3 comments on “Body Language

  1. “Most communication is either expressing factual claims of some sort or has no clear content.”

    I don’t think this is the case. Conversation is sometimes about jockeying for or conveying status, about bonding and showing sympathy, and many other emotional interactions. And even when factual claims are being made, often these other channels of communication are running at the same time.

  2. Don’t worry about false signals (eg, too much confidence), because your defaults are probably very poorly calibrated in the first place.

    I also think that you shouldn’t feel guilty about playing zero-sum games, but I find it hard to explain why. I think the common thread is assuming that other people are more like you than they actually are; and/or assuming that you understand them better than you do.

  3. Douglas, I don’t think I feel guilty about zero-sum games. Status seeking can range from very positive sum to very negative sum. I talked about games that are at least slightly negative sum.

    Yes, conversation often does more than convey factual claims, but I think your concept of “factual claims” is narrower than I want. I say that conveying status, sympathy, etc. include conveying factual claims.

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