There are these things called facts. Facts are what actually happened.
Then there are the stories we make up about the facts. We call these "Projections" in No Bullsh!t Communication. Know the difference. It is fucking important.
All the interpretations we have about the facts often amount to piles of bullshit that clutter the mind and sit there steaming between ourselves and people we care about.
Facts are neutral. Fucking empirical. Facts can be captured by a video camera. They are what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears and smell with… OK, you get it. The cool thing about facts is that much of the time even two people who don’t agree about a lot of shit can agree about the facts. This is especially important when we are trying to RESOLVE a conflict (rather than just trying to be right).
Stories/Projections are subjective. They usually involve non-factual things like interpretations of motive (she is out to get me), diagnoses (he is lazy), and exaggeration (he NEVER listens). The stories we make up about the facts are informed by a complex network of our personal and collective bullshit. A lot of that shit is old woundings and bullshit insecurities that we project onto others. My friend Fact is a great fucking ally if you want to stop doing that shit.
Not only is Projection Bullsh!t often just not true, but it almost universally evokes defensive reactivity in the person we are trying to relate to. It strikes a blow at the fabric of connection that we need when we have something to work out with someone.
Pat and Chris are going to help us with an example:
Pat says, “Chris, you never do the fucking dishes!”
That would be some Projection bullshit. The first thing that Chris is going to do it think about how often he does the dishes, and… BAM!... the gloves are on and the boxers are in their corners.
Let’s translate the story to a fact: “Chris, you said you would do the dishes today and they are still dirty in the sink.”
It is pretty obvious which of those statements is going to elicit defensiveness and start a fight and which one is going to start a conversation. No Bullsh!t communicators initiate constructive conversations without beating around the bush.
Sometimes our bullshit stories are fairly accurate. Often they are not. Either way, it is important to know the difference.
My friend Fact wants to be your friend too! If you want to grow the fuck up and start taking responsibility for your experience, stop confusing your bullshit stories for facts.