In moments when someone would ask you, ‘So, what’s your story?’ one thing you would not want to answer with is definitely with a blank stare that’s followed with an ‘Um..’.

Speaking as a 25-year-old, I for one, sometimes find it hard to compile my own life story to a few sentences, which would take me 1-5 minutes. Is it that I have been through so much in my life? Not really. If anything, I probably have not been through enough ‘major’ things for someone who has walked this earth for 25 years and some months.

Yes, I have been through different jobs, gone to different schools, been through heart breaks, disappointments – but who hasn’t? There are billionaires out there with their own companies at this age married to a supermodel–looking at you, Evan Spiegel.

So, what actually is a “self narrative”?

According to a book called ‘The Psychology of Life Stories’ by Dan P McAdams, “The theory of narrative identity postulates that individuals form an identity by integrating their life experiences into an internalized, evolving story of the self that provides the individual with a sense of unity and purpose in life.”

That was so academical though, wasn’t it? Simply put, having your own self narrative means one is able to figure out one’s life’s narrative, which integrates one’s reconstructed past, perceived present and imagined future. In any case, sometimes we are too close to our own experiences to be able to compile them to concise sentences, which explains what we have experienced in the past, who and what we are at the moment, and where we would like to go or be in the future.

That’s easier said than done.

But the next time you have some time to yourself, try to think of those three things: which would concisely explain how you want others to know your truth – your past, present and future. Write them down, if you have to. Then ask your closest confidant to narrow down which would represent you best. After this, the next time someone asks you ‘So, tell me about yourself?’–be it at a job interview or a first date–you will at least be able to answer with concise sentences that will give that person an idea of who you are, instead of blurting out messy anecdotal series of events that have happened in your life.

That would not be very gentlemanly, now would it?

-Irvindya Irawan