People who need constant reassurance usually use these 9 subtle phrases

I have both anxiety and OCD.

This is the reason why I need reassurance like I need air.

I constantly need to know that my partner still loves me, that I’m performing well at my job, that I’m not dying.

And while I’m trying my best to not overthink and become more self-assured, I can’t help but bother people sometimes.

I ask them some variation of “am I okay?” or “will I be okay?”

Annoying, I know. Trust me—I don’t like this about myself, either. 

It’s just that I just really, really need to know that I’m alright.

If you’re wondering whether you (or someone you know) has a constant need for reassurance, pay attention if they use these subtle phrases.

1) “Really?!”

They’re not content with hearing good news once. They have to hear it again and again and again!

First, so that it will sink in—after all, they find all good news about them too good to be true.

But after that, they still need to hear it again and again to reassure themselves that things haven’t changed.

So if you told them that you have chosen to fund their project, they won’t jump for joy. Their initial reaction would be suspicion. They’d ask “really?”

Then a day will pass, even a week, and they’d still ask you “Hey, are you really sure?”

This is rooted in poor self-esteem. They probably have impostor syndrome and they don’t know just how good they are.

2) “Hey, are we good?”

When their relationship becomes calm, they’d think their partner’s love for them has faded.

And that’s when they ask “Hey, are we good?”

This isn’t limited to romantic relationships either.

They ask this same question to their friends if they sense that they’re pulling away or if they’re being unusually quiet.

Be patient with them. They’re probably wondering about so many things already—things like “What did I do wrong?” or  “What if they met someone new?” or “Am I boring?”

Just reassure them calmly and even thank them for communicating their worries. 

They probably experienced trauma that has made them extra vigilant of the small changes in their relationships.

I am like this and I realize it only happened after I experienced a traumatic event. 

I was very trusting of my ex. When he went climbing for days, I didn’t worry at all. When he pulled away, I thought it was just a normal phase in our relationship…well, I was wrong.

He cheated on me. And thanks to that experience, I’m now hypervigilant in my relationships.

3) “Tell me you haven’t changed your mind.”

Let’s say you had a plan to do something together—maybe a business, a beach trip…anything!

Even if you already said you’re interested, they’d still bug you.

A week after,  they’d DM you to ask “Hey, you’re still on, right?” or “You haven’t changed your mind, have you?”

They don’t just need 70% commitment, they need 100% commitment from you. And if possible, 500%.

They probably have trust issues because they experienced too many people not following through with their promises.

Instead of saying “Why are you so annoying. Now I want to change my mind”, I urge you to be kinder. Not everyone is born calm and self-assured. 

4) “I’m not good at this…but at least I tried!”

This is the kind of phrase that when you hear it, you have no choice but to reassure them.

It might seem like they’re a narcissist fishing for compliments, but they’re actually just an insecure person fishing for reassurance.

They want you to say “Don’t say that. Of course, you’re good!” or “Are you blind? You’re really talented!”

These people have voices in their head that tell them that they’re awful. If you really care for them, don’t make them belittle themselves even more by saying “Ugh, attention-seeker!”.

If you’re already impatient, then address their anxiety instead. Tell them “hey, I notice you belittle yourself a lot. It’s not healthy for you.”

5) “Do you think it’s a good idea?”

They’d suggest an idea and even if you’re obviously enthusiastic about it—you even told them it’s brilliant!—they’d still ask you “Do you think it’s a good idea?”

It’s like they just don’t trust you enough…but the real story is that they don’t trust themselves enough.

In their head, they’re wondering if you were just flattering them when you said “It’s brilliant!”

Don’t feel bad. 

It’s not because they’re thinking you’re a smooth talker or a liar…it’s because they think they’re not good at anything.

6) “OMG, I’m the worst!”

Self-deprecation is their hobby.

They say things like “Ugh, I’m so ugly” or “Ugh, why did I ever think I’m good at this?”

Again, unless they’re also a narcissist, they’re not just saying these things to get an ego boost.

In fact, they’d say the same things to themselves even when you’re not around. They actually do think they’re not good enough.

People who need constant reassurance suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety. 

They feel like people are constantly judging their every move and they’d rather put themselves down first before others beat them to it. That way, it won’t hurt as bad.

7) “Just checking’”

If they’re waiting for results—whether it’s for a blood test or a job application—they can’t stay put and relax.

They’d keep calling or emailing the people in charge so they’d at least know how many hours they need to wait. 

They’d “calmly” say they’re just checking as if it’s not an annoying thing to do but trust me—they know how annoying they are…they just can’t help it.

They just feel like they have no choice but to ask.

All they really need is to be assured that everything will be alright. Otherwise, they won’t be able to eat, sleep, or have any kind of fun.

8) “I know you can find a better man/ woman.”

When they’re in a relationship, they want to always know that their partner still fancies them—that they’ll remain loyal to them for the rest of their life.

That’s why when they feel a bit ugly or boring or undeserving of love, they’d say this line.

But of course, they don’t want to be too annoying so they’ll usually say it like it’s just a joke.

What they want is for their beloved to tell them “Never. You’re the only one for me” or “That’s impossible. You know I love you!”

It’s their insecurities bugging them and the only cure is hearing those sweet words.

9) “Do you think I’m just wasting my time?”

Even if they’re really good at what they do, if they’re the kind of person who needs constant reassurance, they’d always question themselves.

They’d call their closest friends and family and ask them “Be honest, do you think I’m just wasting my time?”

Of course, no one will say “yes” because that would be an awful thing to do. That’s why they ask this question because it’s a surefire way to get reassurance.

When they ask you this question, they’re actually not asking a question. They’re begging you—“please be kind to me and just tell me I’m good enough.”

Final thoughts

Insecurity, trust issues, OCD, anxiety…these are just some reasons why someone constantly needs reassurance.

So if this article has made you realize you’re this kind of person, don’t feel bad. You’re not “attention-seeking” or “vain”.

The truth is that every person on earth needs reassurance—we just need it more than others. 

If you want to become better, simply work on yourself and find ways to self-soothe.

What’s helped me so far is therapy and daily meditation. But there are still times that I go back to my usual insecure and paranoid self. 

But you know what? I don’t hate myself for being this way anymore. 

I can improve myself, but I know I can’t turn myself into a totally different person.

If you know someone who constantly needs reassurance, please be gentle with them. If they’re not bothering you that much, give them some reassuring words from time to time—even if they don’t use these phrases. 

After all, we’re here to help each other, not hate each other for our flaws and quirks.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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