Answers In Love

Winning at Life God's Way

What to Do When You Want to be Heard

Do you remember the TV show Monk? It featured an obsessive-compulsive, genius detective with a kind and gentle heart. I loved the show’s murder intrigue, humor and the way it portrayed Monk as more than his psychological disorder – as a man who also had considerable virtues and strengths.

I laughed during one episode when a little girl sitting in the airplane seat in front of Monk turned around and said, “Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell out. Who was left?” The compulsive detective could not keep from saying “Repeat” every time the girl asked so she repeated the words ad infinitum. It was funny but got almost too painful to watch.

The scene reminds me of an important life lesson I learned 20 years ago. It’s about repeating yourself when necessary.

Go Ahead – Repeat Yourself

One night long ago I dropped my children off at my parents’ home to attend a meeting. At one point in the meeting I voiced an opinion but the more domineering personalities in the room brushed over my comments and moved the discussion in their own preferred direction.

Back at my parents’ house I described my frustrating experience. My father said, “Next time repeat yourself.” I said, “What?” and he said the same words again. I said, “Oh, good idea” and since then I’ve enjoyed applying his wisdom. When I don’t feel heard instead of giving up I make my point again and it usually helps.

I also pass that wisdom along to people I counsel. I’ve heard many a client say, “I asked my spouse to come to counseling but he (or she) refused.” I say, “Repeat yourself.” They say “What?” and I say, “Ask again next week and the week after that.” This strategy has nudged many reluctant partners into counseling and helped many marriages move forward.

Repeating your message can foster progress in other relationships as well. Making your point or stating a request over and over can move resistant or distracted:

  • neighbors
  • children and teens
  • coworkers and bosses
  • aging parents
  • group leaders

…you name it!

Why Repetition Works

People often do not feel ready to hear or change when initially approached. Change and understanding usually take time because change happens in stages. The six stages of change include:

Stage 1: I don’t need to change.

Stage 2: I may need to change but I don’t want to.

Stage 3: I’m considering a change.

Stage 4: I’m making a plan to change.

Stage 5: I’m working my plan.

Stage 6: I’m maintaining my change.

Repeated nudging can help people move through these stages toward change over time .

Good Enough for God

A local minister recently claimed the Bible says 400 times that Jesus is the only way to God. I don’t know about 400 times but it’s easy to find repetitions of that message (John 14:6; Rom 10:9; 1 Tim 2:5; Eph 2:4-10; 1 Thess 5:9; 1 Jn 2:22). The Bible also repeatedly calls us to love (Prov 10:12; Matt 5:43-48; John 13:34; Phil 2:3-4;  1 Jn 4:11; 1 Pet 4:8).

God repeats important messages. He wants to be heard.

Who Needs to Hear You?

Have you felt discouraged and defeated lately because you expressed your desire or shared a truth with someone who turned a deaf ear or seemed disinterested? What did you do? Did you give up and say, “I tried?”

I hope not. You have a pretty good chance of getting through to someone If you repeat yourself. Tell them again what you think, how you feel and what you want. They may eventually hear and make helpful changes.

In the joke only Repeat remained in the boat. Repeat could be the one thing left in your boat too after you’ve exhausted all other ideas for moving something forward.

Remember, when needed….

Don’t give up. Repeat yourself.

Don’t give up – repeat yourself.





















About Cheryl Savageau

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

3 Replies

  1. Kathy Bond

    Hi Cheryl❤️Thank you so much. This is very helpful to me. I will take on this challeng! It is to me anyway, I will repeat!
    Love is the Greatest. 1 Cor. 13:13
    Kathy Bond

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