10 phrases only authentic and genuine people use, according to psychologists

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to form immediate close bonds with others? 

Or why you feel a sense of trust and acceptance whenever you’re around particular people…

It’s all about authenticity.

Authentic people are a breath of fresh air in a world full of facades, personas, and alternative motives. So it’s no surprise we gravitate towards these people and wish to be more like them.

If you’re wondering how authentic people come across as so, well, genuine and want to know how you can “take a leaf out of their book,” read on.

Here are ten phrases that psychologists say only authentic people use…

1) “I respect that”

Have you noticed that authentic people treat everyone with respect?

This is known as “respectful authenticity,” a term coined by Robert Glazer, author of ‘Friday Forward.’ 

According to Robert, this concept refers to the “ability to be genuine and real, as well as respectful of others feelings and perspectives.”

Considering this, if you tell a genuine person you are uncomfortable doing something, you can expect a sincere response, such as “I respect your boundaries.”

Because of their high respect, authentic people never pressure or guilt trip others into getting their way. Nor will they judge you for your decisions or views. 

Along with being respectful, genuine people are open-minded, so they can acknowledge the validity of differing viewpoints, even those that do not align with their own. 

So if someone says “I respect your opinion/boundary” to you, know that this is not just mere tolerance. It is a sign of their genuine appreciation for diversity of thought.

2) “I was wrong”

Admitting you are wrong demonstrates a willingness to take ownership of your actions.

Genuine people can accept accountability for any harm they may have caused without taking a hit to their ego.

And when they admit they are wrong, genuine people aren’t just saying it to get people off their backs. Instead, it’s because they genuinely desire to rectify their past errors. 

Admitting you are wrong requires vulnerability and humility. 

While it can be uncomfortable to admit your wrongdoings, authentic people know it is essential to build trust and transparency in their relationships and grow as individuals.

Their ability to be vulnerable also means they are ok with failing, which is why they will often say the following phrase, too…

3) “I made a mistake”

Genuine people don’t shy away from acknowledging when they have faltered because they recognize that admitting their mistakes is a crucial step toward personal growth. 

When they say, “I made a mistake,” they take ownership of their actions and demonstrate integrity and honesty. 

This phrase fosters an environment of trust and accountability, where others feel safe acknowledging their imperfections and working towards positive change. 

That’s why many people feel they can open up and tell the truth when they’re around authentic people.

Moreover, genuine people don’t just admit their mistakes and move on. 

As accepting failure is linked to growth, they are always keen to learn how to improve so they don’t repeat the same mistake. So you’ll likely hear them also ask this question…

4) “How can I do better next time?”

When an authentic person asks, “How can I do better next time?” They demonstrate a genuine willingness to learn from their experiences and feedback. 

This phrase reflects humility and a growth mindset, which, according to the American Psychological Association, is “the belief that a person’s intelligence and abilities can grow and improve with practice.”

When people have a growth mindset, they are constantly seeking ways to enhance their actions and interactions. 

They do this by seeking constructive feedback from people they respect and admire.

So, if someone asks you this question, know they want to learn from YOU.

5) “I need help”

As authentic people are not afraid to ask for feedback, they are open to help.

While most people view asking for help as a sign of weakness, authentic people don’t. This is because they are truly secure and don’t care what others think about them.

Instead, they demonstrate humility and recognize their limitations by expressing vulnerability and reaching out for support.

They know they cannot excel in everything, so they don’t try to be perfect. 

Their egos do not drive them. So, they find it easy to lean on others for support.

Moreover, authentic people understand that admitting they need help creates opportunities for collaboration while fostering a sense of trust and reciprocity in their relationships.


To genuine people, help is a two-way street. They are not all take and no give. 

Instead, genuine people are often among the most generous, so they say phrases like…

6) “I’m here for you”

If you’re struggling and need help, an authentic person is someone you’ll want on your team.

People who are authentic value trust, mutual respect, and collaboration, so they always have the back of those they love and respect. 

When an authentic person says, “I’m here for you,” it is not an empty promise. 

They are not saying it because they think it’s the right thing to say but because they genuinely want you to know they are available and committed to helping you.

It shows a willingness to listen, empathize, and support others through both the good times and the bad,

And because empathy goes hand in hand with gratitude, authentic people frequently express their appreciation…

7) “I appreciate you”

Research has found that the same part of the brain (the medial prefrontal cortex) is engaged when a person practices empathy or gratitude.

Thus, by practicing one of these qualities, you, in turn, strengthen the other one.

This explains why authentic people rate high in both empathy and gratitude

Authentic people value presence and connection. As they are more present in their interactions than others, they can better recognize the unique qualities of each individual.

So, when they say, “I appreciate you/ your help,” they acknowledge and value your contribution to their life. 

Thus, to an authentic person, this phrase is much more than a simple thank you!

8) “Let’s agree to disagree”

Because authentic people are not driven by their ego, they don’t have a ‘need’ to always be right.

So, if you disagree with an authentic person, they won’t prolong the conflict just to prove their point or get the last word.

Instead, once they realize you both have differing viewpoints, they will say, “Let’s agree to disagree.”

Note that this doesn’t mean they are backing down or giving in to you. 

Instead, agreeing to disagree is a sign of respect. It shows they are willing to engage in a discussion without it resorting to conflict or judgment. 

9) “This doesn’t feel right”

Psychological research suggests that decisions based on intuition are associated with greater authenticity.

Thus, because authentic people are attuned to their innermost feelings and beliefs, they have a stronger gut instinct and intuition than others. 

And their commitment to always be authentic means they trust their instincts.

So, you’ll often notice genuine people make decisions based on their intuition. 

If something feels wrong, they’ll experience a niggling “warning sign” from within and so will feel uncomfortable pursuing that particular thing further. 

So when someone says, “This doesn’t feel right,” they are honoring their feelings and listening to their inner voice.

Alternatively, when genuine people agree to something, they do so because they “feel” a resounding YES from within.

10) “How are you really doing?”

“How are you?” is one of the most frequently used phrases in the English language, yet most people ask this question as a form of mere formality of politeness.

The truth is, most people don’t care how you are, so they don’t expect you to give an honest answer.


Authentic people do care. They genuinely want to know how you are, so they phrase the question differently. 

They will ask, “How are you really doing?” emphasizing the ‘really’ to show they are sincerely interested.

This is because authentic people prioritize genuine connection and empathy in their interactions. 

According to Travis Bradberry, author of ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0’, authentic people dislike small talk and seek depth, even in short, everyday conversations. 

That’s why the more authentic a person is, the more space they can create for vulnerability and emotional expression in their relationships, fostering trust and intimacy.

Final thoughts

These ten phrases reflect a commitment to honesty, humility, and empathy. So, if you want to become more authentic, start using these phrases in your interactions. 

However, you’ll still need to do the work to develop the positive traits described above. 

Authenticity is a practice and a way of life. While it may be challenging to let go of your ego and turn away from societal expectations, true freedom comes from connecting with your most authentic self!

Gemma Clarke

I am a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher and an experienced content writer in the spirituality and personal growth space.
I’m passionate about sharing my expertise through the power of
words to inspire and guide others along the path of personal and spiritual development.

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