Have you ever sent someone a text that you thought was friendly enough, only for that someone to later admit to you that they thought you were being rude or cold to them?
“It was just a text!” You might say.
“Yes! But you used a period! You’re so abrupt!” They respond.
Odds are, your text may have come off too ambiguous, or little things you do when you text may have made them perceive you differently. Often, we can say these are simple misunderstandings from not being able to hear tone and see expression when talking face to face as opposed to texting. But, what if the way you text does indeed reflect a bit of your personality?
In fact, your friend may have a different texting style, and therefore may not understand exactly what tone you mean to apply to your texts.
A study where people were surveyed on their romantic partner found that if you have similar texting styles to your romantic interest, you’ll have a more satisfactory relationship. It doesn’t mean your partner needs to text you more, it simply means you need to have a similar ‘texting personality’.
Leora Trub, Phd, who presented the findings, said that “how couples texted was more important to the satisfaction of the relationship than how frequently they texted.”
If you text often, you likely have a ‘texting style’. Do you often use emojis? 🙂 That may say a lot about you, and benefit your grammar according to research. Or what about using correct punctuation? Well, you may not be perceived well according to several studies.
So how do you know what type of ‘text personality’ you have?
Well, here are four texting personality types I’ve conjured up from what others seems to think about how we text. You could even be a mix of several types!
1. Perfect Grammar
You value punctuation and grammar in your writing at all costs. This love of grammar goes straight into your texts as well as your emails. This seems like a great thing, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t love the intricacies of language?! But in texting, people seem to think otherwise.
Several studies have found that simply placing a period at the end of your sentences in texts, can make you come across as untrustworthy to others.
A 2016 study from Binghamton University found that “texts that ended with a period were rated as less sincere than those that did not.”
A follow-up study conducted in 2018 from the same researchers showed that “one-word texts with periods were understood as more negative than responses without.” The study also showed that including a period in your texting responses is often seen as abrupt.
Odds are, you are thoughtful and analytical. You generally don’t text often and like in-person conversations more. You are an excellent thinker and are rooted in logic more often than quick-impulse emotions. This all can be reason why you take attention to the little details – although come on, it’s proper grammar – and always make sure to end your sentences with a period.
So, while I see nothing wrong with correct grammar use in texting – probably because I often use periods in my texting – others who don’t share the same ‘text personality’ you have, may think otherwise.
2. You Quickly Send Multiple Short Texts and/or Textisms
If you scatter your thoughts into several texts and simply text a sentence as soon as it comes to mind, you are likely seen as energetic and open. You likely are very popular and have many friends, so texting has become easy for you.
According to relationship coach Nazanin Marzpan, BA Psych, people with an often energetic and outgoing personality like to keep in touch with their friends by texting often. They are typically the ones who “text until the other person says that they have to go. This is because they like to build friendships and by being there in text messaging is one way for them to achieve that.”
Perhaps your messages are quick with textisms and abbreviations. Textisms are a form of casual language used in texts identified by abbreviations, emoticons, letter or number homophones, and more.
While others who don’t share a similar texting personality as you might see you as ‘illiterate’ or ‘lazy’ in your texts, that is often not the case.
According to a study from researchers at Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam, only a positive effect on grammar performance and executive functions were found in texting from children. “Not only may textese improve children’s abilities in written language, as has been attested in previous work, it may also enhance their grammar abilities in spoken language as the present study has shown. This clearly refutes the suggestion that use of textese may lead to language deterioration.”
So go ahead and text away! If you’re often the type to send quick short texts with plenty of textisms, it may even improve your grammar!
3. Paragraph Texts
If your texts are lengthy and thoughtful, odds are you are the type of person who understands the importance of context. You are usually thoughtful and you will generally have a lot to say.
Similar to one who texts with perfect grammar, you are detail-oriented and enjoy deep conversations. According to relationship coach Nazanin Marzpan, someone with a personality that values details “like things that are controlled and stable. This means that in texting they like the flow of conversation to be logical and less emotional. This is because they like to rely on facts and logic. They believe emotional messages makes objectivity difficult.
