When I speak or write I tend not to speak in absolutes. I generally use phrases like "I think" or "I don't think" a lot. Further, I usually qualify my statements with words like "generally" or "usually". Funny - I'm doing this even as I write this post.
Is this simple habit, or are there studies that show this means something about my person (e.g., I'm insecure or sensitive to hurting others' feelings, etc.)? If it's a bad indicator, feel free to share anyway.
I'm not a aloud to post an answer because of my lack of reputation points, so I'll put it here because this might be helpful to someone else:
I shared this question with a friend of mine with a degree in psycholinguistics. She answered with the following:
Technically, what you're doing is "softening" your speech and using what we call a "feminine" speech style, although the research shows that it's not gender-specific:
It tends to happen when someone's trying not to be too dominant or to assert themselves over anyone else. People are most likely to use these hedges when they're with a peer or with someone who's in authority over them. You're less likely to use them when you're talking to your kids.