My mom tells me the same stories, over and over. When I tell her she’s told me already, she gets angry with me. What can I do to get her to get her to stop? -Bob S.

This is easier said than done, but… stop telling her she’s told you. She doesn’t remember, and having her mistake pointed out to her just makes her feel defensive. I once heard Dr. Bill Thomas, geriatrician, address this subject. His advice was for us to consider that this story has something very important in it. There is either something significant to the person telling it, or there is a lesson in it for you. I’ve followed this advice ever since. As I listen I try to think what those lessons might be. I also challenge myself to try to come up with a slightly different response every time. At least that offers a little variety for me!