Have you ever left a conversation, or interview, or party, or date and as you walk away, you think: "THAT'S what I should have said?!"
That's the Spirit of the Staircase, or Escalator Wit (translated from the French: L'esprit de l'escalier).
It's perfectly normal and it happens to everyone at some point (if not all the time!)
Our brains are not fans of multi-tasking - in fact, it can't.
You might think you can but every time you turn your attention away from one thing to do the other, like checking your messages during a conversation, your brain shuts down one function to attend to the other.
We live in a society obsessed with multi-tasking, and it's making us slower, dumber and less connected. And it's making our brains more stressed and anxious.
When we're at a party, or interview, or date, and we're thinking about how we're coming across, while trying to pay attention to what's being said, while also wanting to pre-prepare a witty or intelligent answers, meanwhile scanning the room for what's going on in our surroundings, while also attempting to have the appropriate body language (or worrying about the sweat building on our foreheads) - our brains are overworked and we will perform more poorly at one of these tasks, if not all of them.
Once we're walking away, and our focus is less stretched, our brains will naturally do it's magic and come up with the perfect reply.
It doesn't matter so much when it was a witty comeback at a party that you failed to deliver, but what when it's your children's sense of feeling seen and heard because you're busy checking your work email as they tell you about their day? What when it's your partner's feelings being hurt because you're not paying attention to them, busy scrolling through Facebook? What when it's a safety critical aspect at work and you're only half focussing, distracted by the argument you had with your partner that morning and the project deadline ahead?
What would life look like, if you stayed focussed on what's important in the here and now?
That bit is up to you.
Until next time, stay safe - and sane - and make kind choices!
This is a daily, micro-blog, taking less than 2 minutes to read, offering you insights into how presumptions, beliefs and stories shape our lives and worldview, for better or worse.