One of primary goals with what we do with Self Narrate is creating safe spaces for story sharing. We have done this in a variety of locations, from bars, coffee shops, conference rooms to literally the middle of the street. It may seem like it would be a difficult task to create a safe space for sharing stories, but in reality, if you follow three simple steps, you can create a safe, affirming space for communication anywhere.
Establish trustMake sure that the person you’re talking to knows that what they share stays with you. Often establishing trust can also involve you sharing a personal story first, which can ease tension. It shows that you are willing to get vulnerable with them.
ListenIt sounds simple, but it can be difficult in the moment to stay quiet and just listen. It is my tendency to want to talk people through their issues, adding my opinions and advice. This is really not what people want when they’re sharing their stories. If someone wants your advice, they will ask you for it. Wait until they are done sharing their story before you ask any follow-up questions.
Stay AffirmingAfter someone finishes sharing their story with you, thank them for sharing their story! Tell them how sharing their story made you feel and how it resonated with you. If you want to know more about a moment that they described in their story, ask them! It shows that you were paying close attention.
By creating safe spaces for storytelling, you will be able to engage with others in amazing ways. Comment below to share with us any tips you use when creating safe spaces for storytelling!