A few weeks ago I wrote about telling “your story” and getting rid of the term “baggage.” And now I’m watching one of my guilty pleasures, The Bachelor, where one of the girls is proudly telling “her story.”
Chris and Kelsey from ABC’s The Bachelor
Kelsey is one of 11 women left on the show vying for farmer Chris’ love and attention. She also happens to have become a widow at the sad, young age of 26 when her husband died of heart failure. This is definitely a big part of who she is right now, just 18 months after the fact, but she technically doesn’t know Chris very well yet and, in fact, hadn’t even been on a 1-on-1 date yet. So, she sneaks away from the rest of the girls and goes to Chris’ room and tells him her story… then they embrace… and then they kiss for the first time… just seconds after she finishes discussing how the love of her life collapsed and died on a sidewalk a block from their home. Then she stares into a camera during an “ITM” (In The Moment) interview with Bachelor producers where she says: “Isn’t my story amazing? It’s tragic but amazing. I love my story.”
Nnnnnoooooooot exactly what I was referring to when I said to embrace your past and honor who it has made you today.
It was correct of Kelsey to tell Chris her story, however, how she did it was wrong. She was telling Chris her story to elicit pity from him and to draw him closer to her.
It is disrespectful to use your story for anything other than allowing someone to get to know you better, sharing about your journey, and explaining how it has made you who you are today. It’s also about timing. A first date isn’t the time to share your story; I’ve said it before but clearly it bears repeating. If you haven’t shared your story on a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th date — and you can feel the date slipping away from you, then keep your story to yourself, it’s not your lifeline. You don’t want to engage a date by sharing your story, especially if it’s not going well.
But, if you’ve been on a few dates and things are going well, and you want to take it to the next level, then it’s time to open up. The only way to get closer and to bond is to let your walls down and share your story.