Power and Pronouns

Have you heard that the frequent use of ‘I’ indicates narcissism?  It’s a common misconception rebuffed in recent studies conducted at the University of Texas at Austin by James W. Pennebaker.  Pennebaker found through behavioral experiments and Twitter analysis that the use of ‘I’ can denote duplicity and a sense of inferiority.  Those who used ‘we’ more often in the experiments tended to have the power in the relationships.

>> What Saying ‘I’ Says About You <<

 

– Sandra

The Case of the Ex(es)

Living on the other side of the world from an ex makes things easier, right?  Right?!  Wrong.  In this New York Magazine article, Maureen O’Connor talks about the change in the dating landscape effected by social media and smartphones.  And her conclusions are scarily on point.

>> All My Exes Live in Texts : Why the Social Media Generation Never Really Breaks Up <<

So have you ever de-friended an ex who kept popping up on your Facebook newsfeed with pictures of his new squeeze?  Blocked him on Gchat?  Boycotted social media for a month to detox?  You’re not alone.  Apparently, we’re all doing it.  And it’s seriously ruining our lives.

– Sandra

The Naming Game

>> Why Girls Make Up Names for the Guys They Date <<

The author poses that girls nickname guys in order to distance themselves to curtail future emotional trauma when said guys (inevitably) transition out of their lives.  It’s a conveniently philosophical argument, but I’m not really buying it.  I know that I’ve employed nicknames, because names like “John” and “Matt”  are so generic that it’s easy to confuse them with the 10 other Johns and Matts we collectively know.

This brings us to the next article, which argues why nicknames given to girls by guys tend to be more offensive.  Guys nickname to dispel confusion.  No one’s going to forget “Puke Girl” and the accompanying story he invariably included in her description.  The author also mentions the fact that guys nickname to make funny stories funnier.

>> Why ‘Hot Gym Girl’ Is a Grosser Nickname Than ‘Hot Gym Guy’ <<

But I have another proposition: guys’ nicknames for girls are more offensive, because they overwhelmingly reference appearance.  And “Duckbilled Platypus” (a girl who resembles said animal) is definitely meaner than “Laundry Boy” (guy you first met at dry cleaners).  It’s just a fact of life that men place more stock in a female’s appearance than do women in a male’s appearance.  But at the same time, women care a lot about their own appearance, too.  It’s just this cycle of women feeling insecure about how they look and men being brutal/unforgiving about that same thing.  Men’s nicknames for women are more hurtful, because they target insecurities women probably already have!  In fact, a woman might have the same nickname among men in different social circles, just because of her distinct appearance – i.e. Horse Face.  Don’t lie.  You know one.

– Sandra