Watching soaps on the telly drives me mental even though I tell myself "It isn't real, they are only actors". The characters on EastEnders are textbook examples of dysfunctional behaviour. If you want to live your lives like them here are a few simple rules for dishonest communication:
Is anything wrong? When asked this reply, "No, I'm fine" in a very unconvincing, flat tone of voice.
Is everything OK? When asked this reply, "Yes, great" in a very unconvincing, flat tone of voice.
Be oblivious to tone. Ignore all body language, intonation and facial expression that might indicate unhappiness, distress or concern.
Never question or challenge. Take an unconvincing answer at face value. Do not ask "Are you sure?" Do not seek explanations. Do not ask why someone behaved as they did.
Talk with a sarcastic tone. Ensure that you are sarcastic as much as possible. Snide is good.
Do not acknowledge apologies. When on the receiving end of an apology respond grumpily by repeating the original complaint. When making the apology immediately respond to the rebuff by abandoning any attempt at reconcilation and have a heated exchange.
Always interrupt. Do not allow the other people to complete their exposition.
I've got something to tell you. When you hear this do not listen attentively, instead interrupt with some piece of trivia, preferably one that "pulls the rug from under" the other's news.
Assume the worst. If you see or overhear something put the worst possible interpretation on people's motivations.
Believe malicious gossip. On hearing an unpleasant report or unkind hearsay about a friend or loved one assume it is true.
Organise surprises. Do not consider the plans, wishes, aspirations and likely response of the 'surprisee'.
If no specfic rules apply to a particular situation apply these two basic principles:
• Deny the truth
• Never establish the facts
Sa Calobra, a Mallorcan Mountain Meander...
5 months ago