“Just”

If he would just add this feature, we can solve that problem.

If you just pick me up a little early, we’ll be able to get there in time for the previews.

Before you take off, please take care of just one more thing.

I’m presently trying to omit the word from my vocabulary, and that’s made me hyper-sensitive to others using it.

Just is passively presumptive. Most of the time I insert a just, I am really saying, “I know that this is probably a bigger deal than I want to acknowledge, so I’m tossing a just in there to make me feel better about asking it.”

Dropping it from my sentence changes the sentence’s meaning. I am no longer masking my request as something that’s inconsequential; I’m simply making a request, and leaving it open to the recipient of the request to assess the request’s relative difficulty. Also, by consciously dropping the just, I’m reminded to ask the follow up question, “How would that affect you?”

I’ve been trying to do this for a week or so, and I think it’s making me a better communicator—or if not better, then a little more mindful.

What are some other words like just?



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