Stories get better over time. When every single detail gets polished, the flow of events is smoother, the pauses are well calibrated. This simple principle makes a difference in every type of story; from simple presentations to keynotes, repetitions, better say rehearsals, change dramatically the final performance.
So if this increase of quality benefits the casual listener, the same cannot be said for the unfortunate person who happens to hear the story over and over again.I have found myself telling episodes so many times that they feel like legends.
At the same time it happens to me to hear the same story multiple times from other people. I believe that friendship is not just being able to cope with the reappearance of episodes, it goes one step further. Knowing where the other person is going to take the story to, allows to help the conversation with well a placed assist. The best wins require team play and assists are the true essence of team play.
So if you really care about someone, and you hear the same old story coming up again, think about how to place the best assist. You know, even the most boring sermon required heart to be written.