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December 17, 2020
Letters #48:
I write to you to draw your attention to statements that are designed to inspire confidence and certainty but have the exact opposite response in listeners. It does not seem logical that we would say something that has the opposite effect intended, but there are many examples. On the advice of my father, when I hear a tradesperson say - ‘no worries’ – his advice is to fear the worst. But that example is not alone, many similar statements have the same effect. Forcefully asserting that something is right or true often undermines a speaker’s credibility and re-establishes doubt.