If someone uses these 9 phrases in a conversation, they lack self-confidence

There’s a thin line between humility and lack of self-confidence.

The difference is all about perception. Lack of self-confidence often surfaces in conversations, masked behind words that subtly expose one’s insecurities.

Humility, in contrast, is the ability to acknowledge one’s shortcomings without compromising on self-worth.

As someone who’s been there, I can tell you that certain phrases are dead giveaways of a lack of self-confidence. And trust me, recognizing these phrases can be the first step towards boosting your self-esteem.

Below are the nine phrases people with low confidence often use.

Let’s dive in.

1) “I’m sorry, but…”

Communication is a delicate dance, one that requires balance and finesse. And for those who lack self-confidence, this dance often begins with an unnecessary apology.

The phrase “I’m sorry, but…” is a classic sign of low self-esteem. It’s a defensive mechanism, a way to soften the blow before expressing an opinion or making a statement.

Apologizing for having an opinion or a thought reflects a fear of confrontation, a fear of not being accepted or liked. It’s as if you’re asking for permission to express yourself.

But here’s the thing – your thoughts and opinions are valid. They have value. You don’t need to apologize for them.

Recognizing this as an issue is the first step to overcoming it. Swap “I’m sorry, but…” with “I believe…” or “I think…”. Assert yourself without the unnecessary apology cloak.

You have as much right to speak and be heard as anyone else in the conversation.

2) “I guess…”

Personal experience has taught me that the phrase “I guess…” is another sign of low self-confidence.

I remember back in college, I had this tendency to start my sentences with “I guess…”. It was my way of sharing my thoughts without actually owning them. I was worried that if I stated my opinions directly, people might judge or disagree with me.

So, I would say things like “I guess we could try this method for the project…” instead of confidently suggesting, “Let’s try this method for the project…”. It was a subtle way of distancing myself from my ideas, just in case they weren’t well-received.

Looking back, I realize it was a clear sign of my lack of confidence. By using “I guess…”, I was essentially saying that my thoughts were merely guesses and not well thought out ideas.

If this sounds familiar to you, it’s time to start owning your thoughts and expressing them confidently. Your ideas are valuable, don’t undersell them!

3) “Does that make sense?”

The phrase “Does that make sense?” is a common one among those who lack self-confidence. It subtly implies that you don’t trust your ability to communicate effectively or that you doubt the value of what you’re saying.

Interestingly, studies in communication psychology suggest that asking for validation in this way can actually undermine the impact of your message. By questioning the clarity or value of your own words, you inadvertently encourage others to do the same.

Instead of seeking validation, trust in your ability to communicate effectively. If someone needs clarification, they’ll ask for it. So, drop the “Does that make sense?” and stand by your words with confidence.

4) “I’m no expert, but…”

“I’m no expert, but…” is a phrase that many of us use when we’re unsure of our knowledge or abilities. It’s a qualifier, a way to shield ourselves from potential criticism or disagreement.

But here’s the catch. When you use this phrase, you’re essentially setting yourself up to be dismissed or overlooked. It’s as if you’re saying, “Feel free to ignore me because I don’t really know what I’m talking about.”

Instead of downplaying your knowledge or skills, embrace them. You have unique experiences and insights that others can learn from.

Ditch the “I’m no expert, but…” and trust in your worth and capabilities.

5) “Maybe it’s just me…”

“Maybe it’s just me…” is another phrase that’s commonly used by those who lack self-confidence. It’s a subtle way of distancing oneself from an opinion or observation, as if to avoid potential disagreement or criticism.

This phrase reflects a fear of standing out or being different. It suggests that you’re unsure of your own perceptions and experiences, and that you’re willing to dismiss them if others don’t agree.

But remember, your perceptions and experiences are valid, even if they’re not shared by everyone else. So instead of saying “Maybe it’s just me…”, own your thoughts and feelings. You can say, “This is how I see it…” or “In my experience…”.

It’s okay to be different. Embrace your uniqueness and express yourself with confidence.

6) “I don’t want to bother you but…”

This is a phrase that tugs at my heartstrings – “I don’t want to bother you but…”. It’s often used by those who lack self-confidence, a subtle indication of feeling unworthy of someone’s time or attention.

When you use this phrase, you’re essentially apologizing for taking up space or for having needs. And that can be a heartbreaking reflection of how you see your worth.

But let me tell you this – you are not a bother. Your thoughts, your feelings, your needs – they matter. You deserve to take up space. You deserve to be heard. You deserve to have your needs met.

So, instead of saying “I don’t want to bother you but…”, assert yourself. You can say, “Can I have a moment of your time?” or “I need to discuss something with you.”

Remember, you are worthy and deserving. Don’t let anyone – including yourself – make you feel otherwise.

7) “It was nothing…”

I’ve often found myself dismissing my achievements with the phrase, “It was nothing…”. It’s a way of brushing off compliments or downplaying success, often used by those who lack self-confidence.

There was a time when I worked tirelessly on a project, put in countless hours, and even sacrificed my weekends. But when the project was a success and my team members praised my hard work, I simply said, “It was nothing…”.

In retrospect, I realize that it wasn’t ‘nothing’. It was the result of my dedication and hard work. By dismissing it, I was undermining my own efforts and abilities.

If this resonates with you, remember that your achievements are worth celebrating. Don’t downplay your success. Instead of saying “It was nothing…”, express gratitude for the recognition and take pride in your work. You’ve earned it!

8) “I’m just lucky…”

“I’m just lucky…” is another phrase that people often use to downplay their achievements or skills. By attributing success to luck, they avoid acknowledging their own efforts or abilities.

This phrase reflects a lack of self-confidence and a fear of owning one’s success. It’s as if you’re saying that you don’t deserve the praise or recognition, that it’s all just a result of chance.

But remember, luck may play a part in success, but it’s not the whole picture. Your efforts, your skills, your dedication – these are what truly drive your achievements.

So instead of saying “I’m just lucky…”, acknowledge your hard work. You can say, “I worked really hard for this…” or “I’m grateful for my skills…”.

Own your success. You’ve earned it!

9) “I can’t…”

“I can’t…” is perhaps the most harmful phrase someone lacking self-confidence can use. It immediately sets up a barrier, a limitation that you impose on yourself.

This phrase is more than just an expression of doubt or uncertainty. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. By telling yourself that you can’t do something, you’re already setting yourself up for failure.

But here’s the truth – you are capable. You are resilient. You have the potential to learn, grow, and overcome challenges.

So, replace “I can’t…” with “I will try…”. Believe in your abilities. Embrace the possibility of success. Because you are stronger than you think, and you can achieve more than you believe.

Final thought: It’s all about self-belief

The complexities of human communication and self-perception are deeply intertwined with our core beliefs about ourselves.

At the heart of this is our self-confidence, or sometimes, the lack thereof. This lack can often surface in our conversations, subtly revealing itself through phrases that undermine our self-worth.

But here’s the thing – you are capable, you are valuable, and you have every right to express your thoughts and opinions without apology or hesitation.

The journey towards building self-confidence starts with recognizing these undermining phrases and consciously replacing them with words that reflect your worth and capabilities.

Whether it’s asserting your thoughts in a meeting, embracing your achievements, or standing by your opinions in a debate, it’s crucial to remember that your voice matters.

So next time you find yourself about to utter one of these phrases, pause. Reflect. Choose words that truly reflect your worth and capabilities.

After all, the language we use shapes not only how others perceive us, but also how we perceive ourselves.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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