6 Annoying Speaking Habits You Have, According to Science

You say “you” instead of “we”


Chances are, if the pronoun you use most often in conversation is “you,” the person on the receiving end either feels bossed around, judged, or otherwise accused. On the contrary, couples who favor words that foster togetherness (“we,” “us”) instead to separateness (“I,” “you”) are proven to be happier, healthier, and more satisfied with their relationships. Happily, the “we” effect even works on strangers: inclusive pronouns have been shown to trigger instant feelings of positivity and familiarity. Don’t miss these 11 things you should never say to your family.

You end statements like questions


Uptalk—also known as “upspeak” or “high rising terminal”—is the Valley-Girl-influenced speech pattern of ending a declarative sentence with the rising intonation of a question. This can be, according to some, really annoying? In one study of 700 male and female executives, 85 percent viewed uptalk as an indicator of insecurity, 70 percent found it annoying, and 57 percent believed a person’s career could be hindered by it. The bias against uptalkers is undeniable, but easily countered: to sound more confident and authoritative, practice lowering your tone at the end of key sentences, like James Earl Jones proclaiming, “This is CNN.”

You talk too fast

istock/Vesna Andjic

Unless you’re the world’s fastest-talking person, speaking at a frantic clip does you few favors. Despite the thoughtfulness of your ideas talking too quickly can make you sound nervous, jumpy, or like you’re trying to sell something. A study of 1,380 telemarketer calls found that the ideal speaking rate is about 3.5 words per second (not too fast, not too slow) and punctuated by occasional pauses to prove you’re not a robot. Next, here are 12 things you shouldn’t tell your friends about your relationship.

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