Why is it that people respond to me in a certain way?
When you find yourself with someone, remember, you’re in “their environment.” They see you as an actor in their play.
You've probably heard that our brains are "plastic," which means that we adapt to our environments and the people in them. Paying attenion to our environments, or “noticing,” tends to help us remember things. Those people who remember strangers’ names at work, even in brief encounters, pay special attention to the name they’ve just heard and find many ways to repeat, practice, and associate the “new” name with some image or information they already know. Such practice and repetition helps strengthen the memory of the name and person, until the name becomes more familiar.
Without this practice and level of effort, you’re likely to forget someone’s name you just met. Practice of new information is often tied to engagement. How important is it to you to remember something? The more important, the more likely you are to practice. Otherwise the “new name” or any other kind of information might be too unique for you to recall it over time.
Simiarly, paying attention to our objects IN our environments (and not just the object themselves) also helps us avoid misplacing things… like keys. We’ve learned that people find lost objects better, because we remember both object and context (or place) better than when we recall the object by itself. You may have experienced this when you asked for help finding an object, and someone asked you in turn, “Where was the last place you were?” That “cue” might help you remember the “place” and the object.
Fewer people realize that in addition to adapting to our environments, we also pay attention to AND adapt to our own thoughts, especially about what is possible.
When we see our role in making things happen, they are more likely to happen.
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