Constantin Brancusi, La Muse

We all have great stories to tell one another when we meet for social occasions. Stories are a way we connect and learn more about one another. But what about the stories we make up in our head about others. Beware of these stories, as they are very often false.

I will give you an example of something which has happened to me, I see someone I know in the store and I make a gesture to say hello. They don’t respond. I am confused and my thoughts begin to make up stories, to find a reason. I say to myself ” he or she does not like me, they want to avoid me, it must be because of something I said the last time we met”. So suddenly there is an obstacle in the way of connection and the next time I meet that person I feel uncomfortable and try to avoid them. They are then confused and stories are created in their head.

I did not verify my story, why didn’t the person greet me- there could be many reasons, it could be they are short sighted, lost in their thoughts, didn’t recognize me etc.

I have learned not to jump to negative conclusions and judge the other so fast. Instead I made a pact with myself. I want to be aware of the stories I am telling myself and always assume innocence. Assume that the other party is innocent of any ill will towards you. I have found it is a sure way to improve my well-being and happiness.