When You Talk About Relationships, Do You Say ‘I’ or ‘We’? Your Choice Is Revealing, Psychology Study Suggests

Your so-called “attachment style” in terms of relationships might really have an effect on the language that you simply use to explain your vital different, in keeping with a research revealed within the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science.

Attachment model is a time period utilized in psychology which basically describes the other ways during which people relate to one another in interpersonal relationships.

“As psychologists, we are often interested in identifying new and novel ‘clues’ that may provide an indication of one’s underlying personality and character,” Will Dunlop, an writer of the research from the University of California, Riverside, advised Newsweek.

“Previous work has provided indication that the pronouns people use when describing a number of things tells us something about their levels of neuroticism—another important component of personality,” he mentioned. “Here, we wanted to determine whether and the degree to which pronoun use may offer indication of the tendencies, or styles, people exhibit in their romantic relationships.”

For their analysis, the Riverside scientists assessed greater than 1,400 observations from seven earlier research to be able to study the connection between grownup romantic attachment types and the usage of particular pronouns, akin to “I” and “we,” Psychology Today reported.

In these earlier research, members supplied researchers with details about their previous romantic relationships within the type of a story and likewise took exams to evaluate which form of attachment model finest described themselves.

The Riverside scientists then analyzed the language used within the narratives utilizing a psychological evaluation program known as the “Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count.”

They discovered that these members who displayed what they known as “anxious and avoidant” attachment types—individuals who prefer to keep away from emotional closeness in relationships—tended to make use of the pronoun “I” extra typically when speaking about romantic experiences compared to the phrase “we.”

“We found that those who had higher levels of attachment anxiety and avoidance —i.e., an insecure attachment style—tended to use a greater proportion of I-words (e.g., I, me, mine) and a lower proportion of we-words (e.g., Us, ours) when describing experiences from their romantic lives, as compared to individuals with a more secure attachment style,” Dunlop mentioned. “Among these relations, the negative association between avoidant attachment and we-words was particularly robust.”

“Focusing on this latter relation, our findings suggest that refraining from using we-words when providing an overview of previous romantic experiences may indicate that one is largely uncomfortable getting close to others and/or depending upon them—i.e. that they have a high degree of avoidant attachment.”

These outcomes might have a number of implications for our understanding of interpersonal relationships, in keeping with the researchers.

“These results are meaningful for a few reasons,” Dunlop mentioned. “First, they are some of the first to provide evidence that the words people use when outlining previous romantic experiences offer ‘clues’ as to the ways these individuals may think, feel, and behave in romantic contexts—i.e. their attachment tendencies.”

“Second, unlike the self-report measures used to assess attachment styles, people are often unaware of the pronouns they use when outlining autobiographical experiences, so this linguistic ‘clue’ may be less impacted by self-presentation biases,” he mentioned.

At current it’s not clear precisely why the pronouns that folks use could differ relying on their attachment model. However, the researchers recommend that the reason could lie with the tendency of individuals with avoidant and anxious attachment types to ruminate and deal with themselves in a damaging manner.

It would additionally not be stunning if these kinds of individuals averted extra inclusive “we-talk” as a result of these attachment types are sometimes related to a distaste for intimacy and closeness.

The researchers warning, nonetheless, that extra analysis must be carried out concerning this problem.

“There are many limitations regarding this work,” Dunlop mentioned. “To begin, although we had observations from over 1,400 participants, this is some of the first work to explore associations between word use and attachment styles. As such, the results reported here need to be replicated using different narratives and by additional research groups.”

relationships, psychology
Stock picture: The language you utilize when speaking about your relationships may very well be very revealing.

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