Does This Make Me Sound Insecure?

Slate:

Insecurity, like blood, will out. It makes us feel so vulnerable and exposed that we eventually expose ourselves and become vulnerable. Like a scarlet sock in the load of white wash, insecurity has the irksome power to stain our speech and writing, interfering with the immaculate poise we’d like to project.

Yet if you know what linguistic tics to look for, you can recognize self-doubt (and perhaps bleach the fuchsia from your pants before anyone notices). Insecurity has several linguistic calling cards, and learning to spot them may help you both assuage others and more skillfully present your self to the world. Below are a few tips for getting the insecurity out of your words—and maybe picking up some confidence in the process.

First, beware overcompensation. Nothing announces an inferiority complex like the bugle of self-promotion. In a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science (described by Wray Herbert), researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard report that people at the edges of a given group are more likely to use language that emphasizes their membership in the group. Central figures are less likely to assert their belonging.

Read the whole story: Slate

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