a quote from the movie human traffic. pretty much sums it up..

when you're a kid, you're blunt. when you're a teenager, you're still not adept enough at social subterfuge to completely conceal your intentions. when you grow up you learn that the only point of human interaction is to see how far you can coast on lies. it's not a good option, it's the only option.

if adults were to admit what we really think of each other, nothing would get done. no one could get a job or buy a car. and it's damned certain none of us would be getting laid.

fits together with the theory that some people are only nice to people they hate.

thelady - no, i don't think it is 'adolescent'. obviously people see through each other. call it a survival instinct - we still know what's being said, what people are thinking of each other, but we're not admitting to it and not reacting to it. we're making sacrifices of honesty in pursuit a more smoothly functioning, less antagonistic society. and, you'll have to admit, some people are fooled. there's a median level of deception that most of us recognize, but there are exceptions in peoples' talents for it or what the situation calls for. etc, etc. i'm not commenting on what we know, i'm commenting on what we do with that knowledge. generally, we don't call each others' bullshit. we play dumb and silently agree not to mention what comes to us from outside the actual text of the conversation.
That's a somewhat adolescent outlook on adulthood, though, isn't it? And aptly so, since Human Traffic is a movie about a group of people who will tell any lie, espouse any bullshit philosophy, and inject any substance in order to stop themselves growing up.

People are very rarely as stupid as you think.

Only 7% of communication is verbal**.

Combine these two statements and what do you get? Correct - people probably know what you're thinking of them anyway. They might return the compliment of your discretion by not verbalising their responses, but they know nonetheless. In fact, I've found that one of the side effects of maturity for me has been a realisation of just how much nonverbal communication is going on around me all the time. So rather than knowing less about the opinions and feelings of people around me I now know more.

And still the world goes on, people get jobs and thankfully get laid, too (although in some cases not quite as much as is good for them).

** OK, I made that statistic up. But whatever the numbers are, the principle remains the same - just because you don't say something doesn't mean nobody can guess you're thinking it.

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