You can’t hear what someone else is saying to you while you plan your next response. Reacting immediately after hearing what someone said doesn’t help, either.

This is conversational multitasking. It’s caused countless misunderstandings, breakups, and nights spent alone at the local bar.

Instead of planning your next rebuttal, give the other person just enough eye contact to where it isn’t creepy. And if you’re texting, don’t be afraid of “leaving them on read” for as long as you need to think through your response.

Reactions move us backward.

Responses move us forward.

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