Monday, November 11, 2013

Is Your Language Filled with "I" and "me"?

Do you want to influence others? Then maybe it's time to be more careful when you say "I" and "me". Once conscious about this, you'll find that in face to face conversations "I" and "me" are hard to eliminate or even reduce.

How often do you say "I" and "me"? Does it matter?

Behavior research is exciting. Maybe the best way to uncover facts is by observation..? Observation often reveals what a survey never can provide. Even worse, a survey can really miss the mark, due to many different factors.

To observe behaviour also means to analyze what people say. As an eager analyst of language, this guy, Vidar Top, has gradually discovered something that might interest you: Among the most frequently used words are "I" and "me". Why is that? And what effect may these words have on others?

Why so Much "I" and "Me"?
There appears to be several reasons for "I" and "me". First of all, most of what we say is subjective, i.e. we relate how we see the world from our own point of view. Secondly, we are mostly unaware of our own bias. Thirdly, and possibly more important than all else, is our self centered style. That self centered tendency is what I would like to address with this little post:
The moment we use "I" or "me" (or "my") the message to our surroundings shifts.
...and usually generates increased risk of "opposing opinions".

When we use "I" or "me" we project our own perspective on others, which usually changes everything.

One of several mechanisms that hits in is the possible antagonism we produce in others. When I give you my opinion, you will immediately begin to interpret and pass judgements, and much more so than when I refreain from using these most sensitive words in our language. Do you think this is something we ought to be more aware of?