Usage experts agree that the pronoun “myself” has only two proper uses: the intensive and the reflexive.
“I’ll do it myself” uses the word as an intensifier, to convey emphasis. “I see myself as a leader” is reflexive – with the action referring to the subject.
Thus, avoid using “myself” where “I” or “me” is appropriate and grammatical. Example: Say “My family and I are glad to be here,” not “My family and myself…”
Observes Bryan A. Garner: “Using [myself] that way… is thought somehow to be modest, as if the reference were less direct. Yet it’s no less direct, and the user may unconsciously cause the reader or listener to assume an unintended jocularity, or that the user is somewhat doltish.”
Often, the word can simply be eliminated: “I bought myself a new suit” is equally as clear as “I bought a new suit.”
The same rules apply to other pronouns: “yourself,” “himself,” “herself,” “themselves,” etc. Many dictionaries are permissive on this subject, but it’s usually wise to follow convention, especially in formal writing.[Ed Note: For more than three decades, Don Hauptman was an award-winning independent direct-response copywriter and creative consultant. He is author of The Versatile Freelancer, an e-book recently published by AWAI that shows writers and other creative professionals how to diversify their careers into speaking, consulting, training, and critiquing.]