How do you get to know someone really well? How do you get to know who they really are?
If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh.
If he laughs well, he’s a good man.
Credit: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
In conversation, the words we choose and the metaphors we use reveal our personality, our attitudes, and our thinking.
This goes for face-to-face conversation and a lesser degree computer-based communication. When we communicate electronically we have the ability to edit what we say before we send it but in face-to-face conversation – thoughts we intend to conceal slip out in the heat of the moment.
But what I think reveals us – even betrays us – is what we find funny – the jokes we tell; what we laugh at and even what we don’t find humorous. Often a grin or a nervous or wry smile gives us away.
Our sense of humour is something we find hard to fake or suppress.
There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at.
Credit: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Yet another reason why face-to-face conversation is so powerful.
- There is nothing in which people more betray their character than in what they laugh at.
- If you wish to glimpse into someone’s soul just watch how they laugh.
- Next time you need to have a difficult conversation, hold it face-to-face, not over the phone and certainly not by email.
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