Have you ever been asked, “tell me about yourself?”. What have you said? Have you given a brief life story or kept it to the things relevant now?

I asked a friend that recently and he stated that he had grown up in a troubled home, his mom was an alcoholic and his dad committed suicide when he was young.

It made me think what I tell people who first meet me and ask for my story. Usually I just give them the bare bones basics about me… I’m recently divorced, have a brother and work for my family… I’ve always been taught in my field that the less I give people the harder it is for them to find me and ultimately stalk me. I actually participated in a class in college and the first assignment was to do an ice breaker with a classmate and write everything down. Then we had 1 week to find as much as we could about them online. We had to write a paper on it and present our findings. It was amazing the things people found. Working in my field I knew to keep my profile hidden as much as possible and to post as little as possible. While other people had everything viewable.

Recently I was asked to share my story with other woman who were ‘going through what I was going through’. What does that mean anyway? It’s just like walking up to someone and asking where they are from. When they give you a city where they live you state, “No like where are you from!‘ indicating that their skin color is not the same as yours or their accent is different from yours. At what point does it become invasive and disrespectful?

So what is your story? Did you grow up living on the streets barely having anything to eat each day? Did you live in a huge house and take family vacations 3 times a year? We know everyone’s story is different. We also know that not one of us is the same as another. We don’t have the same experiences, I may have gone out of the country or ‘across the sea’ while the guy next to me hasn’t left the state let alone been more than 50 miles from his home.

How do we tell our story when someone asks? Do we give the bare minimums and wait till more questions are asked before giving more details? Does it depend on who we talk to? Is my story relevant only up to 5 years back? 10 years? 2 months? There really is no great way to decide, I guess it is based on the person and circumstances.

story-writing-ideas

 

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