Analysing a text conversation
Even a few words reveal a lot
Analysing the words used in statements or answers given in interviews is relatively “easy”. There are many words to look at. How useful are the skills in real-life? Day-to-day, we don’t give people written statements or long answers.
Here’s an example of how much information you can get from a simple text message conversation, courtesy of a viral TikTok video.
Let’s break it down.
Firstly, despite how it started, this is quite a charming conversation where both parties act in a grown up manner and neither gets angry. I give credit to them there.
There’s a lot going on under the surface.
When Molly challenges the guy on his use of language to refer to her, he says:
“Omg I don’t really think that at all I joke too much i say sxxt like that just to say it
I completely understand if this is over”
He owns it. He uses “I” a lot, which shows he’s not trying to dodge any responsibility. Furthermore, he’s also honest, he may think he has an excuse, but he only ever says again that he said it in the first place.
Molly replies with:
“Yeah to be honest I’m not really comfortable meeting anymore. I just don’t really feel like it’s okay to call women that even as a joke and I kind of see it as a red flag sorry”
These are thirty-seven words packed full of deceptive language. A treasure trove to reveal her true feelings, which are not stated in the words she’s used.
“To be honest” despite what it means, this phrase usually indicates that what follows isn’t the entire truth but a slice of it.
“Really” weakens everything that comes after it. “I don’t feel it’s okay” and “I’m not comfortable” would be more straightforward ways without a “really”. The use of “really” indicates there’s more going on again.
“I kinda see it as a red flag” similar to “really” the “kinda” weakens it.
Molly also uses the word “just” in the reply, which again weakens it.
Notice that Molly doesn’t say it’s not okay to call her that word. She says it’s not okay to call “women” that. Obviously, she is part of all women, but she doesn’t indicate she was offended personally.
If you take the weak language out, you get this as a reply: “I’m not comfortable meeting. It’s not okay to call me or other women that. It’s a red flag”.
If Molly is being deceptive, she’s trying to hide how strongly she feels on the matter. The reply above, with the weakeners taken out, will be much closer to how she truly feels. It’s possible she is trying not to come over as aggressive or argumentative in her approach.
The guy replies with “I’m sorry sorry sorry but I get it”.
This is the first time he’s apologised. His first instinct was to explain away his language, then to see if he could still have a date. Only when Molly closed that door did he apologise.
He says, “sorry BUT I get it”. That is interesting. Using “but” devalues anything before it, in this case his apology. He would have been stronger and appeared more apologetic if he’s replied “I’m sorry, and I get it”.
The guy continues with three texts in which he still uses “I” a lot, he is still trying to explain why he used the word but he does not say he shouldn’t have used it. Judging the content of these texts, he is as focussed on missing out on a date as with the offence he has caused.
Molly replies, accepting the apology. She does this with “I accept the apology” rather than “apology accepted” so she does accept it.
The guy then says he realises “how disrespectful it is using that sort of word even with my boy”. The qualifier at the end, “even with my boy” ruins anything that came before. “Even” here suggests he doesn’t think there is anything wrong with using that sort of word with his mates.
He then says “deep down I really was excited to meet you’. Only deep down? That may explain why you called her names to your friend, wouldn’t it?
This text is the first time he has acknowledged the use of the c-word wasn’t good. Molly is a master of tact in her reply to this, in which she says “I” once and “you” twice. She is shutting herself off from this debate and putting the onus on what has happened and the consequences firmly on him.
Better than that?
The guy's last full text is a beauty:
“Listen I’m going up to teo around 2 I would LOVE to see you Possibly apologise and more lol. I’m better than that Molly I just want to show you”
Lack of punctuation can make analysing texts difficult occasionally. What is the thing he says “possibly” about? Would he love to see her possibly” or would he “possibly apologise”.?We can’t say.
We can look at the order of importance he ranks them with. The first thing he mentions is he’d love to see her, the next is to apologise. Once again, his words show apologising isn’t big for him in this conversation.
The guy isn’t sorry he used that word. He’s sorry he didn’t get a date. He won’t have stopped using language like that with his friends.
Molly has been extremely tactful. Despite her conversational tone, she was not okay with what she saw. She was not okay with his response either and withdrew herself further as the conversation went on. As soon as she saw him use the c-word about her, she made her mind up to never see him, and she stuck to it.
Have you got any words you’d like to take a look at? Use the comments below or see the about tab for contact details.