A Therapist Shared This With Me on the Power of Stories

December 2, 2020

You'll need more than stock phrases and standard pleasantries to connect with others.

We all love stories; reading, hearing, watching them. Stories are evocative, create pictures in our minds and leave a lasting impression. A friend of mine is a therapist and shared this experience with me. It has stayed with me for years.

He told me that, despite meeting with clients every week for months or even years, his clients were amazed that he remembered the details of their lives. “I can’t believe you remember my brother’s name” or “You remember that I fell out of a tree when I was 10 years old?”. And sometimes a client would declare, “You must be so bored listening to my stories over and over again.” My friend’s reply was, “Your stories are fascinating and help me to know who you are. How could I forget such important information?”

And this is why I always ask my staff and colleagues to tell me their stories. Because once I hear the details, I know so much more and I never forget. I try to return the favor, so they have more of a picture of who I am too. But that’s a story for another day.