8 Words You Should Stop Using to Talk About Yourself
There’s something pretty cool happening out there in the world of pop culture.
We’re seeing it crop up as part of TV show scripts and on podcasts. Women, in particular, are adopting it within their social circles.
One person makes an offhand self-deprecating comment about themselves — the kind that could easily be brushed off as sarcasm — and their friend says, “Don’t talk about my friend that way!”
It may come off as a gimmick or a catchphrase, but it’s actually pretty revolutionary. Being slowly written into the fabric of our culture and interactions is an intolerance for negative self-talk. We’re being taught to see ourselves as friends, just as unworthy of our snark as the other people we love. We’ve taken up arms and are helping each other fight the good fit against self-deprecation. It’s only when we all feel empowered to consistently speak highly of ourselves that each and every one of us is able to see the bright light ignited within everyone we know and meet. And wouldn’t that be an amazing thing?
In case you need yet another reminder to say goodbye to that harmful negative self-talk, consider these eight less-than-kind words that we all too commonly use to talk about ourselves. Let’s all work together to strike them from the record.
1. Lazy. As in, “I’m so lazy. I would lay on the couch all day if I could!” Words like relaxed, laidback, or low-key are so much more loving and generous. If you genuinely feel as though you’re lacking motivation and need to step up your game, that’s something worth examining, but labeling yourself as “lazy” isn’t how to do it.
2. Antisocial. As in, “I’d rather not go out to this party. I’m so antisocial.” Maybe you’re shy or an introvert. Maybe you’re better in small group settings. No need to put a negative spin on any of these traits with a word that starts with “anti.”
3. Boring. As in, “Oh, there’s nothing much interesting happening with me. I’m pretty boring.” You are so much more than boring! Perhaps things in your life have been rolling along quite consistently, but that hardly makes you as an individual boring or uninteresting.
4. Busy. As in, “I’m so busy that I don’t know how I’m getting everything done.” When asked how we’re doing, it’s become an almost knee-jerk reaction for many of us to simply say “busy.” And while this word isn’t inherently negative, it does sweep under the rug all of the meaningful things that you’re accomplishing. Instead of telling someone that you’re busy, take a quick opportunity to share what you’ve been working hard on, or simplify by saying “productive.” Doesn’t that sound better than “busy?”
5. Stupid. As in, “I can’t believe I made such a stupid decision.” Didn’t you learn in elementary school that this word is off the table? You weren’t allowed to use it to describe a classmate when you were eight, and you shouldn’t be allowed to use it to describe yourself — or anything you do! — now. Maybe you made a mistake or an uninformed choice. Say that! Words matter.
6. Tired. As in, “I just can’t shake this feeling of being tired all the time.” We all could use more sleep, but boiling ourselves down to the word “tired” undermines the strength that we have to overcome our fatigue and get things done! Don’t be afraid to ask for rest, but try to resist the urge to lead with your tiredness, too.
7. Difficult. As in, “I’m sorry. I know I’m being difficult right now.” There’s nothing wrong with owning your shortcomings in a mature way, but using the word “difficult” suggests that those shortcomings are purely faults, and not qualities that you’re working to improve. See if you can pinpoint the highly specific traits that are proving challenging in a particular conversation or situation, rather than describing your overall being as “difficult.”
8. Awkward. As in, “I don’t know what to say. I’m being so awkward!” At some point in the last few years, the word “awkward” has become wildly common, one we drop any time we’re feeling even the slightest bit uncomfortable. But awkward has a negative connotation, and it has no place as your go-to way of labeling yourself! Be quirky, shy, silly, or nervous… but you don’t need to be awkward .