Repeat after me, in the shade of the Repeat Tree

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Do you know one of those people who has the annoying habit of repeating themselves? I don’t mean that friend who tells you the same story every other time you see him. I mean the guy who says the same thing three times in the span of 5 minutes. And, for good measure, probably reiterates this two more times before you are done talking. How do you deal with that? Do you avoid that person? Do you cut them off and say “Hey I heard you the first four times you said that?” How do you avoid doing a slash and burn on the relationship?

So, now I have a confession to make. I am that guy. Yep, I did not even realize that I was doing it until about 8 years ago. I had a few people tell me –THANK YOU – that I was losing people in conversation. I don’t mean that I would literally say the same thing repeatedly, but I would deliver the same message repeatedly in short conversations. Boy, talk about a way to get people to mentally check out. This tactic will unfortunately work every time.

You know I owe a lot to the three people who told me I was doing this. Fortunately for me I had already learned the lesson about shooting the messenger and I was able to gratefully acknowledge this and thank my friends for pointing it out. I also asked them to please help me change this incredibly annoying habit. I gave them permission to point it out, in a kind way, when I would fall back into this pattern. In the beginning, I would have good days and not so good days.

Truth is I catch myself all the time. I still do it. I usually recognize it somewhere around the third offense. There is an expression, and it seems true. “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” I sometimes like to add “Unless it hits a root and takes a good long roll.” In this instance, no roots in sight and I had decades to root my repeat tree. To all of you that have ever had to sit under the shade of my Repeat Tree, forgive me, please.

Today I hope that the it is a shadow of the mighty shade tree that it once was. It has been pruned over the years, and like a healthy tree, pruning supports new growth. Recently it seems that the Repeat Tree has had some of its old growth bloom. The times today are stressful. One thing that I learned years ago was that while we have the capacity to change, to choose to behave differently, it is hard to eradicate behavior. Stress causes us to relapse. The key is to identify that relapse and take corrective action.

However, much like my father, a wonderful man, that I strive to emulate in most ways, save this one, I can’t help but fall into “lecture” mode when I don’t like what is going on. My wife and daughter will whole heartedly tell you that the Repeat Tree needs pruning. You know what? It does. I am thankful that there are people in my life that will give me this feedback. You know they love you and they care.

So what could you do? If you could?


About occasionallyserene

Just a guy trying to simplify his life in a complicated world. Finding out along the way that much of what he thought was real, is little more than an illusion created by others and sustained by his own mind.
This entry was posted in Growth, Inspirational, Transformation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Repeat after me, in the shade of the Repeat Tree

  1. Great post. I was smiling when I read this because I know I have sometimes probably repeated things a few too many times as well in the span of 5 minutes. It is such an easy trap to fall into and for some reason when you continue to restate it, it makes you feel as if you are stating it a little better and clearer. I think the most important thing to do is to recognize and accept that it is an opportunity area and then turn your focus on being succinct as possible. That is really what I am always trying to focus on and make certain to continually remind myself … say it only once and as briefly as possible. Thanks for the bringing this top of mind. I needed to hear it.

  2. Thanks Sibyl,
    Upward and onward. Upward and onward. Wait,, sorry I said that already. Growth.

  3. BAW says:

    I think most people can relate to this and it seems more relatable the more we age. Perhaps we repeat ourselves so as not to forget rather than because we are forgetful. Perhaps it is a combination of both. Makes you think which is always a good thing. Thanks.

    • BAW,
      Thanks for stopping by! That is a good point. My own repetition in less than 5 minutes usually stems from my need to make sure that I am heard. I had not considered that I might be doing it so I don’t forget. If I can remember, I’ll have to think about that next time.

  4. calogeromira says:

    I do not like apples very much, but they are not bad.

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