How often do you say 'I'? It says a lot about you, new study reveals
Do you ever think about how often you say "I" in a day -- how often you're referring to yourself? According to a new study, this speaks volumes about the kind of person you are, and not necessarily in the way you might expect.
Coming from research out of the University of Texas, saying "I" more often indicates that a person is "less powerful and less sure of themselves than those who limit their use of the word. Frequent 'I' users subconsciously believe they are subordinate to the person to whom they are talking." This is contrary to the popular belief that someone who constantly uses "I" is self-absorbed, or even narcissistic. In fact, it may show insecurity.
As we know, pronouns in general tell a lot about where your mind is -- what you're thinking about. Those in power and higher positions are often thinking about the broader issues at hand, or a full team as "we," whereas someone who is lower on the totem pole is typically thinking about themselves, what they can do to contribute. Not that this is a negative thing to ponder one's own contribution, but it's an interesting tell of power and how the way you speak may give away your position.
The study, published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology spans 5 different experiments that the researchers conducted. Whether it included individuals assigned leadership roles or not, the person who was perceived as being of higher rank consistently, across all studies, used "I" less frequently than others. Interesting, isn't it?
It certainly made us think. (Wall Street Journal)
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