We are all guilty of filling up space with useless, meaningless words. We use a variety of tired words to replace our feelings of hurt, uncertainty, and confusion. Sometimes, we add in a word simply to give ourselves more time to think about our replies. Collectively, we despise silence in conversations. Rather than taking the time to compose a reply, it seems that we tend to blurt out a series of noises and filler words.
Like the true hypocrite that I am, I've created a list of words that we could all do without. These are words that I, personally, use to hide my feelings and to end the quiet moments in my conversations.
Stop. Just, stop "Weird" means that something is abnormal. However, in my experience, "weird" is used to cover up something that made someone uncomfortable or unhappy. Instead of saying, "Wow, that was really weird," to describe a negative situation, try to use a term that accurately describes how you felt.
This word is just as bad as "weird." Sure, a lot of things are quite awkward. Specifically, a lot of things are awkward in college. Despite this, "awkward," like "weird," has become somewhat of a blanket word. We use it to disguise our displeasure and to keep the conversation on a surface level. Why was something or someone awkward? Take the extra few minutes to formulate an opinion and express yourself.
We use "very" to modify adjectives, like "very good" or "very happy." However, there are more accurate adjectives that we can use to avoid this word, like "excellent" or "elated." Rather than sprinkling your sentences with the word "very," consider using a variety of stronger adjectives.
The word "just" takes away from your point and makes you sound uncertain. "I just wanted to check in," sounds much weaker than "I want to check in with you." By eliminating "just," you take control of your statement. It prevents you from sounding like you're asking for permission, or like you don't feel entitled to your opinion/feeling.
I do this all the time. Instead of describing the actual item or thought, I say "things" and carry on with my sentence. The issue is this: I haven't actually given my listener any information. By using "thing" we give someone a vague idea of what we're talking about when we could simply take a moment to list details.
I've heard many, many people use this word to stress what they were saying. "Literally" is not a word meant to be used to emphasize your point. Using "literally" incorrectly takes away from your opinion/argument rather than strengthening it.
I will admit, I love this word. It says that something is more than good in a very vague, easy way. Unfortunately, saying something is "great" is almost completely meaningless. I use it to express my positive feelings toward something or someone, but I rarely make the effort to choose a clearer word.
I've recently discovered that this word leads to conflict. By saying "but," I consistently tell my listener that my previous words don't actually count. The word I was searching for was "and." Instead of saying, "I'm sorry, but I felt justified at the time," I can say "I'm sorry, and I want you to know that I was under the impression that I was right at the time." The word-swap (and additional words) allows my entire sentence to remain credible while also expressing my perspective.
There you have it--my best attempt at listing words that we can all do without. Of course, this piece is quite hypocritical because I catch myself using these words all the time. However, if we can all learn to avoid these terms, we will be able to accurately describe our feelings and situations.