Me and Myself
 
(1) You can use the word myself when "you" are doing something to "you" (e.g., I hate myself. I asked myself a question.)
(In this role, the word myself is called a reflexive pronoun.)

(2) You can use the word myself for emphasis (e.g., I did it myself.)
(In this role, the word myself is called an emphatic pronoun.)

These are the only times, you can use myself. Do not use myself because you think it sounds more formal or polite (e.g., Please contact myself if you have any questions. )
 

Emphatic and Reflexive Pronouns

Myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves are all pronouns. They can be either emphatic pronouns or reflexive pronouns.

In order to understand when to use them, you have to know the difference between an emphatic pronoun and a reflexive pronoun. That sounds pretty complicated, but it's not too bad. Here we go...

Emphatic Pronouns

When used for emphasis, they are called emphatic pronouns.

  • She will do it herself.
  • (The waiter won't do it. Her husband won't do it. Her son won't do it. SHE will do it.)
  • I heard the lie myself.
  • The cat opened the door itself.
  • (Note: It's not always about people.)

You can test if it's an emphatic pronoun by removing it completely and seeing if you get the same effect by emphasizing the thing you're trying to emphasize with your voice (shown below in bold and italics).

  • SHE will do it.
  • I  heard the lie.
  • THE CAT opened the door.

Reflexive Pronouns

In most sentences, somebody does something to someone else. For example:

  • I like him.
  • He spoke to her.
  • She thumped him.
  • The dog bit her.
  • (Note: It's not always about people.)
However, sometimes people do things to themselves, and this is when you can use myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, and themselves as reflexive pronouns. For example:

  • I like myself.
  • He spoke to himself.
  • She thumped herself.
  • The dog bit itself.

Some real examples:

  • I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
  • I cannot bring myself to do it.
 
DON'T USE MYSELF TO BE POLITE

The most common problem is a writer using a reflexive pronoun to describe when something is doing something to something else (and not doing it to itself). For example:

  • I did it to myself.
  • He did it to myself.
  • He did it to himself.
Most often, writers make this mistake because they want to avoid using I and me, either because they don't know whether to use I or me or they think the myself version sounds more formal. For example:

  • He insulted the doctor and I. (wrong)
  • He insulted the doctor and me. (correct, but sounds wrong to some)
  • He insulted the doctor and myself. (wrong, but sounds better to some)

You can only use myself like this:

  • I insulted the doctor and myself.
A real example:

  • Please pass any comments to the director or myself.
  • Please pass any comments to the director or me.
Perhaps now you can see why so many people opt for the myself version. The correct version above feels too uncomfortable for many. This takes the edge off it:

  • Please pass any comments to me or the director.

 

See also:

Between you and I or me?
'My wife and I' and I or me
Emphatic pronouns
Reflexive pronouns