Sometimes people wonder: is it really that simple? Can you resolve conflicts by collecting and telling stories? Aren’t there already existing methods for this? The answer to all three questions is a resounding yes. Of course it is often more complex than we can now sketch in this post, but the essence of conflict resolution is simple. Really.
From the moment we are born, we absorb stories about our family and about our culture, about our own, individual temperament, gender and experiences. These stories define how we (start to) think about certain things in the course of our lives.
Sharing stories can therefore connect us with others, but living from different stories and the corresponding worldviews can also lead to conflicts with respect to others and ultimately even internal conflicts (such as dissatisfaction and insecurity) within ourselves.
We often let young people use experiences from their own lives, exercises and game situations to make them aware of the negative results of conflicts in a positive and playful way. Conflicts that are often only based on a difference in stories. The moment they are aware of that, it’s much easier to resolve conflicts.
In our storytelling training program we help people to be open to each other’s stories. Of course, that is often not so easy, because it first requires making a connection with yourself, and then also with each other. To listen to each other, to get to know each other and to work together for a place where everyone feels at home and moreover, feels safe.
A feeling of insecurity is often primarily the fear of the unknown. The fear of an older person compared to a younger person whose world is unfamiliar to the older person. The fear of a Moroccan woman for her Dutch neighbours, whose manners are strange to her.
The first step in striving for connection is to break this spiral of fear. If it succeeds in bringing the narrator and listener into contact, getting to know each other and getting to trust each other, then it works in a connecting way. And it is precisely this connection that is necessary to work on an understanding and peaceful society.
Would you recognise the two main sources of conflict? We
Stage performances to connect: make taboos debatable! It may already