Storytelling is All About Connecting to Others

by Gregory French on January 13, 2023

Why is connecting to others important?

Connection is when two or more people interact with each other and each person feels valued, seen, and heard. This simple definition of connection between two people shows the value added of connection: feelings of value and worth - something we all struggle with as a human condition.

Beyond that fundamental value, connecting to others through story allows us to find our tribe and create community which reinforces and solidifies those feelings and creates longer term security.

Storytelling is a fundamental part of being human and lets us share information in a multi-sensory way that it creates an energetic and emotional connection - and it makes the information we consume more memorable.

As the Scottish travellers proverb says: "The story is told eye to eye, mind to mind and heart to heart." Storytelling is about personal and human connection.

 

How Stories Help Us Build Community

As we tell stories, we also build community. We weave together information about our views, our emotions and perspectives that allow us to uncover common interests, shared beliefs, and shared values. These are the pillars on which communities are built.

Stories help us feel a greater sense of connection to one another. They trigger our empathy and convey emotional information that ignite our compassion and kindness. Our brains even release dopamine and oxytocin as we connect with the characters and meaning in a story, making us chemically wired to connect

As community develops, sharing stories or experiences reinforces and builds trust, cultivate common interests, is a conduit for sharing knowledge and wisdom - like the verbal storytelling traditions of tribes throughout history. Most importantly the facilitation of continuing emotional connection further reinforces the bonds of community making them deeper over time

 

 

 

We are Hard Wired to Learn Most Effectively Through Story

Human beings are a social species, hard coded to connect. According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - besides food, water, and safety - love and belonging are the most important needs we must fulfil. This includes our desire for interpersonal relationships and intimacy through which we find energetic and holistic self-worth.

Storytelling not only allows us to understand information, it allows us to understand each other, and it makes the information fun and more memorable. Because stories create an emotional connection, we can gain a deeper understanding of other each other’s experiences.

Our cognitive and even energetic bodies innately understand this - it is hardwired deep within, it is a very powerful and multi-sensory way of communicating. So, unlike the two-dimensionality of apps and digital communication at arm's length, in-person storytelling creates a multi-dimensional bond like nothing else. The fact that we have been telling stories for millennia means this is a highly refined and innate skill.

 

 

 

The Historical Significance of Storytelling

It might sound overly dramatic, but the reality is that stories helped our species survive. There is even a modern hypothesis that says that storytelling and forming community is what allowed humans to survive previous climate disasters.

Stories shape people and they shape society. Every person has a story and our “persona” is made up of the stories we tell ourselves and each other. Personal storytelling can also be a powerful way to grow personally. By sharing our experiences and emotions, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our own struggles. This can be a cathartic and transformative process that helps us to grow and move forward in a positive way. When we share our story with another human, we feel valued and it acts as a wonderful form of personal therapy.

We are naturally drawn to story because our minds are always searching for meaning - that is the human condition. By sharing stories and uncovering our own truths, convey important information that helps us relate to those around us. Storytelling builds empathy, enabling us to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, creating the foundation of social emotional intelligence that is the cornerstone of building strong relationships.

Humanity is finally awakening to the priceless value and fundamental significance of human connection and the role that storytelling has played in human community development.

 

 

 

How Symbols Supercharge Storytelling

Symbolism creates stories and allegories that have ignited the human spirit for generations. Symbolism helps us connect to meaning and memory and can be used in storytelling to evoke emotions and stimulate the imagination. They help us connect to deeper meanings and universal truths, and they allow us to convey complex ideas in a simple and concise way.

Personal storytelling using symbols is a powerful tool for building connections and creating community because when we share our own stories, we allow others to see us in a more authentic and vulnerable way. This helps to build trust and understanding, and it allows us to connect with others on a deeper level.

Symbolism also acts as a touchstone for important meaning. Symbolism is like story vignettes - they create succinct stories that allow others to understand a great deal of information about us, but they also allow us to connect to our own stories in a simple but tangible and energetic way. Simply looking at a symbol allows your mind to instantly recall all the aspects and meaning of that symbol in a nanosecond - this is why we are so drawn to symbolism and why the use of symbolism is so powerful both personally, when shared with others, and when used to form community.

 

A Few Simple Steps to Help You Connect

Striking up a conversation with someone new can be intimidating, especially if you’re shy. It requires you to step out of your comfort zone despite feeling nervous. But if you do it through story - a whole new level of possibility opens up and the rewarding feeling of connecting to others will outweigh the initial fear you might have.

Our brains are uniquely wired to discover and interpret patterns. So if connecting with others can be overwhelming or daunting - just follow this simple little pattern that will immediately put you at ease, help break the ice and even make the process fun.

 

Follow the simple pattern below to connect with someone - have fun with it!

  1. tell someone a short story about you: a piece of clothing you are wearing and why you bought it, or a surprising encounter you had recently for example;
  1. ask them to share a story: it actually doesn't matter if it is personal or third party, because when telling a story everyone conveys emotions, energy and beliefs without even trying. They can tell a story relating to something they are passionate about, where they got their clothing or jewellery from and why, or a recent event that inspired them;
  1. share an experience and create a story together: sharing experiences and discussing them is a great way to get to know someone and you can create stories that you then share and can even share with others;
  1. rinse and repeat: the more you share stories the deeper the bond will become.

 

Conclusion

Storytelling is an essential part of being human. It allows us to connect with others, build community, and create meaningful relationships. Through storytelling, we can share information in a multi-sensory way that creates an emotional connection, and we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and others

Whether we are sharing personal stories or listening to the stories of others, the power of storytelling to connect and build community cannot be overstated. So next time you have the opportunity to share a story, take it - you never know what kind of connection it may spark.

 

At Atlas our goal is to make raw organic statement pieces that change the way you relate to jewellery and to the world around you. We love to personalise pieces wherever possible to create an even more personal story you can share with the world. Check out our Bespoke Options or get in touch to find out how we can help bring your story to life so you can create connection.

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