Listen Up! Memory Tells All

May 23, 2017 Deborah Wilbrink

It’s amazing but, there is research in the Wall Street Journal that shows simply how we talk to people we can magnify or erode someone else’s memory! As a listener, you have superpowers to make or break history!

If we are really engaged when we listen to someone’s story we will strengthen that particular memory (whether accurate or not). Our listening can also add to the sense of the secondary meaning associated with it, such as redemption, learning, a life stage. These secondary meanings determine how we feel about how our lives have worked out.

On the other hand, your superpowers can make someone forget something…just by seeming disinterested!

One question I frequently get from people at my workshops is: What if the memory isn’t correct? What if others have different memories of the same event?  Attribute, attribute, attribute! You can use those stories, just tell your source.

“Uncle Ray always said that…”

“I remember it this way…”

Click on the links below to read more about the accuracy of memories and the power of listening.

Tell History: Are Memories Really Reliable?

The Value of a Flawed Memory

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“The Best Book is Your Own Story.”
Deborah Wilbrink

Comment (1)

  1. Janice

    Thanks for sharing these interesting studies on memory, Deborah. The research has important implications for our emotional health, relationships, and our perceptions of history and justice.

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