jkmh's Shortform

by jkmh8th Sep 20211 comment
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I sometimes get frustrated when I hear someone trying to "read between the lines" of everything another person says or does. I get even more frustrated if I'm the one involved in this type of situation. It seems that non-rhetorical exploratory questions (e.g. "what problem is solved by person X doing action Y?") are often taken as rhetorical and accusatory (e.g. "person X is not solving a problem by doing action Y.")

I suppose a lot of it comes down to presentation and communication skills. If you communicate very well, people won't try as hard to read between the lines of your statements and questions.

However, I still believe there is room for people to do a little less "reading between the lines," even in situations where they really want to. It can reduce friction and sometimes completely avoid an unnecessary conflict.

I searched for this topic on both EA Forum and LessWrong and didn't find much, at least with the phrasing of "reading between the lines." Does anyone have any links or articles that explore this idea more thoroughly?