Think of a person you’ve known all your life. Somebody you like. Or love. The kind of person you can be with and say nothing for hours on end or say whatever comes to mind.
Now imagine that you’re having a conversation with this person and a nice enough, obviously well meaning relationship expert interrupts you. He steps right between you and your friend and tells you that he’s come to help you communicate in the way that your friend actually prefers, a way that you’re not capable of intuiting. Certainly not a way that you could make up as you go along.
He tells you it’s vital that you communicate with your friend exactly according to the rules. The rule book is huge, by the way. He tells you that some people spend their entire lives trying with all their might to communicate with just such a friend as yours and they still get it wrong. So, so terribly wrong.
Then, to your everlasting horror, the expert tells you that If you fail to follow instructions, there’s a distinct possibility — no, make that a certainty — that your friend will douse you with gasoline and set you on fire.
Does any of this sound familiar?