Thursday, November 08, 2007

"Just" don't do it

I read something awhile ago that took us women to task for minimizing what we have to say by introducing it with "just," as in: "I just want to tell you...," "I just need...," etc. Somehow that nugget embedded itself in the back of my brain, and I started noticing how often I soften (or weaken) whatever I'm saying with "just." Then I started dropping the "just", just to see what difference that would make. I was surprised at the result. Sentences that sounded tentative suddenly sounded confident. I started to sound like I had a right to ask for whatever it was I was asking for, including the reader's/listener's attention.

[Funny aside. My husband asked me a moment ago how long I'd be on the computer. I said, "A couple minutes. I'm just writing something." *Sigh*. By saying that, I minimized the importance of my writing. Granted, this blog post isn't going to change the world, but still... it matters to me.]

Apparently old habits die hard, and in this case, a habit of language is also a habit of mind. Too often we women are taught to minimize our own needs, put others before ourselves always. It's good to be humble, and it's good to care for others. But we must also value ourselves. We can't be worth much to others if we don't value ourselves, right? Of course, that's just my opinion.

No comments: