While it’s fine to feel a bit down on some days, it’s not right to always feel insecure. Not only does this affect our work and relationships, but this can also sabotage our emotional and physical health. One aspect that impacts how we carry ourselves is the way we communicate with others. Speaking certain words and phrases can make us appear less confident. Here are some phrases we can avoid saying and what to say instead.
1. “I would just…”
Starting a statement like this is also part of the effort to try to sound nice and polite. However, it frequently appears that we’re trying to soften the impact of what we’re about to say. For example, if you want to say, “I’d just like to tell you that I can’t make it to the meeting”, you can say “I’d like to tell you that I can’t make it to the meeting. You convey the same meaning, but you sound more confident in the latter.
2. “Can we maybe…”
Adding maybe into a request may sometimes show respect but you’re also showing your insecurity. “Maybe” makes us sound nervous as if we’re expecting rejection. Instead of adding “maybe” into our phrases, why not say, “Could we please…”
If we were saying, “Can we maybe clean this mess later?”, we could say, “Could we please clean this mess later?” Both questions sound polite but the latter sounds more confident.
3. “He/She looks unsightly!”
It’s not right to comment on other people’s appearance, we all know that. If we’re doing this to make ourselves look good, it’s not working. In fact, we’re making ourselves look pathetic. It shows how insecure we feel about ourselves and we try to cover it by talking about other peoples’ imperfections. Instead of comparing ourselves to other people and judging them, it’s better to focus on accepting our own flaws and imperfections.
4. “What do you think?”
Seeking the approval of others by asking them what they think is usually viewed as lacking confidence. Saying this makes you appear to be asking other people to solve the problem for you. According to psychologist Michele Goldman, it’s better to say, “I think…but I wonder if you have any suggestions?”
5. “Are you mad at me?”
Insecurity can result in misinterpreting social cues. If we lack self-confidence, it’s easy to think that if others are feeling bad, we probably have something to do with it. Goldman says that misinterpretation of others’ emotions can be founded on our fear of doing something wrong. She says that it’s best to avoid assuming and instead ask the other person how they are feeling.
6. “You’re always better than me in __.”
When you say this, it means that you’re already resigned to the idea that you’re not any good. Making it a habit to say this line may boost other people’s confidence but it doesn’t make you look good. They can easily see your lack of self-confidence when you’re constantly saying this. While it’s normal to compare our strengths and weaknesses with other people, you can consider saying it differently. You can say, “You’re good at this. You should show me some tricks!”
7. “Let’s just do what you want”
The inability to decide for themselves is a sure sign of a lack of confidence. Instead of letting others decide, you may want to find out what you really want and say that. You can say, “I want __ but you may have other things in mind. Let’s decide how to work things out so we can both have what we want.”
8. “I wonder what they think of me.”
It’s okay to think about this, but saying it aloud makes you look insecure. While it’s a natural need to be accepted by others, we should not make social approval the basis for our security. Instead of wondering how others view or how they feel about us, we should learn to be comfortable with ourselves.
9. “I have no idea what to choose.”
Taking time to make a decision is alright. However, this can make us sound as if we lack the confidence of making a decision. When we’re daunted by decision-making, it makes people see us as weak and lacking the ability to make a stand. Instead of saying this, we may want to say that we’re still unsure as of now but will think about the best thing for us.
Insecurity and the lack of confidence can greatly impact the way we deal with people and situations. The words that we say can say a lot about us. However, it’s best to start feeling good about ourselves by embracing everything that we are, including our flaws. We don’t need other people’s approval and avoiding these phrases that demonstrate a lack of self-confidence can make us feel stronger and bolder.