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Stop Starting Your Sentences with “If I am Being Honest….”​ Here’s Why It’s Harmful & Disempowering

Source | LinkedIn | Robert Glazer | Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author and Speaker | Founder & CEO @ Acceleration Partners

One of the best-selling books in the last year is Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis. My wife really enjoyed it and shared several of the principles and key lessons.

Just as “sorry” has become an unconscious habit for people – especially women – to begin sentences with (“’Sorry about that …” “Sorry, is this a good time?” “Sorry, I was just thinking that …”), so has the phrase “If I’m being honest…”

“If I’m being honest” has become a verbal crutch, similar to “um” and “so.” However, I’d argue that its meaning is far more disempowering and detrimental.

While some may use it to soften the blow of a controversial or strong opinion, I hear it used just as often in response to a direct question about simple preferences.

“Where do you want to go for dinner?” “Well, if I’m being honest, I really like that Italian place.”

“What kind of job are you looking for?” “Well, if I’m being honest, I’m looking for something in project management.”

And, like the overused preface “sorry,” I’d guesstimate that for every ten times I hear “If I’m being honest,” 90% of the time it’s being said by a female.

And it’s not just a matter of seniority. In the same week, I heard it from both a female college student and a female founder and CEO of a company.

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