When people repeat something I’ve already heard,
I’m prone to say…
“You already told me” or
“I already know that.”
As with most things –
Its different when I’m the receiving end of my own actions.
When someone cuts me off, it doesn’t feel good.
“You already said that” is a quick way to invalidate not only what someone’s trying to say in that moment, but also for the rest of that conversation.
All the times I told someone “I already know that,” was just a way of my ego trying to protect itself.
I’d be more concerned about being right and appearing a certain way (e.g. “smart”), than openly taking in information that may appear to be old.
But many things bear repeating.
- When a friend tells me business advice I’ve already heard before…that advice can actually apply better now than before.
- When my mom asks me about my finances…that’s a reminder of her value of financial independence.
- Everyday reminders from safety precautions to warnings bear repeating
While the human brain is biased towards novelty,
There’s immense power in embracing what’s “old” or what’s being repeated.
So this what my current practice looks like…
Resist the urge to react, shut up, and take in information with a beginner’s mind.
(Below, “New” = inner dialogue)
Old: “You already told me”
New: “This person may be repeating this for a reason.”
Old: “I know that already”
New: “This information may be worth revisiting.”
And a twist —
Old: “I’ve already said that”
New: “What is my priority may not be this person’s priority (thus they don’t remember what I said)”
I find this especially useful in situations when my ego normally feels the need to defend itself, whether it’s people I want to impress or those I’m afraid of being criticized by.
It’s already helping me be less reactive in conversations.
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What are your thoughts on this?
Also published on Medium.