, and it will help you visualize the direction you want to go in.
  • Practice: As with anything, practice makes perfect. Read a lot to get the ideas from the best.
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Reference

[1] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pere.12120/abstract;jsessionid=96F4395E15F191C949C2741AEB01D644.f04t04

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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