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How Does This Stuff Work? Part 3 - The Golden Rule
Believe every word
There’s a golden rule in truly understanding and getting to the truth of any statement:
“Start off by believing every word”
The rule is a different from believing that everyone you hear from is honest. It’s about treating each word as if it’s been chosen by the person because it’s precisely what they want to say.
It’s not about believing the image the person wishes to portray with their statement, or the meaning that they may be implying. Believe the words.
Why is this important?
Most people avoid lying. Sure, they may hide things or bend the truth, but lying is hard work, so it’s easier to be honest.
And it’s really hard for us to use words that don’t accurately reflect our thoughts and feelings. Even when we’re trying to use carefully considered statements, it’s easy for the truth to slip out.
While believing what we hear, there are some markers to watch out for
There’s a world of difference between:
We will lower taxes next year and We plan to lower taxes next year
I’ll probably stay in this weekend and I’m staying in this weekend
I’m sorry if I offended you and I’m sorry for offending you
Often, someone will be trying to appear certain of what they are saying, but their words will reveal they’re not so certain
I think I got home around 7 is subtly different from I got home around 7
I feel like he is bullying me is different from He’s bullying me
This is when someone gives an absolute statement and then states it only holds true in certain circumstances.
I would never cheat on my parter, I couldn’t do that to someone I love
Of course, I wouldn’t let you down on your big day. Unless there’s some reason I don’t know about, I’ll be right there with you
To the best of my knowledge, we’re all getting pay rises next year.
All have enough qualification in them to be effectively meaningless, regardless of how reassuring they sound.
Put them together
By spotting those markers and believing the words used, you’ll have a much richer understanding of what is being said.
Over to you
With all that in mind, believe every word of the statement below from Formula One team boss Christian Horner. Then ask yourself, how many of the markers above do you see in his words? Have your say in the comments.