Jun 202024
  • You’ve had a major life change

  • How do you talk about yourself now?

  • What is your story at this point in your life?

Almost everyone goes through phases in their lives: graduation, new jobs, marriage, birth of a child. Some changes are predictable, even welcome. Some are not. 

Both men and women go through major life changes at some point, most commonly, retirement. Less planned, however, are the death of a spouse and divorce. Optimistically, we call these new “chapters” in our lives. Statistics point to the differences between men and women who experience these changes: for women it is more commonly a seismic shift.

A woman who has identified herself as one half of a couple and finds herself single,  often struggles to define herself — especially to new friends and acquaintances. Who am I now? How do I describe myself after a divorce or my husband’s death?

In practical terms, women can find financial and legal guidance from financial advisors, attorneys, brokers and other professionals. But what about the shift in identity?

We all tell stories about ourselves when we meet new people,  reconnect with old acquaintences, or simply spend time with friends. 

Whether we realize it or not, we tell stories everyday. We speak about our work, the places we’ve been, people we’ve met, good and bad incidents. These stories reflect how we want to be seen and understood by others. 

Storytelling isn’t writing fiction; it’s essential to sharing who we are and how we value ourselves at any given point in time. Not everyone is able to speak about themselves easily, but the ability to relate to people by telling your narrative is important to navigating a major change in your life.

Many women have come to me to discuss how they create new stories, reshape how they describe themselves at a transition point in their lives. Being able to tell a story about oneself is a critical skill, not just for the purpose of maintaining and developing new friendships, but reinforcing one’s identity in a changed situation.

For a woman in transition, having the skills to describe herself in a positive, optimistic way, creating a new story along with her new identity, can be a critical step in moving forward and  embracing the change in her life.


Check back soon for more articles on communication, speaking skills, executive function and language skills.




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