10 Ways In Which Women Use Words That Undermine Their Abilities

Sonakshi Goel
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10 ways Women Use Words

It is true that women everywhere are a powerhouse of talent and can outshine men. But women have often found themselves in situations where they undermine themselves in professional situations. They use self-effacing language that makes them sound less important. Men can easily speak in an outright manner, but women often sabotage their career prospects by using language that shrinks their power and does not show their pulsating energy and unbridled passion towards their work. It is important for women to acknowledge ways that help them to be outspoken and exhibit their ambitious nature.


Here are 10 ways in which women use self-effacing language:

  • Don’t use “just”: By using just in your sentences, for example – “I was just thinking…”, “I just want to say...” You need to drop the “just” because it makes you look powerless and it degrades what you have to say.
  • Don’t make a statement look like a question: If you have some statement to make, then don’t make it sound like a question in the end. You are a strong-opinionated woman who can say whatever you wish to say. You do not have to hide your opinion under the cloud of ambiguity.
  • Apologizing too often: If you spend most of your time apologizing for your mistakes, then this will portray that you lack self-confidence.

Do not apologize in all kind of situations where an apology is not even required. Instead, own up your mistakes and learn from it

  • Displaying negative emotions: Being rude to people, displaying anger or being egoistic will leave a bad image on the people working with you. People will label you fouled-mouth, so don’t let anybody trigger you emotionally. Instead, learn to control your emotions and keep up a good front.
  • Avoid using “maybe”: Avoid it whenever you are unsure about something someone asked you. If you insert maybe with everything you want to say, then you lose your credibility. The climate of belief is not maintained.
  • Using qualifiers: I am not perfect BUT I have been doing this for a very long time undermines your position and your words even before you have stated your opinion. Have faith in your abilities and be confident.
  • Drop the “actually”: Do not use actually to announce that you have a question or you want to add something in the discussion. Simply saying it will have a better impact than dropping ‘Actually’ like a surprise.
  • Time limits: Don't use phrases such as “This won’t take long”, “I just want to talk to you for a minute" because this will bring the time constraint factor into the notion. People will not consider you worthy of their time. Instead of using this, use phrases such as “could I have a word with you?”.
  • Not thinking before speaking: Saying anything for the sake of speaking will not do any good. People will not take you seriously. Instead, ponder over your thoughts and then make a statement.
  • Swap out "As I understand”: By using this, for example, “As I understand, this session will take place on Monday." You will showcase that you are not a hundred percent sure. Instead, be firm at your stance.

To elevate your image in professional situations, keep such things in mind.‘You can't mop the floor with the tap open' and for that, you must avoid these ways. Keep these things in the back of your mind while you are working or in a professional atmosphere. This will help you put up a good show without undermining your image.

Sonakshi Goel is an intern at SheThePeople.TV.

Read also: Normalizing Women’s Subordination: Retrospective Of Women At Work

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