15 common words classy women avoid (that you should avoid, too)

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Ever notice how some women just have a way of speaking that makes them stand out?

It’s not always about using big words or talking a lot. Sometimes, it’s about what they don’t say.

Just like choosing the right outfit, picking the right words can make a big difference in how people see you.

In this article, we’re going to share 15 words that classy women tend to avoid.

Why?

Because avoiding these words can help you come across as more respectful, smart, and approachable.

Whether you’re looking to improve your conversations at work, with friends, or in any social setting, cutting these words from your vocabulary might just be the key.

Let’s get started and find out what these words are and why you might want to think twice before using them.

1. “Just”

When you hear someone say “just” a lot, it might seem like they’re not too sure of themselves.

Think about the difference between saying, “I just think we should try it” and “I think we should try it.” Dropping the “just” makes the statement stronger and more confident.

Classy women know their words have power, so they choose them carefully to make sure they’re taken seriously.

By cutting out “just” from your sentences, you show that you believe in what you’re saying and aren’t making your ideas seem smaller than they are.

2. “Sorry”

Saying “sorry” when we’ve done something wrong is important, but using it too much, especially when it’s not needed, can make it seem like you’re always in the wrong.

For instance, instead of saying “Sorry, can I ask a question?” try “Can I ask a question?” This small change shows confidence and that you value your thoughts and presence.

Classy women use “sorry” only when it’s truly necessary, which keeps the word meaningful and shows they stand firm in their everyday interactions. 

3. “Literally”

This word pops up a lot in conversations, often used for emphasis or to express something exactly as it happened.

However, using “literally” too much, especially when describing things that aren’t actually happening literally, can make your statements seem less credible or even exaggerated.

Classy women aim for clarity and precision in their language, choosing their words to accurately reflect their thoughts and experiences.

Instead of saying, “I literally died laughing,” consider, “I laughed so hard.” It keeps your speech grounded and your stories believable. 

4. “Hate”

The word “hate” is strong and heavy. It packs a lot of punch and can make conversations turn sour fast.

Classy women tend to avoid this word because it can come off as harsh or closed-minded.

Instead of saying “I hate this movie,” you might try “I’m not a fan of this movie.” This way, you’re sharing your opinion without spreading negativity.

Using words that are less extreme shows you’re open to discussion and respectful of different tastes and views.

It’s about expressing yourself honestly but in a way that keeps the door open for positive exchanges.

By choosing your words wisely, you create a space for more understanding and less conflict.

5. “Can’t”

Saying “can’t” too often can make it seem like you’re not willing to try new things or face challenges.

Classy women prefer to focus on what they can do, not on what they can’t.

Instead of saying “I can’t figure this out,” it might be more empowering to say “I haven’t figured this out yet.”

This small change in wording opens up the possibility for growth and learning. It shows you believe in your ability to overcome obstacles and are open to finding solutions.

By swapping “can’t” for words that reflect a growth mindset, you not only uplift yourself but also inspire those around you to think in terms of possibilities and potential.

6. “Cheap”

Describing something as “cheap” can sometimes come off the wrong way, making it seem like we’re not appreciating the value or effort behind it.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I casually mentioned something was “cheap” in front of someone who took great pride in their work.

The air chilled a bit, and I realized my mistake. Classy women often opt for words like “affordable” or “cost-effective” instead.

These terms still talk about the price, but they do so without dismissing the quality or worth of an item or service.

It’s a subtle shift, but it shows respect for the effort and thought behind things, and it’s a reminder that value isn’t just about the price tag.

7. “Impossible”

Audrey Hepburn, a symbol of elegance and grace, once said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

This perspective breathes life into the way classy women approach challenges. Instead of declaring something as “impossible,” they see it as an opportunity to innovate, grow, and perhaps redefine what’s possible.

By avoiding this word, you don’t just keep the door open to new possibilities; you also encourage a mindset of perseverance and optimism.

Saying something is “challenging” rather than “impossible” doesn’t just change the tone of the conversation; it invites creativity and determination to find a solution.

Embracing this outlook can transform obstacles into stepping stones towards achieving what we once thought was beyond our reach.

8. “Busy”

In a world that glorifies being busy, saying you’re too busy can sometimes come off as dismissive or suggest that you’re not prioritizing what truly matters.

I remember a piece of advice from a mentor who never used the word “busy” as an excuse. Instead, she’d say, “I’m currently focusing on a few priorities, but let’s find a time that works for both of us.”

