If someone uses these 11 phrases in a conversation, they lack self-confidence

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

When you’re confident, you attract people around you. You also leave a strong impression on them, and they’ll go about their day still thinking about you. 

You have to admit, that’s a cool skill to have, and yes, it’s a skill you can learn and be good at. 

But the thing is, most people don’t have the patience to learn and practice how to be more self-confident. 

They’ll make the same mistakes all the other insecure and less confident people make. 

And that’s what this article is about. You’ll discover what phrases people use in a conversation that show they lack self-confidence and which ones to use instead. 

So, let’s see what they are.

1) “I’m not sure, but…”

On a social level, confidence helps you connect with others. It sets off a positive chain reaction, attracting people and opportunities

On the other side, phrases like, “I’m not sure, but…” signal hesitation and a lack of conviction. 

When you start your sentence or train of thought with, “I’m not sure,” you’re straightaway suggesting you have qualms about your own knowledge or opinion, possibly due to a fear of being wrong or a lack of confidence.

So, if you want to seem more assured and like you know what you’re doing, you need to learn how to communicate confidently and actively work on building self-confidence.

2) “I could be wrong, but…”

Confident people inspire trust and make others feel secure. That’s why when you start with, “I could be wrong, but…” you introduce doubt right from the start. 

You share your insecurity with others, suggesting you’re not entirely confident in what you’re about to say.

Picture it like this: you’re giving directions to a friend, and you say, “I could be wrong, but I think you turn left here.” 

You introduce a hint of uncertainty, making your friend wonder if they should trust your directions at all.

Next time, simply use “I believe” or “In my opinion” so you sound more confident.

3) “I don’t know if I’m making sense, but…”

Oh, boy. Where do we even start with this one? The insecurity is oozing out of this statement like a leaky pen on a white shirt. 

You’re basically saying sorry before you even speak, assuming you’ll confuse or bother the listener. This sets a negative tone before they even hear your full message.

If you catch yourself using this phrase frequently, try a more direct approach. Instead of doubting yourself, use, “Let me explain this to you” or “Does that make sense?”

As you can see, the difference is night and day. You’re sounding way more confident, and you’re engaging with the listener. 

4) “Maybe it’s just me, but…”

Phrases that show self-doubt often affect how others see your skills and reliability. Being aware of your language and making an effort to replace insecure expressions with more positive ones can make a big difference in boosting your self-confidence.

So, instead of saying, “Maybe it’s just me, but…,” confidently express your thoughts with a more direct statement:

  • “I’ve noticed that…”
  • “I’ve found that…”
  • “I think that…”
  • “In my opinion…”

Again, there’s quite a difference, don’t you agree? 

Or, why not skip this phrase entirely and simply state your opinion or idea directly? It helps make your point more clearly and invites others to share their thoughts, too.

5) “I don’t want to bother you, but…”

When someone says, “I don’t want to bother you, but…” they’re usually trying to be polite or considerate, stating that they’re aware of the other person’s time or potential inconvenience.

At the same time, this phrase undermines the importance of what they want to say or ask. 

If you want to ask a question, you can be more direct and confident. For instance:

  • “I have a quick question about…”
  • “Can I talk to you about something important?”
  • “I’d like your advice on…”

When you’re straightforward, you ensure that your message is precise, and you communicate your needs or thoughts confidently.

6) “This might be a silly idea, but…”

By labeling your idea as potentially silly, you diminish its value before others can evaluate it. 

This self-deprecation simply and effectively undermines the credibility of the idea and reflects a lack of confidence you obviously have.

I know what you’re trying to do, all right? You’re downplaying the idea to avoid sounding foolish.  

But you’re also making it seem less important by framing it that way. Again, sharing your idea without a prefix is much better. 

As is saying, “I’d like to share an idea…,” “I was thinking about something…,” or, “I’m not sure if it’s possible, but here’s an idea…”

7) “I don’t know if you’ll agree, but…”

When you say something like that, you’re unsure if the person you’re talking to will share the same opinion. 

You’re trying to manage expectations and admit you may have a completely different opinion, right? 

You’re trying to avoid confrontation and soften the impact of your opinion, especially if you think it’s controversial or different. 

What you need to do is embrace your perspective and run with it. Life is too short to hold back, and, anyway, how boring would conversations be if everyone agreed with each other all the time? 

8) “Don’t listen to me, but…”

With this one, you’re directly pleading for others to disregard your opinion. Sure, you’re trying to sound humble and honest, but you’re not helping your case. 

Besides, self-confidence is more than just being charming. It’s a powerful force that shapes your life by influencing relationships, career paths, and your overall well-being.

Simply put, when you’re confident, you naturally show who you truly are. This makes it easier for people to connect with you because they see the real you. 

Confidence allows you to speak your mind openly, which helps communication and understanding between you and others.

9) “I don’t want to sound dumb, but…”

When you say, “I don’t want to sound dumb, but…” you’re worried about coming across as not very smart before sharing an idea or asking a question.

Look, no one wants to appear stupid or uninformed. Still, remember that everyone has unique perspectives, and it’s okay to share ideas without feeling like you might sound unintelligent. 

Over and over again, I realize how everyone’s ideas are valuable, and expressing them with confidence leads to more positive and open conversations.

10) “This might not be right, but…”

When you start your exchange with something like this, what does that say about you? That you’re insecure and that what you’re about to say is possibly wrong. Ouch.

That’s not ideal, is it? 

Confident people are more likely to persevere through setbacks and maintain focus on long-term objectives.

They trust their judgment and are more likely to take calculated risks. A confident mindset also allows you to approach life with a positive outlook.

One where you see obstacles as chances for evolution instead of unconquerable barriers. 

Plus, confidence is heavily intertwined with self-esteem, and a healthy level of both is central to a more fulfilling and satisfying life.

11) “I’m probably not the best person to ask, but…”

Wow, talking about a way to downplay your expertise and advice. Again, you’re trying to be humble and down-to-earth, or you’re just insecure. 

Either way, it’s not a good way to start your thought. 

When someone’s confident, it makes others trust them more. They believe in themselves, and that belief helps build strong connections.

Why it’s important to be self-confident

Confident people dream big and believe they can achieve those dreams. This positivity makes them work hard, overcome challenges, and reach impressive goals. 

They have a strong motivation that pushes them toward success, whether it’s personal goals or at work.

Ultimately, self-confidence empowers you to take control of your life. It gives you the courage to pursue your passions, express your opinions, and actively shape your own destiny.

Now, go get them!

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

7 important insights from Sigmund Freud that will help you understand others better

9 clear signs your partner is madly in love, even if they don’t say it