Here’s a fun read: a New York Times article on the psychology behind how we narrate our own life stories. Researchers have been studying the similarities between how people describe their past and how those descriptions change and influence future decisions. A lot of interesting little tidbits arose from this, including the idea that there may be different ways to treat people who are depressed, depending upon how they view their depression. Some view depression as something outside themselves, like a monster that must be vanquished, while others view it as an innate part of themselves, making psychotherapy more difficult.
Another cool discovery is that when “socially awkward” subjects were asked to describe a past embarrassing childhood incident, those who spoke in the third person were, compared to those speaking in the first person, better able to move past it and recognize how far they had come since then, and many of them even became more social in future interactions following the experiment.
With that in mind, I encourage you all to comment below with a brief story describing an embarrassing incident from your past, using the third person narrative (e.g., “She slung her backpack over her shoulder, not realizing it had caught and pulled up the edge of her dress as she walked down the hallway to Latin class, showing her bum to half the high school.” [Yes, that actually happened to me.])
Then report back to let us all know if you feel better!
Added incentive: best storyteller receives your embarrassing story rendered in a beautiful five-line limerick, plus the proven psychological benefit of exorcising your past!