Tiny Oranges Book Club discussion

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Chapter 2 Questions > The Lake Swim

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message 1: by Jen (new)

Jen | 39 comments Mod
In the lake swim example with her husband, Brené recognizes the "story she was making up" in her head. How can the stories we tell ourselves in our relationships affect our lives?


message 2: by Taite (new)

Taite (tbtravels) | 12 comments I'm so guilty of this and reading her words was an a-ha moment for me. I think it can have a huge impact on our relationships. It's basically in lieu of communication, which I feel is the breakdown of most relationships anyway. When I think about those relationships that went wrong, in my case with members of my immediate family, most of the conflict escalation could have been avoided by communicating honestly from the start - coming from both sides. I have tried to be more conscious of this and change the pattern in my closest relationships. While I am specifically thinking about family, I think it applies directly to work relationships, friendships, and even interactions with strangers.


message 3: by Kristin (new)

Kristin | 8 comments How Brene dissected the lake swim conversation with her husband was a major eye opener for me. More times than I can even imagine, I’ve reacted based solely on the story I told myself. “He doesn’t find me attractive because I’m older. They didn’t invite me because I’m single.” Maybe he truly doesn’t find me attractive because of my age, and maybe they didn’t invite me because I’m single. But how do I know for sure unless I am willing to ask what IS truly going on, both with myself and the other person?

Until I’m willing to confess what I’m feeling and allow others to honestly share their feelings, I’m just telling my story. How many relationships have I ended because I wasn’t able to be vulnerable enough to tell my truth – or courageous enough to hear the other side?


message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen | 39 comments Mod
I am so guilty of this too, and I have to say by reading this, it has brought a new light into my marriage, and been so helpful. Just the other weekend I wanted my husband to just pay a little extra attention to me. I feel so much like I am in "mom mode" all the time, that I wanted him to give me a compliment or tell me I was pretty, or basically I was just looking to him to validate my feelings.

Is he a mind reader? NO.

So I am sort of walking around in a top I am hoping will catch his eye and he doesn't say anything. Just goes about his business brushing his teeth and getting ready.

My feelings get a little hurt and in the past I might have picked a fight with him or been snippy.

The story I told myself was that he doesn't think I'm attractive. So later in the day, I asked him instead, "Did you notice me this morning when I was walking around in that top?" And he said, "Yes, I notice everything." I said, "Why don't you say anything? Because in my head I feel hurt because I feel like you don't think I'm attractive." And he says, "We were getting ready for CHURCH!" Which is when I laughed because it was true.

But he then says, "I need to be better about verbalizing compliments to you. I think them, but I don't say them enough"

It was a great conversation, and made me feel closer to him. Instead of acting out in other ways, I was honest, and it helped. Thank you BRENÉ!


message 5: by Christie (new)

Christie (christievalenzona) | 8 comments I completely agree! This chapter was impactful for me and my marriage as well. I realized that it's easy to make assumptions and validate them in our own mind, which then makes them feel like truth and ultimately causes us hurt feelings. It's like we have a certain filter through which we see the world and our filter is created by our past- childhood, relationships, influences. then our spouse (or insert any person here) has their own filter through which they see and experience the world. Unless we have good, clear communication, it's likely we won't be seeing things the same way.


message 6: by Angie (new)

Angie Kendall McCunniff | 6 comments This is my single best thing about this book so far!
Hubby and I now have an inside joke! He looks at me and says "Don't go making up a story inside your head!!!"
He loves it! It actually lightens some moments!
For some reason those little words "story in my head" can just ease the uncomfortable situation.
I can tell I will be more honest now just because of this little phrase.
It is so much better than saying to someone "YOU are hurting my feelings" or "I'm not getting what i need from YOU."
Instead, it forces us to own our vulnerability and ADMIT that we are having insecure thoughts.
Hopefully we will always be reassured that our "story" is totally false (HA) but if it isn't, this is at least a passageway to that difficult conversation.
I LOVE "story in my head!"


message 7: by Christie (new)

Christie (christievalenzona) | 8 comments Angie- that is SO good! I definitely want to share that with my husband as a way for us to remind/help/encourage each other when things get tense. The best pre-marriage counseling we got was when the counselor told us "the thing you're fighting about it usually NOT the thing you're fighting about". We have never forgotten this. There is always a root issue that causes us to jump to conclusions or assign some "story" to what we think the other person is doing/thinking.


message 8: by Jen (new)

Jen | 39 comments Mod
Christie wrote: "I completely agree! This chapter was impactful for me and my marriage as well. I realized that it's easy to make assumptions and validate them in our own mind, which then makes them feel like truth..."

I love the visual of a filter, so true, thank you for that....


message 9: by Jen (last edited Oct 31, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Jen | 39 comments Mod
Angie, so true. So, so, so true.

Many of the past arguments I had with my husband TOTALLY started out like that..

What I was not getting from HIM.

"YOU don't compliment me enough!"

Which achieves what? Immediately making him feel attacked, defensive, unsuccessful, you name it. All not good things.

For me to come at it from a state of vulnerability and with the TRUTH, "The story I am telling myself in my head is that you didn't compliment me because you didn't notice me, which makes me feel like you don't think I am attractive." Has a totally different feel, and he received this information with gentleness and love.

He could then address my feelings without having to get defensive, and can truly better understand me.

It's magic. This Brene stuff is magic, I tell you! Love the comments!!!!


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