Honestly, no two words have ever gotten me in as much trouble as saying, "I know." Friends and family would share news stories, or tips, or concerns, you name it and having heard it all before I'd rather dismissively reply, "I know." This of course has always caused such person to stop in their tracks, heads reel back and I'd usually get a hurt and angry reply. Sometimes, especially if I said, "I know," to my mom I'd first get a lecture for already knowing what she was going to say and then she tells me what she wanted to anyways.
After much thought I tried walking in her shoes and only then did I really get it. You see, this sharing of information with me has little to do with actually informing me. It's actually about either the fullfilling of a duty or the natural desire to share something you've just discovered. Mom's have a tendency to seem like a broken record in how they constantly repeat things over and over again. They do it because with their foresight, having walked a similar path albeit at a time when dinosaurs still walked the earth, they desperately don't want you to make the same errors. So when my mom has something to say to me, no matter what it pertains to, I try very hard to just shut up and listen and afterwards, if I remember, I thank her for sharing that with me. As a result, she hasn't been repeating herself.
However, there's a slight variation to it when it comes to someone sharing something. For example, my best mate shared a YouTube video with me that he'd just discovered but of which I'd seen about a year previously. Previously still, I probably would have imediately told him that I'd seen it before. Such is an honest response, but at the same time unnecessary and sharp causing him to feel rejected and depending on where his ego was, perhaps a bit humiliated as well. This in turn would cause him to lash out at me and we'd fight for the next hour and a half. If this description seems oddly specific, it's probably because this really did happen, and it happened several times before I learned my lesson. Now, for this particular video, I made a conscious decision to watch it and enjoy it as if I was just seeing it for the same time. I honestly did enjoy it, and even made a similar comment to what I'd thought a year ago. The result of course is the sharing of a deeper bond between us.
You see, since vowing to essentially not prevent someone from communicating to me be it unsolicited advice or a YouTube video I've seen a thousand times before, has really changed me. I'm not so inward in my communications, that is, only engaging in that which was interesting and worth to me. Now I have a more genuine respect and desire for communication and it excites me to be able to share in a moment with someone who has just discovered something for themselves and of all people they want to share it with me first. I find it's even prevented those World War 3 type shouting matches which usually arise out of one or both parties feeling as if they are not being understood. I take time to ensure that the person I'm communicating with know that I understand them and appreciate their perspectives and as a result I find that those persons are willing to listen and understand my own perspectives.
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31)
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1)
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." (Galatians 5:13-15)