“They are detail-oriented when solving problems. They are also excellent thinkers who look at all facts in detail before they make a decision. They are not so assertive in their text messages. They are the type of people who don’t text that much. This is because they don’t like to be assertive about their emotions.”
This is one person’s opinion on the matter, do you identify with these suggestions? Go ahead and give me a lengthy response. 😉
4. One-word Responses
If you love responding with one-word texts such as a quick ‘good’ or the notorious ‘K’, then your personality is likely one that is more reserved with their true feelings or thoughts.
You may be the busy type who doesn’t have a lot of time to respond, or you simply might not care enough to respond in detail, you’re too busy living life! You may be more introverted as well and enjoy spending a good amount of time alone rather than always socializing.
Because you are not as open with your emotions in text, you may not care how lengthy your response is. This won’t faze you though, you like to spend more time in the present, socializing in-person anyway. You are independent, sensitive, and often think logically about your situations.
But be careful, if you’re texting someone with a different ‘text personality’ they may view your short texts as negative. As research from Bingham University found that “one-word texts with periods were understood as more negative than responses without.”
Odds are, if you’re texting someone who also uses one-word responses, they understand you likely just enjoy talking in person. There are no hard feelings between the two of you, even if you do plan on using a period at the end of your sentence.
5. Emoji Texts
Do you often use emojis while texting? If so, you are often seen as open to showing your emotions and truthful. You want others to know how you’re feeling when using a message. No ambiguity here! To make sure the other person doesn’t get the wrong idea about your message, (heaven forbid you use a period!) you make sure to express the tone of your message with an emoji every now and then.
According to a study from researchers Amanda N. Gesselman, Vivian P. Ta, and Justin R. Garcia, emojis can be often used as affective signals in modern social communication. Their research suggests that “emoji use may provide a reasonable proxy for expressing affect and may provide a useful aid in self-disclosure and building intimacy. As a result, using emojis with potential romantic and sexual partners may in turn lead to more face-to-face opportunities to assess compatibility and attraction.”
You are sweet, simple, and honest. If you feel happy or sad, you’ll be sure to show it with a creative emoji. And if you’re angry? Well, if the ‘mad’ emoji doesn’t work, you can always try a period.
Did you relate to any of these texting personalities? Which ‘texting personality’ are you?
It’s important to note that – opinions from relationship coach’s and research aside – everyone has different ways of texting in different situations. Everyone texts their colleagues in a different style from their family, and their family differently from their friends.
If you ever think someone might have left you an ambiguous or rude text, it’s better just to ask them in-person what they meant or what they are feeling.
And if you think they’re mad over a period at the end of their text?
Stop it! Some of us simply like to use periods!
Odds are, it’s a misunderstanding.
Not everyone who uses a period is mad. Period.
Written by Michal Mitchell
Check out my article: “8 Signs Someone’s Going to Ghost You”
- Luna, Kaitlin. “It’s Complicated: Our Relationship With Texting.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2018/08/relationship-texting.
- “Fun Test: The Way You Text Reveals Interesting Things About Your Personality.” Https://Her.womenworking.com, Women Working, 21 Apr. 2020, her.womenworking.com/fun-test-the-way-you-text-reveals-about-your-personality.
- Gunraj, Danielle N., et al. “Texting Insincerely: The Role of the Period in Text Messaging.” Computers in Human Behavior, Pergamon, 22 Nov. 2015, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0747563215302181.
- Houghton, Kenneth J., et al. “Punctuation in Text Messages May Convey Abruptness. Period.” Computers in Human Behavior, Pergamon, 31 Oct. 2017, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0747563217306192.
- Marzban, Nazanin. “Personality Types and Texting: TEXTING COACH.” THE TOWN OF MOHABA, 7 Aug. 2016, www.crownlightpublisher.com/texting-and-personality.
- van Dijk, C. N., van Witteloostuijn, M., Vasić, N., Avrutin, S., & Blom, E. (2016). The Influence of Texting Language on Grammar and Executive Functions in Primary School Children. PloS one, 11(3), e0152409. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152409
- Gesselman, A. N., Ta, V. P., & Garcia, J. R. (2019). Worth a thousand interpersonal words: Emoji as affective signals for relationship-oriented digital communication. PLOS ONE. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0221297.