How often do you type up a text, message, and/or email only to find that you’ve put an exclamation point at the end of every sentence?
Me. Me. Me.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I find that I’m not only overusing this particular form of punctuation, but I’m also overanalyzing when others don’t.
Here’s the thing. Exclamation points are intended to be used to showcase excitement/more extreme emotions. I feel like we (I) use them to show that we’re not mad or upset. Because messages that are typed out versus verbally communicated lack emotion and context, they are more easily misinterpreted.
AND I find that women use them more than men by far. And this is where my issue honestly is…
If (most) men aren’t overthinking this, why do we (I)? If (most) men aren’t interpreting the absence of exclamation points as anger, why do we (I)? This is a big way I misdirect my energy during the day. By overthinking things like this.
My solution – 1. to stop using exclamation points when I’m just conveying a matter a fact/normal message (in all forms – text, DMs, emails, newsletters, blog posts, etc.) and 2. to stop overthinking other people’s use or non-use of this punctuation mark. If someone is upset with me, I trust they will let me know in a more direct and clear way.
Thoughts on this? Do you overuse the !!!?
P.S. If you like to use the ! in your messages, please continue to. This is in no way a post about it being wrong. Do what makes you happy! On the flip side, if you do it because you feel like you have to, then maybe reevaluate or cut down how often you use it.
One thought on “Are You Really That Excited?”
Thoughtful post as always! I think about this the opposite way. Why is the masculine communication style the normalized one? I like to use smiley faces and exclamation marks because text is inherently void of the usual signifiers I would use to convey warmth and enthusiasm, which are important aspects of my personal and professional personality (and though they are traditionally feminine they are universally effective). To me, aspiring towards a communication style that strips them further reifies the male style. Neither is bad – but I would rather show that an executive can be (traditionally) feminine too than try to be more (traditionally) masculine.