Sunday, November 25, 2012

Texting Tip 1 - Laughter

A lot of people use laughter in their texts to convey that they are just kidding, or only semi-serious, or just to be light-hearted. By laughter I mean "haha" or hahaha," rather than "lol."

Consider the text conversation in the screenshot from my phone on the right. Specifically, consider the girl's second text, "How do you guys feel about karaoke tonight? Haha"

The placement of the "haha" at the end of the text betrays insecurity. It makes the laughter sound like it was an after-thought, pinned on at the end to soften the text's meaning - because it was. In this instance, the girl wanted to invite me and my friends out, but was unsure about whether I would like her suggestion - hence the awkward laugh after her question. (It is worth noting that the karaoke suggestion text arrived about an hour after the one suggesting that we join them.)

In normal speech we laugh as an idea forms in our mind, and then we verbalize it - often while still laughing; but we almost never say something and laugh afterwards (one exception to this is when we tell a joke with a punch line). So the "haha" at the end of a text sounds forced and awkward, and therefore insecure. It is the text-equivalent of a person saying something sarcastically when they actually mean exactly what they are saying, but don't have the balls to say it to you straight.

Imagine if the same text, in the same conversation, were instead written with the laughter at the start:
"Haha how do you guys feel about karaoke tonight?"
Suddenly the laughter sounds genuine and the insecurity is gone. The text changes from connoting "I hope you will like the idea of karaoke but I am worried that you won't so I'm going to pretend it's only semi-serious" to "Here is a ridiculous but fun idea: let's go do karaoke tonight. Are you in?"

So this tip is simple: never place laughter at the end of a text, and certainly don't follow up a text with another that just says "haha" (this has the same bad effect but to a greater degree).

Sticking to this rule can help you save face when you are texting men. More importantly, it will force you to acknowledge and correct your insecurity each time you feel it: the act of fixing the laughter in your text will force you to internalize the more confident stance it conveys, and this confidence will gradually become a habit.


Related Posts
1. other Texting Tips (coming soon)
2. How to Improve Your Posture - Part 2
3. Learn How to Be Social

18 comments:

  1. haha great advice!

    *(great advice, ha ha - as in I've been guilty of that error now I won't be.)

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  2. Andrew, is confidence important for girls? I can see how it would be in a "why would someone like you if you don't like yourself" kind of way. I'm just trying to put it context of your female attractiveness vs. male confidence post.

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    1. It is still very important, in the same way that a man's looks are still very important to a woman. You could reasonably put male looks at #2 importance on a woman's list of preferences, and female confidence at #2 on a man's list of preferences.

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    2. I think those things aren't at #2 for most people (although for some), I just think it is crucial for most people that they are not in the negative (So you CAN place it high on the list, it's just that it's not a matter of the more the better).
      Most men don't seem to care an awful lot (for an LTR anyway) if a woman is confident, it's just crucial that she is not insecure. Most women don't care an awful lot if a man is gorgeous or not (if he has all the other stuff they want), it's just crucial that he is not bad-looking/obese. So while the extreme negatives will exclude you in the dating market, your success don't increase more and more with those things.
      The men I know with the most success with women are all average-looking with confidence/success/money. As long as a woman isn't insecure, she's good, and she should focus on her looks from then on.

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  3. It sounds pretty akward to me either way, the laughing makes her come off as being nervous.

    If I wanted to invite the man in the example but didn't want to make it too serious I would say something like, me and my girlfriends are going to Karaoké tonight, meet us at "insert address" if you want to join!

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    1. When the laughter comes at the front it doesn't seem nervous to me, it seems like she is laughing about the ridiculousness of going to a karaoke bar. But I agree that no laughter sounds very confident.

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    2. That's actually pretty interesting..I think we can all perceive something like that differently and we can also read too much into something that is probably insignificant.
      I'm a woman and I've sometimes received sms/ims with such "haha" and unless it was next to something funny I always got the vibe of someone who was a bit insecure and who wanted to have the option of saying he was just joking if I was to answer in a negative way.

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    3. oh come on!! we are freaking out about "haha" now. in a text. we are all done for.

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  4. And I thought only women over-analyzed texts.

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  5. yeah, this is a bit ridiculous...I really hope no one analyzes a text that much

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    1. Call it what you want, but the guy receiving your text will get an impression of insecurity even if he doesn't know why he gets it (i.e. even if he doesn't analyze it like I do).

      So you can either accept the advice and hope to fix that impression (and yourself, as described at the end), or mock it and accept the assumptions he makes based on your texts.

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    2. I agree that texting with someone (especially early in a relationship) is an important thing to navigate properly. But if a guy is into you, something as minor as writing 'haha' won't make him change his mind. And if it does, you are better off, no one can be THAT calculated and fake all the time.

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    3. I agree. I had a guy who texted "haha" a lot at the end of sentences and I didn't care. Still dated him and he was a pretty confident alpha guy as far as I could tell.

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  6. So... Did you meet up with her? What impression do you think it gives if you ask her for advice on suggestions of something fun to do and then do them without her?

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    1. I did meet up with her. I think it depends, really. If I ask her for advice and then don't meet up with her it could just mean I am more interested in meeting her in a one-on-one setting rather than a loud bar environment. This would actually mean I was more interested in her than the alternative.

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    2. I doubt that's how she would interpret it. Especially since you initiated a conversation and then did not respond to her first text.

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    3. Yeah, I think you do over analyze things. I always think it important to say things you really mean, and while I can see how the haha seems as a display of nervousness, you're forgetting one thing. YOU initiatedthe text, didn't respond to her for over an hour, and I think she did it as a follow up, rather than say, "Andrew you are a dick. Why would you text me about hanging out then not reply." You created the insecurity. A direct woman would have said, "if you want to come, this is where we'll be." It just seems gamish for you to do that and it seems as though you did it intentionally to toy with her. I get the impression you are single because you don't know how to appreciate things. You seem like the person who sets ideals and expectations, VERY HIGH expectations, of women. In the alternative, I would have told you nothing further. But I guess, also, when women let you disrespect them, you should. Smart women don't take immature dick treatment from guys..haha :) And what were you doing in DC over thanksgiving? Do you live in DC? haha

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    4. Well said Anon! Andrew, you need to chill son. You come off as quite arrogant and entitled, probably not a lot of depth there with you. Not everyone one wants some hot shit alpha male. I find that type of guy to be very dull and self-absorbed and I get bored quickly. Give me a nice thoughtful guy who can carry on a meaningful conversation any day over the snoozeville alphas.

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