SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Nudging the truth in order to say what someone wants to hear

Discussion started on

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region wwa
In conversations, people often nudge the truth so they can say what someone wants to hear.

Examples:

- Wasn't that a great book?
- Well...I loved the part where the protagonist finally broke up with her boyfriend.

The second person here has an opinion that doesn't match the first person's, but she (women do this more than men) doesn't acknowledge it. Instead, she chooses to talk about the common ground between the two opinions. In my head, I think of this conversational phenomenon as an "adjustment," but I'm wondering if there's a formal term for it in the social sciences. Anyone?
#1 - April 21, 2015, 04:32 PM
Twitter: @MelissaKoosmann

Think the formal term is "tact", but I don't use it much, myself.
#2 - April 21, 2015, 07:12 PM
Know the movies.  Show the movies.  Start the revolution:
http://movieactivist.blogspot.com

Owl Princess
Admins and Mods Emeriti
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
Quote
Think the formal term is "tact", but I don't use it much, myself.
    :grin3

My mother was extremely diplomatic. If someone asked her what she thought of something and she didn't like it but didn't want to hurt your feelings, she'd call it "original" or "interesting."
#3 - April 21, 2015, 08:00 PM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
http://decoowlpress.com

Barb  :owl

Website: http://barbaraetlin.com
Blog: http://owlsquill.blogspot.com

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • **
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
Or in lawyerly language, that'd be a leading question.

    :grin3

My mother was extremely diplomatic. If someone asked her what she thought of something and she didn't like it but didn't want to hurt your feelings, she'd call it "original" or "interesting."

Hey, that's my MIL!

Vijaya
#4 - April 21, 2015, 08:15 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

Member
Poster Plus
Ha, and whenever somebody tells me something is interesting, I interpret that as meaning they don't like it -- because I know "interesting" is code for "I don't have anything nice to say."  I'm not much for fuzzy language. Just say what you mean.

#5 - April 21, 2015, 09:03 PM
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

Admins and Mods Emeriti
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region epa
Tactful or not, discussing what you like is a much more interesting and engaging response than saying, "Yes, it's great!" And maybe in a little bit you'll both get to share what you both don't like.
#6 - April 22, 2015, 04:56 AM
Kell Andrews
www.kellandrews.com
Twitter @kellandrewsPA

THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, October 2, 2018
MIRA FORECASTS THE FUTURE, Sterling, 2016

Member
Poster Plus
To answer your question (or not), I don't know the technical term for it. I call it annoying. :)
#7 - April 22, 2015, 05:47 AM
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region britishisles
Isn't that a form of hedging?
#8 - April 22, 2015, 06:01 AM
It's my iPad making the spelling mistakes, not I!

It's also a leading question in psychology circles. In regard to the person responding, I don't know that there's a technical term, but in that fashion of reply, everyone understands it's diplomacy and tact, as others mentioned.

But how much do you want to know, or do know, about the responder? You can dig deeper...is there a root cause for the person's response? Is the person giving that reply fearful of confrontation, or needs approval? You can technically label that (as a type of behavior, especially if other traits are present).




#9 - April 22, 2015, 06:12 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newjersey
I had to train my husband not to say "interesting" when he meant he really liked it. He had no idea that it was a code word for "meh." Laurie
#10 - April 22, 2015, 08:23 AM
Laurie Wallmark
lauriewallmark.com
Hedy Lamarr's Double Life
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machin

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region sfnortheastbay
    :grin3

My mother was extremely diplomatic. If someone asked her what she thought of something and she didn't like it but didn't want to hurt your feelings, she'd call it "original" or "interesting."

At my home calling something or someone "interesting" and "original" was the highest compliment. In fact, the worse sin was to be dull or boring, or unoriginal. So funny how it's not the word, or even the conventional meaning, but the way it is said and knowing the person who said it. Ey?  :bewildered

I suppose this must translate in writing a character to the reader knowing the character before they can interpret what they mean.
But the way it was put here, where A asks about something and B clearly stirs the reply away from the direct question, is clear to this reader (me) that tactful obfuscation is happening.
#11 - April 22, 2015, 08:28 AM
THE VOICE OF THUNDER, WiDo Publishing
THERE'S A TURKEY AT THE DOOR, Hometown520

www.mirkabreen.com
http://mirkabreen.BlogSpot.com

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
I actually use it as intended. I'm interested in learning more if I say something is interesting. This could also be that it made me think, whether or not I liked the topic I was now forced to think about.

I may also use the term when what I'm thinking about is that I have no idea what to say on the topic I've been asked about, no clearly formed opinion, maybe it's meh or maybe I'm not informed enough.

But answering the OP's question, I'd go with tact or diplomacy.
#12 - April 27, 2015, 07:43 AM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.