Are your most retold stories anchored by positively or negatively felt incidents? Those who are most resilient, energetic, caring, and involved with others tend to link their stories to redemptive themes. The role you most often play in the stories you tell reveals your view of the world, how friendly or hostile you are, and more.
1. Anchor Your Stories in Redemptive Themes So We Are Moved to Live Up to Them
Rather than making yourself the victim or the hero in the stories you tell, describe a daunting time of loss, crisis, or criticism, or a learning experience where you made a mistake or acted badly. Such stories show vulnerability and a desire to grow and live fully, with others, rather than in fear.
Then that facet of you can be the place where others can positively and productively connect with you, hard-earned strengths firmly attached together. You can support each other in reinforcing redemptive characterizations and actions.
2. Be A Multiplier Who Brings Out the Smarter Side in Others
Some people sap our energy and even dull our smarts because they are on the “diminisher” end of the continuum, where “multipliers” are on the other end, according to Liz Wiseman and Greg Mckeown, co-authors of Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter. Diminishers stifle mutuality.
Recognize both by the roles they adopt.
Diminishers become Gatekeepers, Tyrants, Know-It-Alls, Decision-Makers and Micromanagers. Multipliers become Talent Finders, Liberators, Challengers, Community Builders and Investors.
3. Help Narcissists Feel For Others While Growing Your Empathic Instincts
By specifically asking, in advance, someone who seems narcissistic to feel more caring about the other person in a situation, you can prime that person to feel more empathic when they otherwise would not, according to researcher Erica Hepper. In Hepper’s study, extreme narcissists watched “a 10-minute video of a woman—identified as Susan—describing her experience as a victim of domestic violence.” In advance they were asked to “Imagine how Susan feels. Try to take her perspective in the video, imagining how she is feeling about what is happening….” After watching, “their empathy suddenly kicked in”—a result that was confirmed via physiological testing to confirm that they weren’t attempting to simply look admirable.
Try These Empathy-Boosting Methods
To boost mutually caring, even in non-narcissists, consider making the same request. Whether true or not, act as if you believe that’s what they would do anyway, thus supporting their better sides.Prior to a first online or in-person meeting of a potential self-organized or assigned team, or simply a social setting where people will be meeting for the first time, suggest to individuals you know that you believe they will want to step into the shoes of the people they meet to see the world their way, and you’d like to hear how they feel about what happens in the situation.
Asking in advance for that conversation afterwards, moves your suggestion closer to the top of their minds, thus becoming a stronger nudge for their feeling empathic while there.