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The comfort of vagueness

Always be truthful in what you say.
Kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it?

But there are two directions from which to approach this ideal.

First, you can try to play it safe. If in doubt, add a layer of vagueness so that no-one can argue that it’s not true. Watch out for “probably”, “maybe”, “could be” and similar words in someone’s language … These people are super-cautious with the words they use.

The other approach is to be brave. If possible, make it simpler, bolder, more specific. These people feel challenged, if a statement is vague. They look for ways of expressing the thought that removes the vagueness and they are ready to try dozens of different versions and look for more evidence that allows them to zero in on the truth.

The first approach is rather comfortable. You can always add another “maybe” to get on the safe side.

The second approach requires more courage (and effort). When there is no “maybe”, you must be rather sure.

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