How to Stop Saying the Word "Dude" So Much
The word "dude" has become a big staple in the language of youths since the 1950s. While it was often seen as a "cool" way to refer to friends, the word has been overused. Calling someone "dude" still has its right time and place, but if you use the word too much, you'll risk sounding annoying. Limiting your use of this (or any) word requires thought and self-awareness. Giving yourself extra time and consideration before speaking is a great way to take unwanted language out of your diet. Even if you aren't used to being conscious of what you're saying, you'll have your "dude" usage under control with only a little effort.
Cutting Back on the Word "Dude"
Understand where you got your habit.The word "dude" has been used a ton since the counter-culture revolution of the 1950s and 60s. It's used in film and rock music, and it's a staple word for a lot of subcultures, including skate and surfer communities. Consider what your circumstances are. Do you hang out with a lot of people who use that word? Did you start using it after seeing it on TV? Knowing that use of the word is a habit that was picked up somewhere is a good place to start if you want to control your use.
Plan what you want to say.In social situations, people tend to speak without consciously thinking about it. This isn't good if you're saying words you'd rather avoid. If you're in a setting where you think you might call someone "dude," give yourself an extra moment to prepare a line.
- The use of "dude" is mostly reserved as a name or title. This makes greetings and goodbyes more important to plan for than regular chatting.
Correct yourself when you need to.Whenever you use the word, you should repeat the sentence the way you should have in the first place. The extra effort (and mild embarrassment) of repeating a sentence will help to steer you on the right path and make you more aware of its use in conversation.
- Acknowledge the issue in mid-sentence if you catch it early: "Hey dude-- I mean, Jesse, how's it going?"
Spend time with a wider range of people.Although the word was popularized by TV and pop culture, chances are likely that your habit with this word was influenced by the people you spend time with. A lot of language is picked up through our interactions with friends. Hanging out with a broader spectrum of people (including people outside your age group) will help loosen the influence your go-to social circle has on your language.
Get a friend to catch you if you say it.Even on the best of days, we're not always aware of the things we say. It's helpful to have the friend (or whomever) you're with to catch you if you ever say the word "dude." Asking someone to help you to stop saying something brings up a level of accountability. Your friend will feel a certain level of responsibility in making sure you stay true to your word.
- Because the word "dude" is a mostly American phenomenon, moving to another country can help remove this influence.
Remember the word can be used effectively in moderation.Any word has its use in the right context. "Dude" on its own isn't a bad thing to call someone per se, but it does get irritating when it's used a lot. Calling someone a dude should feel edgy and casual. You should use the word when the situation calls for an effect like that.
- Calling someone "dude" is more fitting if the person is a male. Although it's sometimes used to refer to anyone, it is technically a gendered term.
- If you're having a hard time gauging how much is too much, limit your "dude" usage to once an hour. This should free up enough space in between for the word to regain its value.
Be patient with yourself.As with anything, your progress isn't going to happen overnight. Depending on how bad your "dude" usage is, it can take weeks of effort to limit yourself properly. If you ever say the word accidentally, don't beat yourself up over it. You should take solace in the fact that you're going out of your way to improve yourself. Bad habits are hard to break, but it's get easier the longer you try.
Eliminating Filler Language
Find a speaking role-model.People who have a problem with overusing the word "dude" tend to use a lot of filler language as well. Words like "um," "hmm," "uhh" and "like" are thoughtlessly added to a conversation as a way for the brain to catch up with what the mouth is saying. Looking up speeches of great speakers (such as Orson Welles or Barack Obama) will give you an idea of what good speaking looks like.
- You don't need to base your speech around a speaking role-model. Just be aware of the pace and confidence with which they say things.
Control your pace.Most filler language is a result of the person trying to talk too fast. This can be avoided by simply slowing down the rate at which you speak. If you've never put any thought into how fast you talk, this will feel awkward at first. However, you'll probably be surprised by the way a little extra patience can transform the way you talk.
- People who talk more slowly actually tend to appear more intelligent.
Record yourself speaking.Get a voice-recorder or cellphone and record yourself speaking about something. Record a few minutes of an impromptu conversation. After you've recorded something, play out the recording and listen to yourself. Are there any things you notice about your voice that you'd like to see changed? How much filler language is popping up? Being aware of the way other people hear your voice will give you extra motivation to cut down on filler.
Join a public speaking club.A public speaking club (such as Toastmasters) will give you a big head-up with conversation. In these clubs, people will get together and practice speaking formally. If you get into something like this, you'll cut down on the excess filler. If you're worried about using the word "dude" in conversation, you can bring this up with the club and they'll be sure to guide you through it.
QuestionHow can I stop swearing so much?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
- "Dude" isn't a bad word in of itself. A truly great speaker will use all of the words at his disposal provided they work in the given situation.
- The word "dude" is seen as annoying by a lot of people because of how much it's overused.
- Don't go overboard with trying to control what you say. You don't want to detract from the other things you've got to say.
Video: DUDE... STOP...
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