Ed Evarts

Stories Are Not Lies

How can you easily identify a story that you are telling yourself? You know you are about to create a story if you find yourself starting a sentence with one of the following:

·     “I think…”

·     “My guess would be…”

·     “Sounds to me like …”

·     “It seems to me that…”

·     “Well, if you ask me…”

For example, a colleague asks you for your thoughts about Pat being promoted to a new role. Your story may sound like one of the following:

·     “I think… they picked Pat because he sits right down the hallway from Susan (the hiring manager) and Pat sees her every day. We’re disadvantaged because we are all located in different parts of the country.”

·     “My guess would be… that Pat was threatening to leave and the company didn’t want to have to deal with that.”

·     “Sounds to me like… Pat’s been brownnosing the right people.”

·     “It seems to me that… this company likes picking men for key positions.”

·     “Well, if you ask me… Pat must have done someone somewhere a big favor.”

It is important to note that stories are not lies. We sometimes hear colleagues say, “He’s just lying to himself.” A lie is typically an untrue statement created with the intent to deceive or create a false or misleading impression. Since you believe your stories to be true and have not been created to deceive, stories are not lies.