by Beth Burns, M.S., CCC-SLP

Misusing “myself” is a mistake people make by complicating their writing structure needlessly.  They think that using “myself” makes them sound smart.  Unfortunately, it is not smart; It is wrong.  Are people afraid to use “me?”

“Myself” is never used interchangeably with “I” or “me.”  Countless colleagues and friends have written something like, “Please feel free to contact Sylvia or myself.” In the preceding sentence, “me” is the correct word.

Another common mistake, “We (Donald and myself) arranged a meeting with the team.” In this sentence, “I” should have been chosen.

“Myself” is a reflexive pronoun.  Reflexive pronouns refer to the subject.  “Myself” should only be used when a sentence also contains a first person pronoun such as, “I,” “me,” or “my.”

Here are some examples of correct uses of “myself.”

I did this myself.

I don’t particularly like exercising by myself.

I kept all of the leftovers for myself.

Show readers how smart you really are by using “myself” correctly.