I’ve been paying attention to the words I use to communicate with others. Ever since the Power Pose Ted Talk went viral, the power of words, the power of posture, the power of my presence plays out in front of me, as if I’m watching from above, rather than seeing through my eyes. Many books today are talking about the way we diminish ourselves with the words we choose, as if we might be a bother to someone, or may be interrupting with something that is not as important as the other person is doing at the moment.
Today, I noticed that this is not only a female phenomenon. I overheard several male conversations and the words “just” and “actually” kept popping up. Of course, I knew that. There are no purely black and white gender issues when it comes to communication. But many popular books are saying that the problem is mostly a female problem.
The interesting thing is that it did sound diminishing rather than powerful. I’ve noted it in myself before, but I didn’t notice the power in it, until I heard it third person.
What I’m working on, for the first phase, is to remove “just” out of my communication. Most of the time, it doesn’t make a difference in or out of the sentence, so I pull it out. Often, it pops back in. Even in the last sentence, I had to hit delete to remove the beginnings of a “just.” It’s a hard habit to break, but if we want to start acting more powerful, then we need to start speaking and writing more powerfully.
A word to some of my friends, and you know who you are: the word “powerful” in this context doesn’t mean overbearing or rude. You can still communicate powerfully, without being ugly. It’s totally OK to be confident and sure of your opinions, and to share those opinions freely. It won’t make you less loving. I’m sure of it.
DAY 61 HOMEWORK: Pick just one crutch word to remove out of your language. Keep working on it until it feels natural and don’t work on another word until you feel confident without that other crutch word.