In Your Shoes

 

The Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Adichie, in her talk on www.ted.com speaks about the negative power of having only one story to tell. We are all capable of telling ourselves one story about our life.

Sometimes in our relationships we get stuck with one version, our version of the story of the relationship. We don’t understand why the other person is acting this way. Why can’t they just see sense? Why can’t they cooperate with us more?

We can spend a lot of our lives hoping for changes in other people. We might want them to talk to us more, to pay us more attention or maybe we’d like them to be more organised, to talk less, to be more of something or less of something else. We get hooked on the notion that if only they would change, then our life would get better too.

This exercise is about changing our perspective on our relationships by changing viewpoint. One of the most helpful aspects of writing for wellbeing is the ability to widen our focus and see things from other people’s viewpoint. It shakes up our prejudices and fixed beliefs about other people. It helps us tell a different story.

So imagine your relationship with someone, perhaps someone with whom you are in conflict. You don’t understand them or their behaviour.

You have the opportunity to get inside their head and see things from their viewpoint. So now take a look at the world the way they see it.

Writing in the voice of this person, try answering these questions:

What is your world like? Describe it.

What are the good things in it? What makes you happy?

What are you afraid of?

What is it you would like to change?

If there was one thing you could say right now, what would that be?