It’s surprising how hard it is to forget a spoiler. This is partly because it’s hard to forget things in general.
When it comes to spoilers, you will basically have that “try not to think of a pink elephant” problem in your head.
Still, the mind has some limits that you can use to help you forget the spoiler, for better or worse.
They may or may not work because the mind is a changeable thing. But they do make it more likely that you’ll forget a certain spoiler.
Also, a spoiler is a very special kind of information in and of itself. If you’ve read or heard the spoiler, it’s a very vague memory because it doesn’t have a lot of concrete details.
Since spoilers don’t have as much to do with the real world, they are easier to forget than other kinds of memories.
8 Simple methods on how to forget spoilers
1. Don’t think about what will happen next.
When you hear or read a spoiler for the first time, it will go into your short-term memory. If you don’t think about the memory again, it won’t move into your long-term memory, and you’ll quickly forget it (meaning a few hours at most).
This is because there are two main kinds of memory: “short-term” memory and “long-term” memory.
In short-term memory, we keep things like a phone number, a person’s name, a story someone tells, etc. that we just learned.
When information in short-term memory is no longer needed, it is deleted quickly, usually within a few hours.
But if you think about or repeat something in your short-term memory, it will move to your long-term memory.
Once you put something in your long-term memory, you can’t forget it. You will forget it in the end, but it will take a lot longer.
2. Take your mind off things
To remember something for a long time, your mind needs to hear it over and over again. This can be stopped in a number of ways. Mental math puzzles, games, and exercises are one way:
“My mom and dad each gave me $50 so I could buy a shirt that cost $97. When I was done, I had $3 left. I gave $1 back to my dad and $1 back to my mom, and I kept $1 for myself. I now owe $49 plus $49, which is $98 plus the $1 I set aside for myself, for a total of $99. Where did the dollar go?”
It can be this math question or any other kind of riddle or math question. It makes no difference. It just needs to be something that makes you stop thinking about what you were thinking and make you think about something else.
Watch an interesting video on YouTube or looking at funny things on the Internet to take your mind off things.
Again, you just want to keep your mind from going over the same information over and over and storing it in your long-term memory.
A short 3–4 minute video or the cute animals on reddit.com/r/eyebleach should be more than enough to take your mind off of whatever it is you’re thinking about.
3. Erase the spoiler from your mind
You can use this to your advantage by calling up the memory and trying to change a small piece of information each time.
Small changes that make sense are best. If the changes are too big, your brain will fight against them and instead make the memories stronger.
You can rewrite something in your head, but it works better if you say the changes out loud. Is it certain that this method will change the way you remember the spoiler? It’s not, no.
But if the spoiler is already stuck in your mind, just trying to forget it won’t work as well. However, if the information in the spoiler is changed, it might work.
4. The spoiler doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.
This is because most of the time, it’s not the story beats or events themselves that are important. What really matters is how the story is told and how well the events unfold. Also, you know something will happen, but you don’t really know when, where, or how it will happen.
5. Have a drink
This is because alcohol temporarily affects your short-term memory and makes it harder to make memories, including remembering the spoiler.
6. To get rid of memories, try the mind palace method.
You make a huge mental palace with hundreds of rooms and drawers, and in each of those rooms, you store a different memory. But the memory palace method can also be used to help you forget things.
To do this, just imagine putting that memory in a room of your mind palace. Then, either board up the room or fill it with concrete and turn the door into a wall.
When it comes to forgetting things, it’s mostly a matter of telling yourself to forget. But it has been shown to work better than the “natural” method of just letting your brain remember and forget things on its own timetable.
7. Just stay away from the movie, book, or TV show for a little while.
If you’re already in the middle of the book or show, this method won’t really work because you’ll forget what’s already happened along with the spoiler. Overall, it’s not the best way to do things, but it can work in some situations.
8. Throw the spoiler off.
To do this, just read the plot summaries of different movies, books, etc., and hope that the information from the spoiler mixes with the plot summaries to make something new.
This should be done right after you find out a spoiler, if possible, so that the information from the spoiler gets mixed in with what you’re learning from the plot summary.
To find plot summaries for movies or TV shows, you could use IMDB’s advanced title search, fill in all your criteria, and search for productions you’ll never watch but are similar to the story you’ve been told.
Once you’ve found one or more productions, look up plot summaries for them on Wikipedia or another site like it.
Again, this method isn’t guaranteed to work, but you only need a slightly higher chance of success than forgetting the spoiler on your own for it to be worth it.