*This Power of Words article was sparked from my latest Business Casual Mastermind meeting. The topic resonated so strongly with me that I felt compelled to share and elaborate on what we discussed.
How many times do you catch yourself saying, “I’m sorry” when you technically shouldn’t be apologizing and/or you don’t even know what you are apologizing for – it just comes out of your mouth? I’m not picking on anyone – this was me. I’d call someone and say, “I’m sorry for bothering you, but…” or “I’m sorry – I must have not understood XYZ”. NO. I’m NOT sorry. Why am I saying that though?
Other words or phrases that should be erased from our vocabulary include:
It irks me when someone starts a sentence with, “Honestly” or “Can I be honest with you?”. Um, I hope you would be honest with me no matter what. Instead of saying the “H” word, we can easily just omit it from the sentence altogether!
I Know You’re Busy But…
In some cases the phrase, “I know you’re busy, but…” is appropriate. You may need an answer to a question right away – a question that is to be answered by someone that is in the middle of a project, for example.
A lot of times though, we say that phrase almost as if we are apologizing for bothering someone. But do we really need to apologize? No. We need to be more straight forward when we are asking someone to do something for us.
An alternative would be to simply ask or tell what it is you would like to say.
I still say “like” all the time and have been trying hard to stop. I feel like it was a thing to say “like” when I was in middle and high school – channeling valley girls, maybe? Most of the time it is said now is when I am nervous or I forget the word I’m trying to say.
Examples of how I am replacing like in my conversations include:
Instead of saying “She was like, ‘The dog was so cute.'”, you can say “She said, ‘The dog was so cute.'” (said replaces like, which is the intended word).
If you are trying to think of the word to say, take a breath instead of saying “like”.
I also have a tendency to talk fast; by slowing down I give myself the time to gather what I want to say and remove like from the sentence.
The power of the spoken word goes further than the most common words like “like”.
Avoiding using the word “just” in certain situations was JUST brought to my attention a few weeks ago. Just, in the proper sense, is used as an adjective to describe a timeframe such as, “I just completed my homework”.
When used to diminish something, such as “I just wanted to mention”, the act of mentioning something is belittled by using the word “just”.
My “Little” Business
I’ve done this A LOT. When I am discussing The Modern Mom Lounge, I downplay what I do almost as if I am worried that someone is going to think it is not important in comparison to other career options. Isn’t that insane? (By typing that, I realize how silly it sounds that I could even care if someone thinks it is not important. It is important to ME!)
I have learned that I need to talk like I am the expert I am. Don’t downplay the work you do, the hobbies you love, or anything that means something to you for that matter.
I would always downplay being a blogger, thinking that someone would be like, “Oy vey”. Blogging has fulfilled me in so many ways. I love to share products and places to go that I love. If I do not know the answer to a question or hear about something new, I love to research and find the answer or learn more about that unknown thing.
Many friends have emerged from the conferences and events I participate in as an influencer/blogger. When I look back to how much I have accomplished as a blogger and influencer, it would best be described as anything but little.
The Moral of the Story
This article may sound like a rant, but I do not mean it to be. The focus of this article is to always be intentional. Say what you mean. Don’t apologize for something that doesn’t need apologizing for. Be straight forward and bold in what you say!
Are there any words or phrases that you are trying to remove from your vocabulary/conversations?