4 Reasons You Should Stop Saying “Okay”

Posted on - in Culture & Communication
Stop Saying Okay

Stop Saying Okay

“Okay” is one of the most commonly recognized words on the planet. Whether it’s written as “OK,” “O.K.” or “okay,” the term is considered a universal phenomenon understood by linguists worldwide. At the same time, it’s regarded as a peculiar expression.

Despite its widespread popularity, when used in conversation, the term is seemingly meaningless. As a result, there are four primary reasons you should remove “okay” from your vocabulary.

Describing Everything as “Okay” Makes You Appear Lazy and Uninterested

Communication is a two-way process of mutual understanding, which is rooted on sharing information and emotion from one party to another. Consequently, when someone comes to you for advice, it’s important to stop saying “okay,” as a means to share in the responsibility of keeping the conversation afloat.

“Okay” can signify a disinterest or an aversion to wanting to engage in meaningful conversation. It offers a lackluster response to a myriad of stimulating questions, which can come across as off-putting to others. To improve your interpersonal skills and not come across as dull, you should stop saying “okay.” Instead, employ the following provocative conversation elements to confirm details and understanding:

  • Commenting, which is offering substantial feedback and thoughtful remarks.
  • Questioning, or asking the speaker to clarify his or her statements.
  • Paraphrasing, which is repeating in your words what you interpreted someone else to be saying.
  • Summarizing, or looking for the main ideas being conveyed when listening to others.

Okay Has Become a Contagious Cop Out

The vague and versatile nature of using the term “okay” renders it suitable in virtually any context. Take these examples, for instance:

  • “How’s the weather?” “It’s okay.”
  • “How’d you like your new teacher?” “She’s okay.”
  • “How are you?” “I’m okay.”
  • “Will you take the trash out?” “Okay.”

As a result, deeming something “okay” lacks details which doesn’t help to establish good communication. This is an example of how language belongs to individuals, and how the meaning of a word can change for any reason and at any time.

Saying “Okay” Too Frequently Makes People Think You’re a Pushover

Excessive use of the word “okay” only serves to feed the egos of your domineering counterparts, especially in the workplace. For that reason, it’s important to refrain from saying “okay” as a means to please other people.

Being pleasant and candid aren’t mutually exclusive qualities. You may think you’re being kind by sugarcoating professional feedback, but if you don’t like an idea, it benefits you to speak up. Innovation is birthed through trial and error, and your honest opinion has the tendency to turn an average plan into something great.

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Putting “Okay” at the End of an Instruction Is Counterproductive

Those in positions of authority have adopted the habit of saying “Okay?” when giving orders to subordinates. The hope is to have others perceive them as approachable. However, whether you’re a parent, manager, police officer or teacher, you should refrain from using “okay” when dictating tasks.

Asking, “Okay?” at the close of a command is not helpful for two reasons. First, it transforms your request into a yes or no question, which presents the opportunity for someone to say “no.” Second, it gives your subject the power to disregard your instruction. In an effort to break the routine of saying “Okay?” try reformatting your requests into friendly statements.


If saying “okay” isn’t an acceptable response to someone else’s inquiry, then it shouldn’t be the go-to answer you give to yourself either. Regarding an aspect of your life as “okay” suggests there are mixed feelings about it without any substantial inspiration or potential for advancement.

Most importantly, it’s critical to point out the common traits of successful individuals. They don’t coast through life okay-ing every obstacle they face. They directly confront these challenges and become more resilient through the process. Above all, successful people determinedly chase their goals until they accomplish them.

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Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

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