The Broken Record Technique

My Aunt Jeannie had bought a pair of shoes from a local shoe store and wanted to return them. Unfortunately, they had a policy – no returns without a receipt. And my Aunt Jeannie no longer had her receipt, so I taught her the Broken Record Technique.

The Broken Record Technique goes like this. You create a sentence that says what you want and you repeat this sentence over and over and over again. In my Aunt Jeannie’s case the sentence was, “I want to return these shoes and I don’t have a receipt.”

She entered the shoe store and spoke to the young man behind the counter. She said, “I want to return these shoes and I don’t have a receipt.” Of course his response was, “M’am, we don’t accept returns without a receipt.” And so Aunt Jeannie just kept saying her one sentence, over and over and over again. Eventually the young man went and found his Assistant Manager, who then went through the same routine with Aunt Jeannie, who continued to say the one sentence over and over and over again. And he finally called for the General Manager who eventually capitulated and said, “Lady, just this one time, but never again!”

Aunt Jeannie left the shoe store pleased as punch and never went back.

So when you are in a situation where you want to make yourself heard but don’t want to argue, or perhaps you are not good at arguing, use the Broken Record technique.   Create one or two sentences and repeat them over and over again. Don’t get drawn in to explaining yourself. Don’t get defensive. Don’t get drawn off track. Just keep repeating your sentence over and over and over again and see what happens. Aunt Jeannie did and look what happened!