There are three variations of this that I see every day.
- One of the fastest ways to draw attention to something is to try to hide it.
That arm tucked behind a child’s back is a red flag that pretty much every adult and even most kids will pick up on. Just because people don’t let on that they noticed that you’re hiding something DOESN’T mean you ‘got away with it’.
- I was shopping for an electric tooth brush one day and a top brand name toothbrush did not mention anywhere on its packaging that it was rechargeable or the batteries were included. The other brand (at about the same price) said “batteries included” right on the front. Which do you think I bought?
If you’re in business there’s an unspoken rule that “if it was true, you’d be bragging about it”. I was pretty sure it had batteries, I very nearly bought it… but what they DIDN’T say left doubt, just enough that I took the competitor’s offering instead.
- My ears burn whenever I hear ads that say, “If such-and-such you could suffer-some-terrible-thing” or “.. you might be susceptible-to…” or whatever else they thing you ‘may’ be at risk for.
The thing is that even if only 3 people in a million could realistically develop this problem the advertisers are quite happy to make all million of us think it’s widespread enough that we should run out and buy their magic solution, even if we don’t need it.
The fact that they use such vague terms tells me that the risk is too low to even mention. If it were substantial enough to actually matter they’d be spelling it out loud and clear.
The things you don’t say or issues you try to dodge can say more about what your game is than the things you actually say or do.
Whether people can identify clearly what bothers them about you doesn’t matter. Most people are subconsciously aware of these off-putting feelings and just because they don’t complain DOESN’T mean you got away with anything.