December 8, 2013 - 11 comments

Psychology of Personal Connection

“It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.” – Albert Einstein

It has been integrated into our human nature to tell stories. From the first cave drawing, to the Jewish oral tradition, to novels, to films, and to commercials, storytelling is a timeless link to ancient traditions. It is our most basic form of communication – our most natural form of connecting.

Through story we share our sadness and our joy. Our dreams and our failures. Our insecurities and our pride. It is a way to convey purpose and value. Like Einstein, we all crave community. Not many of us fall into the category of being known universally, but we all long for meaningful companionship.

Studies have shown that being connected is linked with longevity and overall health. And a lack of connection is a greater health risk than obesity, smoking, or high cholesterol! Studies have shown that those who feel connected are more empathetic, confidant, and as a result, people are more willing to be open and trusting with them.

The psychology of story is so interesting to us because it is hardwired into humanity. It is how we interpret meaning, how we relate to others, and how we empathize. Story is how we connect.

Why do you think the greatest leaders of history relied on storytelling? Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream.” Jesus’ “prodigal son.” Or even Charlie Chaplan’s “The Great Dictator.”

“When we tell and listen to stories, we move… to the more emotional centers of the heart and gut. It’s how we engage with our close friends and family, using a conversational, less formal tone. It’s a bit more close to being vulnerable, but also more human.”

To tell story is to connect. To tell story is to be human. What is your story?

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Published by: Ryan Gates in Storytelling


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