In his unending and tireless travels of the Net, ***Dave has come across yet another excellent resource in the form of Conversational Cheap Shots – How NOT to Talk! A sort of guide to techniques and methods we sometimes resort to when engaged in a heated discussion that should be avoided if your intent is to have an honest dialog. I’m guilty of a few of these myself, but long-time readers will probably recognize a lot of these tactics from the various lengthy threads that have occurred on SEB in the past. A particularly popular one with the True Believers™ who stop by here from time to time intent on showing me the error of my ways is the I KNOW BETTER ploy:
I KNOW BETTER:
A clever and socially acceptable way of denying what someone has said by claiming to know more about what the other person thinks or feels than they do. Believe it or not, this technique is quite commonplace and effective.
“That’s a cruel thing to say, and I know you don’t mean it.”
“You’ve made that point well, but … (1) I know where your heart is; (2) I sense that you’re not comfortable with what you’re saying; (3) I know what kind of person you are deep down … and that you cannot continue to hold this position and maintain your integrity.”
“Johnny, the reason I can’t give you permission to go to the party is because I know that deep in your heart you’d rather spend the time here with me.”
Yeah, if I had a dime for every occurrence where someone tried to tell me what they know about how I feel “deep down in my heart” I’d be a rich man by now.
Anyway, it’s a good read and worth bookmarking so you can reference it from time to time and try to avoid using these tactics when you can. I know I’ll probably go back to it from time to time as a refresher.