No one is confident a hundred percent of the time.
Even the people we deem confident feel insecure sometimes. Want to know how they appear confident most of the time?
It’s how they speak. The words they choose. How they talk to other people.
So how do I emulate their behavior to become a confident person myself?
Read more below to learn the 9 things confident people never use in conversations that you must remove from your vocabulary as well if you want to be more confident!
1) “I’m not sure, but…”
When expressing their opinion, confident people don’t preface what they’re going to say with “I’m not sure.”
Even if you are truly unsure, saying so automatically undermines whatever it is you’re going to say. This makes you appear less confident, which makes people deem you insecure of your ideas and opinions.
In order to appear confident, omit the “I’m not sure” or replace it with “I think.” This will instantly make you sound more confident.
It allows you to simply express your opinion or share your ideas, of course without being closed off to the ideas of other people.
2) “…but I don’t know”
Usually, admitting that you don’t know is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
However, when in casual conversation, and you end your thoughts and opinions with “…but I don’t know,” it’s neither a sign of weakness or strength, but of insecurity.
When you are asked your opinion on something, or a friend asks you for advice, it’s best to omit the “I don’t know” at the end, because you DO know. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t even bother giving your opinion, would you?
Removing “I don’t know” from your vocabulary can make you sound so much more confident, because you’re showing the other person that you know enough about the issue at hand to give your opinion.
On a similar note, saying “that’s just my opinion, though” to punctuate your ideas signals insecurity.
3) “That’s just my opinion, though”
Confident people are never, ever guilty of saying “that’s just my opinion.”
This is because they know that when they’re expressing an opinion, people already know. That’s why they’re talking! They don’t have to make it clear that it’s their opinion, as it is already apparent that it’s coming out of their own mouth.
When you say “that’s just my opinion,” the intention is usually not to tell people that it is, in fact, your opinion, but to show them that they don’t have to listen, if they don’t want to. If it’s advice, they don’t have to follow it, if they don’t want to.
That means that insecurity is the underlying factor. You have an opinion, but you’re not sure people will believe you, so you punctuate it with “that’s just my opinion.”
If you want to appear more confident, it’s best to omit it from your sentences. This will give you more authority over the conversation, and will show people that you’re confident in your ideas.
4) “I just…”
Most of us are guilty of prefacing our sentences with “just,” which is what sets confident people apart—they’ve learned to omit this from their vocabulary. They never say:
“I just want to talk.”
“I just want to say…”
“I just want to ask…”
You might mistake it for politeness, but saying “just” actually shows the other person your obvious self-doubt.
Even I have been guilty of the habit of saying “just” too much, whether it’s in my personal conversations, in online chat, or in my work emails.
However, when I omitted just from my sentences, I found that it doesn’t only make me sound assertive, but also confident!
This is because “just” softens our tone—it almost makes you sound as if you’re begging, rather than simply asking for something, and that’s why confident people have learned to completely omit it from their vocabulary.
Similarly, adding “actually” in your sentences can also show a lack of confidence.
5) “I actually…”
Depending on the context, the word “actually” can either sound condescending or show insecurity.
For example, when you reply to an expert with “actually” followed by something you’d rather believe over their expert opinion, it makes you sound rude and condescending.
On the other hand, when you’re expressing your opinion, saying something along the lines of “I actually disagree” or “I actually have a question” makes you sound insecure.
There’s a fine line between the two, but in this context, we’re talking about the latter. In this context, confident people never say “actually.”
This is because when you use actually to soften your sentences, it usually means you’re afraid of correcting the other person, or coming off as rude. However, if you’re confident enough to believe you’re right, you don’t have to use “actually.”
You will seem a lot more confident when you omit this adverb from your vocabulary, because it shows people that you’re confident enough in your abilities to express an opinion without the fear of being rude.
Every one of us should learn to say sorry when we’ve made a mistake, but when you’re simply in casual conversation, better to omit the “sorry.”
“Sorry, but I just wanted to ask…”
This is a big NO-NO. As you can see, it’s a double whammy, saying both “sorry” and “just” from our previous example. Even the “I wanted to ask” is showing a bit of insecurity.
In order to sound more confident, simply ask the question. No “sorry,” no “just,” no “I wanted to ask.” Don’t be sorry for asking a simple question. Better yet, don’t be sorry for expressing a harmless opinion, or for expressing your ideas in front of a group of people.
When you do these unapologetically, you’re showing people that you’re confident, you’re sure you have good ideas, and you’re not someone to be trifled with.
7) “Kind of” or “sort of”
When you mean something wholeheartedly, it doesn’t translate into your words when you use “kind of” or “sort of.”
Like most of the phrases we’ve previously discussed, you might mistake saying “kind of” or “sort of” as simple politeness, when it actually undermines whatever you’re going to say next.
You’re basically setting yourself up to not being taken seriously when you sprinkle “kind of” or “sort of” in your sentences.
For example, when you say “I kind of want to try something else,” when you really, truly want to try something new, you’re telling the other person that you want to try something else, but not really, since you said “kind of.”
You want to try something else, but you’re afraid of offending them, so you soften it with “sort of.”
Instead of saying this, simply say “I want to try something else.” This shows that you’re a hundred percent serious, confident, and straightforward in your desire to try something new.
Likewise, saying “I guess” reveals insecurity.
8) “I guess”
Confident people never say “I guess” when they’re asked a simple yes or no question.
This is because when a person asks you something, saying “I guess” instead of a direct yes or no shows a lack of confidence.
“Do you want to eat outside?”
It can also cause a misunderstanding, because it shows that you’re not a hundred percent sure or a hundred percent up for whatever they’re inviting you to. It also shows that you’re not sure what you want, which confident people rarely ever do.
Instead of saying I guess, just say “yes” or “no.” Pro tip: if you’re not a hundred percent up for it, the answer is no.
9) “I’ll try”
When a confident person is asked to do something, they don’t answer with “I’ll try.”
Instead, they answer with a straightforward yes or no. Similarly, you can say “I can do it” if you can, or “I can’t” if you’re not capable.
This is because usually, when you say “I’ll try,” you either perceive that as being humble even if you know wholeheartedly that you can accomplish the task, or you’re not sure you can do it.
If the latter is the case, there’s no shame in saying you’re not capable of doing it yet, whatever your reason may be. It’s better to answer with a confident “no” than an unsure, insecure “I’ll try.”
On the other hand, if the task at hand is something you’re not experienced with yet but you truly want to try, it’s better to say “I can try” than “I’ll try.”
By saying “I can,” you’re showing that you’re confident enough to try, even if it’s uncharted waters!