Why I’m reducing use of the word “just” in emails & messages

Just (adjective) meaning:
based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

 

I read somewhere very recently a quote about the overuse of the word “just” and it’s stayed with me. In fact, because of this quote, I’ve actively re-written my sentences when I’ve caught myself typing “just” in the last few weeks. It’s a word so many use every single day. But the negative and rather telling connotations I now associate it with means I’ve made a change in the way I use it… and I feel all the better for it.

The word “just”, when added into a sentence, seems to result in whatever follows to come across as rather insignificant. I didn’t notice that at all before but now, it glares at me with no shame. Think it through:

“I’m just going to pick up…”
“You just need to make sure you do this first…”
Just following up on my message…”

Do you see the difference it could make if you took that word out? I felt like I used it all the time and now that I’m actively not using it, the tone of my emails and messages seem to take on a better, clearer and rather confident feeling which I thought they had before… but clearly they didn’t. Let’s see for a moment the different taking out that word makes:

“I’m going to pick up…”
“You need to make sure you do this first…”
“Following up on my message…”

It’s a really small change but I really feel better for making it. I’m no long “just”-ing my way through work emails, personal messages or anything in fact. What that word very evidently did was make out that I was apologetic or trying to make up for something. I’m not and I haven’t been. And this tiny alteration can make a world of different to us all!

There are a few similar articles out there related to a professional capacity but, for me personally, I’ve made this change in personal messages on apps too. It’s truly one of the best things I’ve done for myself in the last few months! There’s no less importance in the points I am making at any point and that word sometimes gets in the way of relaying that in both professional and personal text.

Much love,
AT x

 

Pic courtesy: Fabian Irsara

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