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Can Stories Be True?

Updated: Dec 24, 2019



Hey, Justin. I had a question about Stories - Can Stories be true?

Of course! The issue with Stories though, is they follow the State. Let's break this down a bit further -

  1. There is a real world event.

  2. There's a State shift in reaction to the real world event.

  3. A Story pops into our thoughts to explain the State.

So in 3, yes, the Story created can be a true reflection of the real event in 1, but the function of the Story is to explain the State shift in 2. Ideally the Story is based on accurate information, but often times it is not. It's based on assumptions, hearsay and our past experiences, among others. But primarily, a Story is based on our State. Our State is going to directly influence the thoughts that pop into our head.


If we're in a Safe & Social State, then getting the wrong type of milk in our coffee will have a unique Story to it in comparison to the more defensive States. For example:

  • Safe & Social Story - "The worker made an innocent mistake."

  • Fight Story - "The workers are incompetent idiots."

Either of these Stories could be true. Maybe it was an innocent mistake or maybe the worker really doesn't belong in the position and would be better off working somewhere else. Either could be true and there's no way of knowing in this kind of situation.


But when it comes to how to resolve the issue, that's different. Using the defensive States as the basis for problem-solving can be disastrous. I think that's where the "trueness" of the Story becomes a factor.


To answer the question thought, Yes, Stories can ultimately be true. Thanks for the question and thanks for being a Listener!


Justin