By Adesola Orimalade
Anthologist Adesola Orimalade was born in Nigeria and relocated to the UK some years ago. He had a successful career in banking, before moving into Corporate Treasury.
A published author and avid writer, Adesola enjoys writing for children and young adults, including Grandpa’s Shoes.
Adesola has recently released his latest book, an anthology titled Lessons Life Has Taught Me, featuring 17 contributors from around the world. Here, Adesola shares the importance of storytelling…
Uncle John doesn’t say much and neither does Auntie Marie, but you know you’ll be offered a sumptuous meal of oven-fresh cakes and lots of watching the television. They are family and you would visit them, even if a lot of the time is spent in silence.
Non-biological relationships, on the other hand, rely in many instances on much stronger interpersonal connections for survival. Without storytelling, these important bonds will become shallow over time, leading to their disintegration.
“What happened to your friendship/relationship/partnership?”
How many times have we heard the below response to the above question being made after a heavy sigh?
“Less and less to talk about…”
“We stopped talking…”
“We stopped sharing experiences…”
That is the power of storytelling and how it can nurture a relationship/friendship and without it, the basis of any non-biological relationship becomes eroded.
How does storytelling build and nurture relationships?
- Storytelling allows us to share experiences and emotions with others, creating connections and building relationships. Imagine your last first date… Imagine meeting someone for the first time and you had no stories to share… Imagine you had stories, but they didn’t create a connection… Many would probably not go on a second date, but imagine you plough ahead and go for a subsequent date and the same thing happens. Would you go a third time?
- By sharing stories, and in essence, by opening up to one another, we become vulnerable. This creates a sense of trust between the two or more individuals involved in the relationship. When you tell your story, you are giving someone insight into who you are as a person: your values and beliefs, and the experiences that have shaped you. You are also giving them permission to ask questions. Remember that friend that is always in some form of financial trouble and always with stories of woe?
- Lastly, and perhaps more fundamentally, storytelling allows for connection on an emotional level. A good story, or a story told with passion, conviction etc., can stir up feelings within us that resonate with our own life experiences or struggles. By sharing these stories with others, we create shared emotional moments or even a longer-lasting path which brings people together.
What story are you going to share?