How Exchanging Stories Builds Respect

How Exchanging Stories Builds Respect

In addition, those adolescents who explicitly included a moral lesson in these stories (e.g., “It is important to stand up to bullies” or “It is not okay to lie to others even when it is the easier thing to do”) showed higher levels of well-being, and a sense of autonomy, mastery, and meaning and purpose in life. So when we share these kinds of transgression stories with others, we invite ourselves and them to reflect on our morals and our values in new ways.

But in the end, stories are about one person
How Exchanging Stories Builds Respect

We are facing challenging times on so many fronts right now. Perhaps it is time for us to sit down with someone with whom we may disagree and share some stories? We may not change our minds but perhaps we can develop more respect for each other despite our differences, or even find we have more in common than we realize.

1. Kubin, E., Puryear, C., Schein, C. & Gray, K. (2021) Personal experiences bridge moral and political divides better than facts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118 (6)
2. Pasupathi, M., & Wainryb, C. (2010). Developing moral agency through narrative. Human Development, 53(2), 55-80.
3. Merrill, N., Srinivas, E., & Fivush, R. (2017). Personal and intergenerational narratives of transgression and pride in emerging adulthood: Links to gender and well‐being. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 31(2), 119-127.

Written by: Robyn Fivush, Ph.D
Originally appeared on: Psychology Today
Republished with permission
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How Exchanging Stories Builds Respect
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Robyn Fivush

Robyn Fivush, Ph.D. is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Developmental Psychology at Emory University, where she has been on the faculty since 1984. She received her PhD from the Graduate Center of The City University of New York in 1983 and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Human Information Processing, University of California at San Diego from 1983 to 1984. She is associated faculty with the Department of Women's Studies and a Senior Fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion. She is the Director of the Family Narratives Lab; her research focuses on the relations among autobiographical memory, narrative, identity, family, trauma, and coping. She has published more than 150 books, book chapters, and articles.View Author posts