A new study has found that using the term 'We' instead of the term 'I' can have positive impacts on a relationship and can turn it into a healthier one. When people use the term 'We' it shows that they are affected by their partner's behaviour, thoughts and feelings. This, in turn, shows that there is interdependence in the relationship. And this helps lead one from a self-oriented thought process to a relationship-oriented thought process.
Researchers conducted nearly 30 studies comprising of at least 5,300 participants to figure out whether partners who used the terms 'We' and 'Us' were happier than those who didn't. Lead author Alexander Karan said, "By examining all these studies together, they let us see the bigger picture. We-talk is an indicator of interdependence and general positivity in romantic relationships."
The researchers looked at five measures - relationship outcomes (satisfaction, length of union), relationship behaviours (positive vs. negative interactions observed), mental health, physical health and health behaviours (how well participants take care of themselves). The benefits of using these terms were evident in all the measures and were virtually equal for both men and women.
And then one question arose - Do happy couples make for 'We' talk or does 'We' talk make for happy couples? "It is likely both," said a researcher. "Hearing yourself or a partner say these words could shift individuals' ways of thinking to be more interdependent, which could lead to a healthier relationship."