What does RBTL stand for?

Read between the lines

When you see the letters ‘RBTL’, it’s a cue to dig a little deeper into what someone is trying to say. It stands for “Read Between The Lines”. This acronym alerts you to consider more than just the surface meaning of words and look for the hidden or underlying message instead.

Imagine you’re having a conversation with your buddy, Mike, about your friend Sarah. Mike might use ‘RBTL’ in this way: “RBTL… Sarah keeps saying she’s too busy to join us lately, but I suspect she’s just short on cash. Her work has been a bit slow recently.”

In this situation, Mike is suggesting that there’s more to Sarah’s excuses than meets the eye. He’s implying that her lack of funds, not her lack of time, is the real reason she’s been avoiding social outings. So, when someone drops ‘RBTL’ in a conversation, they’re asking you to read a little more into what’s being said.

Example for using ‘RBTL’ in a conversation

Friend: Hey, did you see Sarah’s new profile picture? RBTL, she’s been posting a lot of happy pictures lately.

You: Yeah, I noticed that too! RBTL, I think she’s trying to show everyone that she’s doing great after the breakup.

Friend: I just got a text from Mike saying he can’t hang out tonight because he’s feeling tired. RBTL, I think he’s avoiding us because he’s been hanging out with his new girlfriend a lot.

You: Haha, RBTL indeed! He’s been spending a lot of time with her lately. Maybe we should give him some space.