Community | Daily Mindful Moment #15
Where do you find community?
As you will hear in both parts of our conversation with Emma and Chris from the Positive Disintegration Podcast it can be easy to dismiss our own stories as unimportant when it comes to helping other people. We may be tempted to assume that research or facts or big fancy language will be more helpful for people. However, when we can be open and honest and share our stories in an authentic way, we create an opportunity for connection with others. Sometimes all we have is our story, but that is usually enough.
There is an important distinction between giving advice and sharing your story. Generally, people find themselves on the receiving end of advice that they didn't necessarily ask for. Advice can be helpful when we ask for it, but it can feel intrusive and frustrating if it is unsolicited. Stories, on the other hand, are a much better way of sharing our perspectives. I have gotten frustrated when given advice I didn't ask for, but I have almost never been upset by someone who is just sharing their story with me.
When we share our stories with others we can help them to realize that they are not alone in their struggles (and their joys, too). For example, through her website, Tragic Gift, and her YouTube channel, Adults with Overexcitability, Emma Nicholson shares her story of giftedness, overexcitability, and positive disintegration in the hopes that other people will resonate with some part of it and may be able to gain a new understanding of their own story.
But, it is not only the stories that look similar to ours that are important. Yes, there is power in hearing a story and saying, "Wow! Me too!" and there is power in hearing a story that looks nothing like your own. If nothing else, when we hear people share their story proudly, it helps us to know that we can do the same too (even if it looks nothing like that other story).
Sharing stories and experiences is so important for building community. Besides, how else would we get to know (really know) each other? Other people can offer us new ways of framing our stories and understanding ourselves that we couldn't have come to on our own.
In learning about CMM and beginning to become more and more involved in the CMM Institute's work, I have found an AMAZING community of people who are just as invested as I am in looking at communication and making better social worlds. It means the world to me.
Where do you find community? What does community mean to you? How might you create a space for others to share their stories? How might you share more of your own story with others?
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