Why is it that so many people see other perspectives and experiences as a threat? And why is it that we also tend to fill in holes and gaps in stories with whatever the path of least resistance offers us?
As a person with a philosophical bent, I can admit that in most cases, I like the idea of something bigger–the idea that there is a greater meaning to everything that happens and so, I probably, as much as the next person, see–or at least try to see–a bigger picture.
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
But as someone who knows what it’s like to have people look at a part of who I am and make up a whole story about me, I realize that while it may be comforting in many instances to look for the higher meaning, when it comes to people’s stories it is important to remember that while it can sometimes be accurate to consider that the whole W-H-O-L-E is greater than the sum S-U-M of its parts. For the sake of engagement, we should consider that it is also sometimes accurate that the hole H-O-L-E can be greater than some S-O-M-E of its parts.
In other words, when something is missing from a story don’t allow your brain to fill it in with wherever the path of least resistance takes it.