This shift not only showed her commitment to her responsibilities but also her value for the relationship and her willingness to make time.

Classy women know that it’s not about how packed your schedule is; it’s about making time for what and who is important. 

9. “Fine”

The word “fine” is often a mask we hide behind when we don’t want to dive into the details of how we’re truly feeling or when we’re settling for less than we deserve.

I learned from a friend, who always had a knack for seeing through my “I’m fine,” that being honest about our feelings or situations opens the door to genuine connections and support.

Classy women aim for authenticity in their interactions. Instead of defaulting to “fine,” they encourage a more sincere exchange by sharing a bit more about their true state or by expressing contentment with more specific and heartfelt words.

This approach not only deepens relationships but also fosters a culture of honesty and support.

Choosing to move beyond “fine” is a step toward living a life filled with meaningful connections and true expressions of our feelings.

10. “No problem”

There was a time when “no problem” was my go-to response whenever someone thanked me. It felt casual, light-hearted.

But then, during a summer internship, my mentor pointed out how switching to “You’re welcome” or “Happy to help” added a layer of warmth and acknowledgment to the interaction.

Classy women often choose responses that elevate the moment, making others feel valued and their gratitude recognized.

By consciously selecting words that reflect the kindness or effort extended, we not only reinforce positive interactions but also embed a sense of appreciation and respect in our relationships.

This subtle shift from “no problem” to a more thoughtful response has changed how I view exchanges of gratitude, making them moments to affirm connection and mutual respect.

11. “Whatever”

The word “whatever” can often come across as dismissive or indifferent, shutting down conversation rather than inviting understanding or further dialogue.

Coco Chanel, a paragon of elegance and determination, once remarked, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

This quote speaks volumes about the attitude classy women bring to their conversations. Instead of settling for a word like “whatever” that closes doors, they choose language that opens up possibilities for deeper engagement and uniqueness.

By expressing genuine interest or offering a thoughtful opinion instead of a passive “whatever,” you signal your commitment to being present and valued in the interaction.

It’s about making every word count to foster respect, understanding, and individuality in our communications.

12. “Guilty”

The word “guilty” often carries a heavy load, dripping with negativity and self-reproach.

I remember vividly the evening I sat across from a friend, witnessing the weight of the word as she described feeling “guilty” for taking time for herself away from her bustling life and family.

It was a raw moment, filled with honesty, but also a turning point.

Classy women understand the power of self-compassion and the importance of self-care, reframing the narrative from guilt to a positive assertion of need.

Instead of saying “I feel guilty for taking a break,” they might say “I’m honoring my need for rest.” 

It’s a lesson in recognizing that taking time for ourselves isn’t an act of selfishness but a necessary step towards balance and wellness.

13. “Maybe”

“Maybe” is a word we often use when we’re not sure about something or we’re trying to avoid making a clear decision.

But here’s the thing: constantly saying “maybe” can make it seem like we can’t make up our minds or we’re not confident in our choices. I had a coach who told me, “Say what you mean clearly. It’s okay to say yes or no.” That advice stuck with me.

Instead of “maybe,” classy women try to be more direct. If they need time to think, they’ll say, “Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you,” instead of leaving things hanging with a “maybe.”

This way, you show you’re taking the question seriously and you respect the other person enough to give them a clear answer later.

14. “Fail”

The word “fail” often brings to mind defeat and discouragement.

Yet, J.K. Rowling, a woman who faced rejection and setbacks on her path to becoming one of the most successful authors of our time, once said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

This perspective is a powerful reminder that what we often label as “failures” are actually steps towards our goals.

Classy women prefer to view these moments not as failures but as learning experiences or challenges to overcome.

They understand that every setback is a setup for a comeback. Instead of saying “I failed,” they might say “I learned” or “I’ll try a different approach next time.”

This shift in language transforms the narrative from one of defeat to one of resilience and growth.

15. “Should”

“Should” is a word that often carries with it a weight of obligation and guilt, implying that there’s a right way and we’re not taking it.

I once read a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, an epitome of dignity and wisdom, who said, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

This advice sheds light on the limiting nature of “should” and encourages a more personal and heart-centered approach to decisions and actions.

Instead of saying “I should do this” or “I should have done that,” classy women often speak from a place of choice and personal alignment, saying “I choose to” or “I prefer to.”

This subtle language shift moves us away from living under the weight of external expectations and towards embracing our own path and decisions with confidence and integrity.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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