How to Talk to Anyone: 101 Little Communication Tricks for Big Success in RelationshipsThis is a tip from Leil Lowndes, a prolific author of relationship, communication books. What has become valuable to me is the female friends I have in my life who are actively looking on my behalf for my next girlfriend and trying to introduce me to them. And this is happening more often. And even though I don’t need the help any more it is constantly increasing my social network. I highly recommend Leil’s book, How To Talk To Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships.

And now for her July Novel Nugget…

If someone asks you the same question twice, don’t embarrass them by answering with precisely the same words. Rescue them from that mortifying moment when they realize, “Whoops, I already asked that.” For example, someone inquires, “What year did you graduate?” You answer, “In 1996.” Later in the conversation, forgetting they had asked, they again pose the question, “What year did you graduate?” Don’t repeat “In 1996”. Hearing you say the same words again makes it disgracefully obvious that they weren’t listening the first time.

Save their face, (and their friendship,) by responding to their repeated question with different words. This time answer “Ten years ago.” They now happily continue chatting, oblivious to the fact that they paid no attention to you the first time.

Yes, you are being kind by rescuing them from their embarrassment But it redounds to your benefit as well. Why? A funny thing happens to people. If you make their big blooper obvious, their well deserved humiliation later turns to subconscious resentment of you.