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  • Writer's pictureAli Assareh

You don't have to just *retell* your stories. You can also, *rewrite* your stories.

A mentee was telling me about his awful experience at a past job (prejudiced manager, uncommunicative coworkers, unfocused company, etc.), and asked if it would be ok to share those complaints in an upcoming interview.

My advice to him: Rewrite your stories. Rewrite them so they focus not on the *problems* you faced, but on how *you* overcame them; how *you* changed as a result of them; what *you* learned about life through them.

The immediate reason is professional: When you're interviewing, you're a stranger to the interviewer. If you complain about other strangers, who're not even there to defend themselves -- at best, your story is unsubstantiated; and at worst, you're judged for airing out one-sided grievances.

The deeper reason is psychological: We make the past, as much as the past makes us. The *objective* past is a collection of happenings. The *story* we say about those happenings - is, ultimately, *our* story; a way of connecting those happenings into a narrative bundle.

We can re-examine those happenings, to find new ones to add to our stories; or to create new narrative bundles altogether.

You don't have to just *retell* your stories. You can also, *rewrite* your stories.

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