Tell Me What We’re Talking About

I’m taking a sabbatical from writing new blog posts. You’ll be seeing some re-runs and old favorites for the next little while. You can always write me back with suggestions or ideas just by responding to this email!

Do you ever have the experience of being sure you told someone an important something, but they don’t remember it? Or maybe you’re on other side of the exchange, with a friend or loved one insisting they mentioned a specific crucial topic to you, but you have no recollection of it?

I have been noticing this in my own life lately, and I have thoughts! If you want the person you’re talking to to have a chance of recalling an important conversation, try these ideas:

  1. Don’t talk to someone who is doing something else. This may seem obvious, but it happens A. Lot. Wait until they have finished the email/put the dish in the oven/parked the car, then begin.
  2. Ask if this is a good time. So simple, so rare. “Hey, when might be a good time to talk about this week’s schedule?” 
  3. Tell them what you’re talking about. Think of this like a headline for your conversation; it gives a frame for what the listener will hear next. For example, “I’d like to talk about our travel plans over the holiday.” Or, “Did I tell you my sister had Covid last month?” If you launch right into how your sister’s cough has finally gone away without giving a lead-in, they may not follow your train of thought, or understand what your level of concern about her was. Similarly, a detailed treatise on the pros and cons of driving versus flying is going to get lost if you don’t give a heads-up that you need to really dig into the traveling.
  4. Don’t assume. Don’t assume they remember the time you casually mentioned this before, don’t assume they read your text, don’t assume they saw your Instagram post.

People’s brains are FULL, y’all. Let’s help each other out. 

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