Five Words for Lasting Relationships

Brené Brown is one of our favorite researchers and authors for a reason. In this article by Drake Baer, click here, and you’ll see why. She covers five words for lasting relationships.

A large part of Brené Brown’s research is on how individuals process their vulnerability, especially in communicating with their significant other. In this article, she shares a story from her own marriage about a time she reached out to her to husband and shared something vulnerable with him, only for him to blow her off. She then internalized her husband’s rebuke and it led her to negative self-talk about her body and age, creating a “shame story” to explain her husband’s reaction.

Well, after talking about what had happened with her husband, he explained that he was experiencing a panic attack and hadn’t meant to blow her off. All of the “shame story” that went through her mind wasn’t accurate, it was the story she was making up to explain something to herself. Likewise her husband was being affected by his own “shame story” that induced his panic attack. And that’s where her advice comes in.

She says, “If I could give men and women in relationship and leaders and parents one hack, I would give them, ‘the story I’m making up,’…”Basically, you’re telling the other person your reading of the situation — and simultaneously admitting that you know it can’t be 100% accurate.” – From Business Insider

After their conversation, she realized that the stories her and her husband made up for themselves were preventing them from having authentic and vulnerable conversation with one another. That’s why thinking about these five words, “the story I’m making up”, can have such a dramatic impact on our relationships with one another.


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