2. What Story Am I Bringing to the Conversation? - Deepstash
How to Cope With Intrusive Thoughts

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2. What Story Am I Bringing to the Conversation?

We thrive on the stories we adopted from our families and cultures. They facilitate connections, and when we hear stories that resonate with our patterns of thinking, our brains fire up. We experience neural coupling, an uptick of dopamine, and a positive shared experience. No matter the role we play—mother, father, sibling, leader, or friend—every interaction is a complex collection of stories and potential connection.


512 reads


4 Questions to Ask for Better Conversations

To uncover the patterns of thinking that serve or hinder us in conversation, we can ask ourselves four questions.

  1. What roles can I observe in my interactions?
  2. What story am I bringing to the conversation?
  3. What’s fact and what’s...


883 reads

Following A Broken Compass

Stories are vital. Unfortunately, they can trap us in fear, worry, and conflict. When someone opposes our beliefs, we can become emotionally triggered and react on autopilot.

Our stories help us navigate life, but we suffer when our ego is caught in their grip. We ...


464 reads

4. What Questions Can I Ask to Understand Others Better?

We unconsciously advocate for and defend our positions because we’ve long been trained to “have the answer.” Advocacy is far more common than its underappreciated sibling, inquiry.

To change that dynamic, we can begin to listen to how we and others advocate in conv...


321 reads

The Takeaway: Roles, Stories, Opinions, Interaction Styles

Asking these questions over time and observing our roles, stories, opinions, and interaction styles will dramatically increase our awareness and conversational skills and guide us to having more conscious satisfying conversations—and a little more peace.


313 reads

Conscious Choices About (Often) Unconscious Thoughts

When we investigate our opinions, we slowly detach from them and reveal our more profound—and often unconscious —thoughts so we can make conscious choices about their value.

We can use four fundamental components of opinions—desires, concerns, authority, and standards


327 reads

Shape-Shifting Interlocutors

We mostly shape-shift on autopilot, giving no thought to our personal conversational patterns. But when we pay attention to these patterns, we become more objective observers, reducing negative judgments about ourselves and others and creating space in our minds for navigating uncomfortab...


1.09K reads

Standing With Our Feet In Two Boats

Voice Dialogue is the psychological concept of the internal self, developed through socialization. According to Drs. Hal Stone and Sidra Stone, the psychologists who developed the method, we adopt different personalities to cope with the vulnerabilities and complexities o...


850 reads

Facts Sync Up Our Conversations. But We Sync With Our Opinions.

Facts are critical for establishing common ground from which we can connect and sync up our conversations.

Opinions, on the other hand, arise out of the collection of beliefs that we adopt throughout life. Unlike facts, our opinions are complex, personal, and uncert...


344 reads

Unconscious Conversations

Every day we engage in conversations rooted in ritual and social norms. With no conscious effort, we shift from one role to another. One minute, we’re the spouse happily cooking breakfast with our spouse. Shortly after, we’re meeting a client for lunch as a trusted advisor. And a...


1.21K reads

4 Fundamental Components Of Opinions

During a troubling conversation, ask yourself :

  • What desires and wants are part of this conversation?
  • What concerns about the future are affecting my thoughts related to this issue?
  • What power issues a...


339 reads

Open Advocacy And Open Inquiry

Instead of giving up our opinions, we can practice open advocacy. Open advocacy is holding our opinions more lightly and sharing the thinking under the surface of our stories, creating space for deeper understanding.

Open inquiry is the art of asking sincere, respec...


288 reads

1. What Roles Can I Observe in My Interactions?

Each role we play with others involves intrinsic power issues, and real and perceived power dynamics play out, unspoken and unacknowledged. Those dynamics can enhance or hinder conversations.

In any conversation, ask yourself what role you are playing, and...


616 reads

3. What’s Fact And What’s Fiction in My Conversation?

Our stories consist of facts and opinions. That might seem apparent, but fact and fiction become a perplexing, tangled web because our stories are so crucial to our identities, our egos, and the roles that we play. It’s not surprising that they often lead us astray.

By reco...


388 reads




“An idea is something that won’t work unless you do.” - Thomas A. Edison

Seeing the question “What are you bringing to the conversation?” in a whole new light. “An awful lot”, is the answer; and probably not in the way we thought, neither about “awful”, nor about “a lot”.


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