I’m here to talk about our stories. Our stories that we have about who other people are, or for instance, how people feel about us.

The reason why I say stories is because we see a behavior or we believe something to be true based on some sort of truth that we actually experience. What we do is we extrapolate that oftentimes and make that into a larger story. A story that someone doesn’t like us, they’re angry or upset, or someone is unhappy in their lives. It can leave us in a difficult spot, because over time, people do change.

Sometimes when we believe something is true about somebody, we treat them differently – sometimes not in a good way. So I want you to use your gut. I want you to use your intuition and gauge the world and protect yourself in situations or in relationships.

But what I want you to do is question those long-lasting, or even short-lasting, stories that you have about who people are or about how they feel about your or something else.

Oftentimes, it’s not true. So if you could as the question, perhaps even ask the person, “Hey, I noticed you seem to be angry with me. Are you angry with me?” When people do this, it’s such a lovely surprise, because oftentimes, it’s like, “Oh, no, I wasn’t.” And it’s such a relief, because who knows how long you would’ve held onto that for and how painful that might’ve been.

Let’ say, worst case, that it is true this person is upset with you. It gives you the opportunity to at least work it out with the person and then you’re free that way.

So question your beliefs. Question your stories about who people are or how they feel. If it’s important enough and it’s bothering you enough, don’t make the assumption. Check it out and make sure that it actually is true.

By: Sevin Philips, MFT