Our trials and tribulations are common topics of conversations we have with others. As you partake in normal social behavior with another person, you’ll start off the dialogue with the trivial happenings of life. As the conversation moves forth, you may decide to share a misfortune you experienced the other day. Perhaps someone chipped your car’s paint job at the grocery store parking lot. Or maybe you were stuck in two hour traffic on the way home from work because of the snow storm.
We bring up our own misfortunes in conversation for seemingly unknown reasons. Akin to a child exacerbating an injury, maybe we’ve been conditioned to advertise our misfortunes in exchange for the attention we garner for doing so. Perhaps expressing our misfortunes serves as a therapeutic exercise, in which we express what’s eating us up inside in order to calm ourselves and free us from worry. Most importantly of all however, expressing your misfortunes can open up an avenue to be helped by those who listen.
Whatever the benefits of expressing our misfortunes happen to be, we depend on a listening party to be interested in what we say. This article is about getting your audience to genuinely care about the misfortunes in your life.
Your Case Is a Study
When expressing what happened to you last month, last week, or last night, remain in a state of mind which is set on presenting a case, rather than an opinionated experience. Refrain from stating how you felt, what you thought, or how disappointed you were as the unfortunate events played themselves out.
In analyzing the perspective of your listener, the act of learning something new is the most they can gain from your interaction with them. Hearing about your feelings and opinions about the matter at hand wouldn’t do anybody, but you, any good. Rather than doing that, present the events in as unopinionated of a manner as you can manage.
Begin with the signs and signals of things gone wrong. Move toward the documented series of events which took place, and what patterns could be observed as those events transpired. Later, present the lessons you learned from your specific misfortune in an effort for everyone listening to you to be able to take something home with them.
View the personal misfortunes you tell others about as case studies for them to learn from. Ensure that they learn from your specific case in an effort to limit damage should a similar event transpire in their own lives.
Below are three points to remind you of how to structure your dialogue when expressing a negative event which transpired in your life.
Signs and signals
Will help your listener identify an unfortunate event before it happens.
Patterns seen and events transpired
Will help your listener know what to do, where to look, and what to think when an unfortunate event happens to them.
Will provide your listener with the necessary tools in regard to knowing what to do if a similar event takes place in their life.
Your seemingly selfish act of expressing what happened to you can be turned into an important educational exercise for the person with whom you’re speaking. Rather than having to listen to your opinionated and exaggerated witness account of something which transpired in your life, they’d be following a methodical case study. You’d not only reap the benefits of expressing a misfortune which transpired, you’d also provide value to the listener.