4 min read

The Most Important Word You Should Never Say Again

May 24, 2019 6:30:00 AM

Today we’re sharing insight from guest blogger, Jennifer Magley, Coach, Public Speaker, Author, and Entrepreneur. We hope you enjoy Jennifer’s wisdom and perspective.

The Most Important Word You Should Never Say Again - BlogPicture it. Flowers everywhere. Everyone stands. 

The bride comes down the aisle towards the groom waiting hand over hand before her.

Such a radiant moment of pure love and commitment.

When asked, "Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded on and on," she takes a deep breath and answers:


What just happened? I do was an option or even Yes is acceptable but sureThe word sure is, without question, the weakest response in the history of the English language.

Overused and overexposed it is laced within every indifferent response. Meet for coffee next week? Sure. Love, can you take out the trash? Sure. Want to grab dinner sometime? Sure.

The tepidity of this word cannot be understated. It is a weapon of passive aggressive indifference. What’s worse is that this response is not even a conscious one. The majority of people use this word on the regular without a second thought. While this may seem like a personal pet peeve, I am not alone in my perception of sure.

Urban Dictionary, the authority of slang young speak, defines sure as, “The WORST response to a “Yes” or “No” question. The response you give when you don’t 100% want to say “yes” but also don’t want to say “no.” It goes on to state that, “it is not an acceptable response to a yes or no question.” 

Here’s the secret about sure, it still is interpreted as a yes albeit a lackadaisical yes. As a coach of athletes, executives, and business owners this single word is one of my least favorites to hear. Despite it being a reluctant or even hesitant yes, it is helpful in that it reveals how they really feel about something. It is a take it or leave it insight.

If you still are not onboard let’s experiment with responding with sure to a couple of life changing questions:

In case of emergency landing are you willing to lift the exit door? Sure

You will be asked to leave your row. A verbal yes response is required before takeoff.

Do you think this operation will fix my heart doctor? Sure

A verbal yes is desirable before someone slices you open.

Can you see us spending our lives together? Sure

In this moment sure seems more of a why not than an actual verbal yes.

While sure is a word that should be put to pasture, indubitably there are times when sure is helpful or even desirable. Alas if you choose to continue using this word, there are only three instances that it makes sense:

  1. When you want to annoy someone.
  2. When you do not want to commit or completely agree with another person.
  3. When you want to softly agree with someone, a way of saying I see you.

Someone is in tears, "I mean it just hurts so bad…can you see where I am coming from?" Sure

Sure is better than yes in this scenario as we can only agree but cannot feel what they are feeling.

"And that’s when I just quit. Do you get it?" Sure?

This one-word question indicates that it is still not clear and you’d like more information. All in one word.

What’s The Risk?

Other than these three instances, sure is the one word we should never use again. Yes and No are great mechanisms and binary choices of response. Sure is the verbal equivalent of someday or maybe. If you are looking to make a change in your life consider making this micro-shift and watch what happens when your yes is yes and your no is no.


This content was written and shared by guest blogger Jennifer Magley.

JMagley Black Dress Open Mouth SmileJennifer Magley is a former Professional Athlete, High Performance Coach, NCAA Division I Head Coach, Entrepreneur, Activist, Single Mother, and Author. She has received national media coverage most notably by USA Today, CNN, ESPN, Heart & Soul Magazine, and BRIO Magazine. Magley is the author of "Division I" a novel and is an in-demand inspirational speaker. 

Connect with Jennifer via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

Topics: Executive

Written by Gibson

Gibson is a firm of advisors and consultants that help clients get to the proactive side of insurance. We specialize in working with companies looking to find their edge—where they are growing as an organization, differentiating themselves in the marketplace, and preparing for current and future risk. Together we will find the perfect combination of insurance and consulting.