The frequent use of “we” helps us build good relationships, according to a new study. CFP
We all know that friends are special people who we share our lives with, and who share their lives with us in return. But seeking friends and keeping the friendship going are never easy.
According to research recently published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the key is to use “we-talk”.
Led by University of California psychologist Megan Robbins and her colleagues, the researchers reviewed and analyzed 30 different studies involving over 5,000 participants. This largest–ever analysis of “we-talk” suggested that the frequent use of “we” and “us” is linked to happier and healthier relationships.
The word “we” moves people from an individual position into a partnership, which makes us more interdependent. “The pronouns offer an insight into whether people see themselves as individuals or as part of a whole … Word use is a window into what people are thinking and feeling without asking them,” Robbins told Science Daily.
Their research also found that “we-talk” is helpful for resolving conflicts. “The primary point is that interdependence may bring about supportive and relationship-centered behaviors and positive perceptions of the partner – especially important in times of stress and conflict,” according to a statement released by Robbins’ lab.
他们的研究还发现，“we-talk”有助于解决冲突。“其根本在于，相互依赖或许能带来以人际关系为中心的支持行为以及对同伴的正面认知 —— 在面对压力和冲突的情况下，这些尤为重要，”罗宾斯所在的实验室在发布的一份声明中如此表示。
US-based magazine Psychology Today used the word “union” to describe the impact on a partner upon hearing “we-talk”.
Contrary to “we-talk”, there is “I-talk”, which refers to the frequent use of first-person singular pronouns, such as “I”, “me”, and “mine”, when writing or speaking.
Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Arizona, US, analyzed a set of data that came from 4,700 people in Germany and the US. They found that too much “I-talk” was an accurate linguistic marker for the likelihood that someone is feeling stressed or experiencing negative emotions.
“If you are speaking in a personal context – so you’re speaking about something that’s of relevance to you,” lead researcher Allison Tackman told The Independent. “But if you’re communicating in a context that’s more impersonal, such as describing a picture, we did not see the relationship emerge.”
“如果你使用个人语境交流 —— 你会说些与自己有关的事情，”首席研究员艾利森·塔克曼在接受《独立报》采访时表示。“但如果你在更为客观的语境下交流，比如，描述一幅画，这并不会产生人际关系。”
As you can see from the two studies, too much “I-talk” can make you feel depressed. But “we-talk” can encourage you to become more positive and create a ripple effect of healthy interdependence with others.
So next time you’re talking to a friend, try using more “we-talk”. You may find yourself feeling more positive – and the effect it will have on your friend will be positive as well.
所以，下次在与朋友交谈时，试着多用些“we-talk”。你或许会觉得自己更加积极了 —— 而你的朋友也会感到积极。