Although it might appear to be a minute linguistic choice in our daily lives, The Boston Globe is reporting that the particular pronouns people use reveal a lot about their personalities.

In his soon-to-be-released book, The Secret Life of Pronouns, psychologist James Pennebaker told the newspaper that he found differences in pronoun usage between genders as well as people who were in relationships.

Women, Pennebaker said, were more prone to use the pronoun “I” when speaking. Even though this might appear narcissistic on the surface, he said instead this was an indicator of self-awareness and self-monitoring.

“Women use I at much higher rates than men,” Pennebaker said. “Women probably pay more attention to their body and emotions and are more likely to pop in an I to personalize what they’re saying.”

On the other hand, “we” is a pronoun that can be used either in a nurturing manner or as a way to distance one’s self from the subject, according to Pennebaker.

He also said that through his research, he found that couples tended to imitate each other’s pronoun usage, whether it was with famed poet couple Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes or the instant messages between 86 college freshman couples.

“We could actually track how much a couple was in sync with each other by their use of certain words,” he told The Boston Globe, “when they were close, and when they were falling apart.”