"All our words are just crumbs that fall from the feast of the mind."
– Kahlil Gibran
Most often the words we use to say something say something about us. This can be a face-to-face conversation, an email, or even a text message. This is very similar to how we judge the characteristics of our favorite author based on the words they use.
Fun fact: Trying to sound smart can actually make you stupid. This is how.
For the average person, the brain finds solace in processing concepts that are easy to understand versus difficult. As a result, we tend to be familiar with the unknown compared to the unknown. Therefore, using larger and more complex words is less effective than smaller and simpler words. Along the same lines, people who use more words than necessary may also come across as untrue. With more meaning based words, liars tend to avoid conversational terms and use more negatives instead. In addition, it can be observed that people who speak the truth tend to react with the first person.
By careful understanding of the choice of words, one can be classified as an extrovert or an introvert. To explain a certain aspect, it can be observed that extroverts and introverts use different sets of words. For example, while describing a situation, extroverts may prefer terms that are more intangible, while introverts may choose more precise terms. In addition, extroverts mostly use words that are more collective in nature and related to people, such as "us," "our," and "we." On the other hand, introverts often tend to use self-centered words like "I," "I," and "mine."
Another largely underestimated factor is the use of low-level words to provide clues about large-scale behavior. The insignificant words in a conversation can reveal a lot of information about a person and their characteristics. These words can not only help to get into a deep conversation, but also to understand the mental state of the writer at the time of writing.
Usually written content can be useful not only for understanding the psyche of the writer, but also for concluding their age and gender. In the bigger picture, female writers show a pronoun tendency while men choose articles and longer words. Older people are often considered better at writing and other forms of expression. In addition, they show a preference for optimism in their speech and refrain from using words that express negative emotions ( 1 ).
On the talking front, the use of alternative words may hint at one's attitude. For example, the word "problem". When looking at a task, pointing out a problem makes it difficult and tedious to overcome. However, when replaced by a global "challenge", it has a brighter side to it, which seems like a time for unification. The negative word usually refers to a pessimist and vice versa.
The use of persuasive words as a "challenge" can not only be pointed out by someone with a strong personality, but also by someone with a strong connection with the people around you. These people can often be found talking more about "you," "us," and "us" than talking significantly about themselves. Words have the ability to heal and when used in the right context, they can go a long way. People who can combine optimistic and extroverted markers are often seen as empathetic.
In the bigger picture, the use of words can help us classify people in the Big Five's well-known personalities – openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, affability and neuroticism (
People who consider themselves to be open-minded often use words, which are related to the abstract, such as art and poetry, while those of the conscientious side talk more about adventures, accomplished and planned for. Extroverts or "party animals" have conversations related to communication and gathering. Positive and pleasant words relate to pleasant people and, of course, neurotic people have pessimistic and negative things to say.
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