Here’s the Real Reason You Always Phrase Statements Like a Question?
Have you ever noticed that any time your professor or boss asks you something, you answer it like a question rather than a statement?
Like, when your teacher asks who the 15th president of the United States was, you say “James Buchanan?” Instead of confidently saying “James Buchanan,” even when you know your answer is right.
It can also extend to regular speaking among friends — we all have that one bestie who tells a story and phrases single sentence like a question when it’s really a statement.
People find it annoying because lots of women do it, and people low-key hate women. But it can also make you sound unsure or unconfident even when you know WTF you’re doing, especially in the workplace, and especially to people who are sexist.
It’s called “uptalk” and the name was coined by New York Times writer James Gorman in a column where he chastises people for speaking in that manner. But guess what? Even though it may be perceived as annoying or Valley girl-like to some pretentious assholes, experts say otherwise.
In fact, in studies by Cynthia McLemore and Amanda Ritchart and Amalia Arvaniti, they explain how uptalk is actually just a way for the speaker to make sure that whoever their talking to is listening to them and understanding everything.
Nick Douglas explains for Lifehacker how uptalking is like adding “you know?” or “right?” to a sentence, but with fewer words.
And since women are so accustomed to being dismissed or interrupted while speaking, it makes sense that we’re the ones known for uptalking the most.
Next time a guy interrupts your speaking to tell you that you need to sound more “confident,” tell him that the reason you’re using uptalk so that he’ll STFU and listen!