Forget the thumb screws and water boarding, if you want to know something about someone, just put them and SWMBO in the same rest room with tea and coffee on tap.
I’ve never seen anything like it, a person’s life story and occasionally their “little secrets” are extracted in such a way that the person actually feels good about sharing it with her.
Deadly skills and her ability to sum a person up within seconds of meeting them (that gut feeling) is seldom wrong.
I’m not singing her praises too much (like hell I’m not) and I shamelessly use her communication skills in all sorts of ways.
It’s a real gift and as said, a powerful tool (if not weapon) when extracting Intel!
When I met her I was still a very monosyllabic ex-mil i.e. brief in conversation, and quite terse. Plus I readily acknowledge I had a few screws loose. If you are a civilian and have spoken to someone who is recently ex-mil, it’s often quite hard to engage them in protracted conversation and even worse (or is it good) they unthinkingly resort to mil-speak TLA’s which to a civilian is often totally incomprehensible.
Umm, that goes for their “significant other” too if they have spent time on a mil camp.
So she went to work on me.
Without me feeling manipulated (or was it SWMBOulated) she started me talking to others.
It started with supermarkets. Yep, supermarkets.
She would engage with the checkout operators and draw me into the conversation building on the statement that I muttered about looking after the “little people in life” as it was them who are important NOT the bosses.
OK, I know she reckons I’m a lost cause really because as soon as I’m speaking to mil or ex-mil I go straight back to mil-speak and remain stuck there for quite a while after.
Add a bit of stress in an unsafe environment and I still resort to terse “orders” at her as I’m often too involved keeping her safe to watch my “p’s and q’s”. Still she’s working on that one.
And finally here I am some 25 years on and still totally without any social graces but at least I’m not biting someones head off within the first few seconds even though they may be a total jackass.
Evolution has a lot to answer for hasn’t it?
Females learned to communicate and “read” others accurately and quickly as a self and family preservation skill although what they would have thought of SWMBO reducing car salesmen to a gibbering wreak within minutes?
No wonder the ancients gave their captives to the women to interrogate or even torture.
Man versus woman? No contest boys, we’ve lost!