People choose topics to talk about because they either feel a certain way about them, or the topic has made them feel a certain way.
In either case, it’s because they are affected on an emotional level – happiness, joy, laughter, sadness, anger, you name it. It’s why we share viral videos and pictures, from hilarious cat videos to pictures that make us want to call our parents.
This means that most of the time, the small details aren’t important. It’s even less important to be exact and precise all the time. What is important is to understand the emotional impact that the other person wants to share.
So if someone tells you their story about skiing with their estranged father, focus on the emotional impact and not the fact that they have no idea how ski lifts work. See the impact emotion that is sought to be shared and ignore everything else.
It’s up to you to find the flow – stay on the message that other people want and show them that you feel it too. Take a step back and think about the purpose that someone is telling you something or asking you about something in daily conversation. There’s probably a more deeply rooted reason than what appears on the surface.
Missing the flow makes you appear annoyingly pedantic and that you can’t connect on an emotional level. Finding the flow makes you a mindreader.