I first heard of the concept the stories we tell ourselves from Brene Brown. Learn the stories you are tempted to believe. We learn from experience and rely on those lessons to make conclusions in situations. Our brains are hardwired for stories and reward us for providing explanations for what has happened to us whether those stories are accurate or not. In the absence of data, our brains will always make up stories.
The reason we need to retrace our old stories before we can live in the new one is our brain will hijack our desire to live differently by returning us to those old conclusions again and again. Our brain also rewards us for filling in the gaps.
We have certain story lines we are tempted to believe. whenever you enter into a conversation or conflict and find yourself feeling a certain intensity then we might be type casting new people and situations into old story lines.
Once I paid attention to my self talk I then asked myself is this true? Is my expectation the rule or exception? Asking these helped me move away from believing the old story line. Read more about the lies we hear.
When it comes to conflict with others, always assume the best. This is not natural. I have to turn for God for help me assume the best. God does help me by putting empathy first when I ask God for help in this area. Even if that person disrespects you. Take a pause. Walk away if you are tempted to go off. But on your walk, pray and ask God to help you understand and to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Let the person have a chance to explain before making assumptions. I believe it is difficult to assume the best if the person has a unreliable track record. In that case then you need to read the Boundaries book or unsafe people. I think in that case it helps to know that hurt people hurt people and their actions are coming out of a place of hurt and betrayal. But in all cases it is best to communicate with the other person.
To understand this concept in more detail I would recommend reading this article.