Confronted with a heard-it-all-before story, Richard Swerdlow decides to suppress the yawn and find something he hadn’t heard before.
People repeat themselves. People repeat themselves.
Everyone knows somebody who's been telling the same story over and over for years. It's hard not to suppress a sigh when the conversation turns towards familiar territory and you just know that well-worn story is about to be dusted off again for the hundredth time. By now, you've heard it so many times, you could tell it yourself.
In fact, some people do, impatiently interrupting the speaker with a spoiler ending, pointing out they've already heard this. But finding myself in this situation recently, I decided to not interrupt, or smile, nod and mmmm-hmmmm while I let my mind wonder, but to actually listen.
I wish I could report the twice-told tale provided some sudden, unexpected flash of insight this time. But no, the telling remained the same. The listening, however, had changed. I realized this story, however trivial to me, was important to this person.