I’ve blogged about this a while back. But apparently I need to write about it again. Probably because I spent so many years of my life in the dark in regards to HOW powerful language and spoken word can be, especially on a subconscious level. Come to think of it, I believe the last time I blogged about this topic, I wrote about the word “just”, and how women in particular need to eliminate this word from our vocabulary as much as possible.
In a nutshell, words we often use, we think have a particular meaning. Then, after a while, they become habitual, and unnecessary. Without awareness, we continue using words that aren’t even needed, and instead of getting our point across, they actually have an adverse effect. For example, the word “just” seems harmless, but often it comes across to others that we feel like we have to justify ourselves for thinking or acting a certain way. In business particularly, women can damage themselves with the overuse of this word.
Lets say you’re in a board meeting. Conversations are going around what the next best move is for the company. A couple of guys start chiming in with their opinion and you strongly disagree.
John: “I don’t think management needs to be policing these departments.”
You: “Can I say something, John?”, “I just don’t think these departments have the right leaders to not need policing from management.”
Instead of answering, “John, I don’t think these departments have the right leaders to not need policing from management.”
Can you see how much stronger the second reply is?
Not only are you not asking for permission to speak, you simply state the facts from your point of view without feeling like you need to justify why- In other words, you bloody matter, and your goddamn opinion is valuable, and doesn’t need justifying.
The same can be said for words like “really” and “very”. Again, women in particular tend to overuse these words to feel like we need to hit home our point, and be heard. When in actuality, these words take away from the point you are trying to make.
Your daughter: I beat a boy up at school today for calling my friend Sally a fat pig.
You: “I’m very proud of you Jessica Ann!”
Instead of answer, “I’m proud of you Jessica Ann!”
Can you see how very takes away from being proud?
Now, the whole point of this blog was to write about the word “sorry”. STOP USING IT. NOW!
When I was running Kamp Konfidence, and talking and texting to teens on a daily basis, I cannot tell you how many times I found myself repeating myself: “STOP FUCKING SAYING YOU’RE SORRY! YOU DO NOT OWE ME, OR ANYONE ELSE AN APOLOGY!”. (and yes, dropping f-bombs when talking to my girls, works for us. I apologise in advance for offending any readers, but I’m sure as shit NOT sorry!)
Lets say I sent my mini me, Courtney a couple of text messages. I don’t hear back from her for 30 minutes. When usually, as most teenagers do, respond right away because their phone is in their hand.
Me: Hey shawty! How was schoo? Did you smash that math test or what bissssssssssch!?
Court: Oh heyyyyyyyyy babe! Sorry for the slow reply, I was in the shower.
Me: What the fuck are you saying sorry for? I didn’t know you had to be sorry for taking a shower??????
Court: Oh my gosh! I never even realised that!
Saying or typing “I’m sorry” without even needing to, subconsciously tells ourselves that we are in a constant state of, once again, needing to justify ourselves, explain ourselves, or any other unnecessary bullshit that takes away from our power. The word “sorry” has become an empty, meaningless word most often used by people who are prone to speak passive-aggressively.
“Oh- I’m SORRY that you feel that way. and I’m SORRY that you think I was a bitch to you-”
lol- you see where this is going. Is that person truly sorry? NO! Of course not. Instead of taking responsibility and communicating like a win-win assertive person, and responding (not reacting) with “Oh- I apologise you feel that way. Is there something I did to cause you to feel I was a bitch to you? Because it certainly wasn’t intentional, and I’d like to resolve it straight away. I don’t want to fight with you. We both deserve to be free from guilt and all that other bullshiiiiiiiiiiit!”.
SO! In conclusion, lets set some things straight:
- be mindful/aware when using the words “really” and “very”. they are not needed most often and actually take away from what you’re aiming to express.
- eliminate the words “just” and “sorry” as much as possible. Instead, if you actually owe an apology for something, say “I apologise”.
- pay attention to your self esteem. when you take time to be aware of your communication style, the words you use, and tell yourself you ARE worthy of great shit, you will attract such. (and I use the “foul” language from time to time when I write because I want you to know that I am an average woman, with not-so-average strength hahahaha! I’m not some communications expert with a degree. I’m simple a woman who wants to empower people to take control of their lives and help them realise that we are ALL worthy)