Indirect communication, I think, can be such a powerful tool.
Take the word
you out of it.
For instance, I might be talking about parenting to someone. I will never point out what I think they are doing wrong, say what they should be doing, or show frustration over their decisions. Instead, I talk about everything in the third person and point as kindly as I can to these issues.
A better example?
What about a Bible-thumping street preacher vs. C.S. Lewis writing children’s books? The latter writes an entire series, gently pointing to things eternal. And the former screams at you without context.
There is no better form of this than doing a little communication without the recipient even knowing…
The long and short of it is that I think you can sometimes get a better result by not stabbing people with the knowledge you are trying to convey.
If you look closely, you can see I point gently at a few things here on this blog…
Understand: Here are 31 subtle ways of indirect communication.
It it useful when reading Auden, who learned from Kierkegaard the strategy of “indirect communication,” to assume that the broader the humor, the more serious the point he wishes to make.
-Alan Jacobs, The Year Of Our Lord 1943 (Amazon)