Unreliable Narrators

crossedfingers“We are all unreliable narrators. Not just in the way we tell our stories to others, but how we tell them to ourselves.” – Deb Caletti

What is an unreliable narrator? In short, it is a narrator whose credibility has been seriously compromised, someone who allows their bias to slant the tale.

This is a literary device sometimes used by authors to bring a different perspective to a story. It is not often used because we the reader end up with a narrow view of what is going on in the story. Most times it’s because a character’s emotions have clouded their perspective, or maybe they lie and exaggerate because they want to look better, or maybe it’s just something as innocent as having gaps in their memory.

Some people don’t like unreliable narrators because they don’t like stories that can be untrusted.

But here’s the thing, like as stated in the quote above, we live our entire life with an unreliable narrator, ourselves. Our point of view and perspective is often skewed, especially by our emotions. Our emotions will try to tell us a different story that what is the truth.

Don’t hear me wrong, your emotions are real. Often times very real, and it’s not bad that you have emotions. But they are often times unreliable to make decisions by.

For example, have you ever sent an email angry only to read it later with regret? Or in your anger have you said something to hurt someone you care about? Maybe you’ve cut yourself of from any support because in your sadness you felt like no one cared about you.

Don’t make permanent mistakes because you are temporarily upset.

When you let emotions cloud run your life, your view will always be limited.

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