TALKING BETWEEN THE LINES: How We Mean More Than We Say by Julius & Barbara Fast Fast

TALKING BETWEEN THE LINES: How We Mean More Than We Say

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Now the Babel between the lines is metacommunication, but this is the same book the Fasts always write (Body Language, Risking Intimacy, etc.). In the new idiom they get you into make-believe trouble and out again by explaining that it's not what you say but how you say it that counts--""The meta is the message""--and promising that ""Understanding and using metaskills can. . . help you relate better"" to the usual panoply of friends, lovers, even strangers. We transmit meta-signals all the time: preverbal children read them adeptly; couples hide behind them (and ""unmasking"" can be rough). Awareness is the key. The Fasts demonstrate that words can reveal attitudes (e.g., ""girl"" vs. ""woman"") and also control them--as in the durable study of teachers and falsely-labeled gifted pupils. The problems arise when the meta doesn't match the message: tone of voice can belie a whole personality (""incongruence""), or betray the real mood behind an innocuous phrase (What's bothering you now?), One catch: ""If you use all that you have learned in this book to manipulate people. . . you may run into trouble."" Spelled out, it seems ready-made for the next go-round: ""There's a moral issue involved.

Pub Date: June 22nd, 1979
Publisher: Viking