Published Feb 27, 2023
What generally happens when someone says this to you? Hearing someone say it can have a positive psychological impact on a person, as it can provide validation, encouragement, and a sense of accomplishment.
When someone receives positive feedback, their brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This can create a sense of happiness and satisfaction and motivate the person to continue the behaviour that prompted the positive feedback.
Sounds great, and sometimes we need that boost. Consider this; it is a form of DISTORTION, one brain function. It's a broad phrase that gives no specificity; it 'distorts' what one truly loves about what you are doing.
The phrase above is also an example of a term I want to teach you today called a presupposition; it falls under 'distortion'. A Presupposition is a condition or element in a statement that must be true for the sentence to make sense. But if we accept the presupposition, we may accept something true or false.
We're exposed to more information than you can handle. Many claims are made, and presuppositions are often used to influence consumers' perceptions and behaviours.
Product Superiority: 'Experience the smoothest shave ever.' Presupposes that no other products shave better.
Social Norms: An image of a group of friends drinking a beer and having a good time presupposes that the beer is socially acceptable for gatherings.
Time-sensitive: 'Don't miss out on our limited-time offer.’ Presupposing that the product is valuable and that consumers will regret not taking advantage of the offer.
Presuppositions in ads shape beliefs, attitudes, and actions without direct claims. They foster familiarity, authority, and social proof, building trust and driving sales. They can be beneficial, especially in today's noisy world; however, unethical use, like exploiting vulnerabilities or dishonest claims, can mislead people.
Look at the title of this newsletter; it presupposes that not everything will be true, which I stand by. So I intend to help in two ways; gain clarity to lead yourself effectively and learn to understand the intentions of others, so they do not delude you.
Compliments and attention feel great, but they can also influence our behaviour and attract the wrong kind of attention. It's important to distinguish between genuine compliments and those that bait for something else. Doing so can avoid falling prey to others' agendas and stay true to ourselves.
It’s not to say that these may not be genuine compliments, you have a powerful mind and we want to use it to your advantage. Generalised comments like these:
"I love your content" - A common statement. I'd question what precisely?
"I love what you do" - What do I do? I do a lot. Can you explain that back to me?
"Amazing human I've ever seen” - As opposed to? In what way?
“You have a great mind” - I do? What makes you say so?
Intention is a powerful thing, if you are not the person in their minds, it's themselves that is. Try to gauge their intentions, gain clarity before accepting or taking action.
Presupposition can help you from being caught in the hook of someone else’s fishing line. Here’s an example of someone’s intentions who reached out to me.
I’m not sure what I posted that triggered this individual as you will see but I received the following message. I did immediately reply with “Hey, how are you? Family well?…”. While I waited for a response I took a moment to research this person. What they do, who they are are, to build a bigger picture - they help people develop knowledge into courses. She couldn’t just be wanting to cold sell me….
They want to connect and learn more about me, it’s unclear at this point what they are interested in. It’s beginning to become clear what the person’s intent is. I kindly replied that Peoplepreneur® was a platform that one day will host its own courses, it was ignored.
Round of applause for this human for their lack of recognition of another.
Presuppositions can be both helpful and problematic, depending on how they're used. They refer to assumptions or beliefs and are often implicit and can impact how information is understood.
Presuppositions can be helpful to streamline communication, but they can also be harmful if they're based on false assumptions or used to deceive others. The example above could have been approached better, an assumption in their way of building sales hasn’t worked on me.
Challenge everything for the truth
By being aware of these and similar examples of presuppositions, you can better protect yourselves from being misled and make informed decisions based on a clear understanding of the facts.
Founder, Growth Coach, People Developer, Strategist,Unconventional Thinker, Aligner, Clarifier