- Thoughts for inspired living

January 26, 2021

The Hidden Story

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 12:58 pm

Book 794978 1920For most of my people helping career I’ve been privy to how limiting it is to tell your story (tale of woe) over and over again. Each time we tell it, we justify our “stuckness” and simply can’t move forward. I wrote about the “powerlessness” of this type of story telling in my book: INTER RUPTION: The Magic Key To Lasting Change. It starts on page 76. Download a FREE copy of it here.

What I didn’t include in the book is the underlying reason people continue to tell their story even when they find out how doing so limits them. They’ve never had their feelings fully validated regarding their story. People and counselors may have patiently and sympathetically listened to them and even offered a shoulder to cry on and/or a strategy to move them forward. But we often miss the most important piece when on the receiving end of someone’s story: validating their feelings.

What story tellers really want to express is how much they’re still hurting, even if their story is from long ago. We need to do more than listen and advise. We have to elucidate and validate how much it still hurts. What they want to say is, “You have no idea how much this hurts me.”

When that hidden hurt is expressed, it acts as a release valve for those stored sensations.

Story teliing alone just reiterates the facts and it’s not the facts that continue to hurt us; it’s the unexpressed or unvalidated feelings.

The story teller believes that if they tell the story just one more time, that will be the salve for their wounds. That never works. What does work is finding out how much it still hurts. That’s how we validate.

I wrote about validation a few years ago when I did a post on customer service. When you receive a complaint about your product or service, the first words that are most useful to use are, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” It acts as a valadation not a refutation of their complaint.

I’m also reminded of a story an insurance agent told years ago. He said that in medical malpractice suits, the agreived party will settle for less money if they receive an apology from the physician or surgeon. They want validation more than remuneration.

The remedy to move forward is still the same, leave your story in the past. That becomes an easier task when we finally tell the full story validating the feelings that have been fueling it for all these years.

All the best,


Listen to the recorded version.

Make sure to download a FREE copy of my ebook: INTER RUPTION: The Magic Key To Lasting Change here.

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