Email Like a Boss: This Gmail Plug-in Helps You Type with Confidence

Image via Melsanv Along with hitting the gym more often and finally finishing that David Foster Wallace novel (right?!), my big resolution for 2016 was to simply be more confident. Strengthening one’s style of speech is a big step towards projecting more confidence. Rather than interjecting with, “Sorry, but I think there might be another way to consider that problem,” I’ll say, “I have an alternative solution.” Not bad, right? And now this same type of filter now exists for your emails in the form of Just Not Sorry.Just Not Sorry, created by Cyrus Innovation, is a free app that “underlines any words that undermine your message” and helps you send more effective, confident emails. The plug-in hones in on weakening patterns of speech that make us seem unsure of ourselves. It searches for and highlights trigger words and modifiers such as “just,” “a little bit,” “I think,” “sorry,” and “Does that make sense?” If you hover over one of the highlighted phrases, you’ll see a quick educational hint about how to adjust to more direct word choice. The hope is that the product will build awareness about the effects of these speaking patterns into every day life.Image via Medium While the application is intended to assist women in speaking unapologetically, some believe that tools like this perpetuate a way of thinking which stigmatizes and shames patterns of speech which have come to be known as characteristic of women. Jessica Grose of the Washington Post and Lenny offers justification for these patterns of speech such as upspeak, vocal fry, and undermining words. She contends that context and linguistic complexity are overlooked by Just Not Sorry and that these patterns can actually heighten one’s authority in certain situations. The counterargument posed in her piece relies on the belief that women would have more confidence “if their communications weren’t constantly picked apart, even my well-meaning observers.”In addition to being “well-meaning,” the creators of Just Not Sorry made the app in response to the desire of the women around them to do away with submissive speech. The tool was first conceived of at a brunch for the League of Extraordinary Women when the group was inspired by some Amy Schumer clips which point out the bad tendencies we have when we speak (or type). The project was then taken up by Cyrus Innovation as part of the Female Founder initiative and is now available for download. As co-creator Tammy Reiss explains via Medium, “Whether you’re persuading an investor to provide funding, announcing a change in direction to your colleagues, or promoting your services to a client, you are building their confidence in you. Qualifiers hint to the reader that you don’t have faith in what you’re saying. [bctt tweet=“The last thing you need is to seem unsure of yourself.”] We want to make it easy to kick the habit by making it obvious when these qualifiers are holding us back.”