10 phrases only confident people use, according to psychology

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There’s something about self-confident people and how they always seem to say the right words at the right time.

While some of us can get all tongue-tied, they never seem to.

And that’s because—deep down— they know they matter.

So how do they do it?

Are you curious about their arsenal of words? 

Here are 10 phrases only confident people use, according to psychology.

1) “No.”

One word, two letters, and a full sentence for the truly confident.

“No” is the ability to set firm boundaries.

It’s saying “I care for you, and I care for myself, too.”

Want to know how you can advocate for yourself and your needs?

Just say “No.”

It’s saying “I have my limits because I care for my well being…whether you respect that or not, my actions will remain the same.”

The ones who always wear themselves are those who say “yes” to everyone.  It’s as if they simply can’t refuse.

This is why people-pleasing, and a lack of self-confidence and self-worth are close cousins.

And the practice of saying “No” is the one-word army confident people use to defeat it all.

2) “Thank you.”

 In the film Mean Girls, queen bee Regina says, “You’re really pretty,” and Cady replies, “Thank you.” 

“So you agree, that you’re pretty?,” and with that confidence, she became one of the most popular girls in school.

Confident people know how to accept and receive compliments with grace.

Tell them “I really like your work,” and confident people will not dismiss nor doubt it.

They’ll say, “Thank you.”

Confident people also use “thank you” where others would say “sorry.” 

“I’m sorry I have to reschedule our meeting,” a less confident person would say. 

“Thank you for allowing flexibility,” a truly confident person would say instead. 

And turns out, “Thank you” not only boosts self-confidence, it also makes people around you feel better and helps foster better relationships, according to sociologist Maja Jovanović.

But  if praise makes you uncomfortable, don’t worry.

Psychologist Guy Winch clarifies that while people with low self-esteem often have discomfort with receiving compliments, it doesn’t automatically mean ALL people who feel that way are insecure.

You could just be normal like the 70% of us who cringe with compliments.

3) “I respectfully disagree.”

According to psychology, healthy self-esteem can develop self-confidence, and self-confidence leads to assertiveness. 

This is the reason why confident people know how to communicate assertively. 

If there’s something that they don’t agree with, they’d speak up!

They’re not scared of shaking the status quo, of questioning authority, nor having a dialogue. 

They believe that their thoughts and opinions are just as important.

Confident people don’t avoid conflict and disagreements, because they have an understanding and appreciation of each person’s differences.

But of course, they do everything with respect. Being cocky is different from having self-confidence.

4) “Hear me out.”

Confident people are not just assertive, they’re expressive, too.

If they have a good idea and they feel like you’re not being open, they’ll ask you to listen.

If they have something they really want to say, they’ll request a good time to be heard. Yep, even if they know it’s not the smartest or greatest. 

And (gasp) even if they know they could be wrong, they’ll play devil’s advocate, too!

They don’t ever pretend nor try to be perfect.

They can do this because they have a growth mindset

They know that they can learn and grow by putting themselves out there and expressing what’s on their mind instead of just keeping quiet.

And rest assured, you will have your turn because confident people also know how to actively listen and give their full attention.

5) “Thanks for your feedback.”

Tell them you think their concept is a bit blah and they will just say “Honest feedback. Now that’s what I want to hear! Suggestions on how I can make it better?”

Tell them their salad needs more salt and they’d just laugh and pass the salt to you.

People who are truly self-confident know they’re a work-in-progress…and so they don’t get hurt by negative feedback so easily.

What’s more, they also know that every person has their own preferences and opinions.

So while they’ll say “Thank you for the feedback,” it  doesn’t always mean they’ll do as you said. In fact, they might still do the exact opposite!

One thing’s for sure though, confident people don’t waste feedback—they ponder it, sift through to find insight and gauge if it’s on point. And once they’re convinced, they’d build it into their project, or even their character. 

As David Brinkley said, “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”—and this is exactly what confident people do.

6) “You’re awesome!”

The truly self-confident have the ability to praise others in a genuine way.

After all, they have a healthy self-esteem!

They know their own gifts, so telling others they’re awesome won’t make them feel any less. 

Actually, they’re even proud of their ability to spot awesomeness.

If it’s a diamond in the rough, they’ll be so encouraging because it makes them feel good to contribute to making others shine.

Besides, they know that there’s no competition.

They’re confident because they believe that we all have our own unique skills and expertise. 

So if others are exceptional in one field, they’ll be beaming with happiness for them. 

Anyway, they’ve got their own turf of brilliance, plus other growth zones to expand on!

7) “When I become successful…”

“It’s not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when” is the mantra of truly self-confident people.

That’s why they don’t say “IF I become successful”, they say “WHEN I become successful.”.

They don’t say “IF I publish my book”, but “WHEN I publish my book.”

Unlike those who are lacking in self-confidence, the truly self-confident knows that their dreams are within their reach.

Why? 

It’s because they’re working on it one step at a time. Whatever their goal may be, they are charting their way. 

And if they hit a roadblock? 

They’ll just find another course or another perspective from which to take action from.

Sure they’ll take a break, but that’s because they can without the anxiety that they’ll fail.

8) “I suck at that!”

Self-awareness is the ability to assess your own self—from your thoughts, your feelings, your strengths and weaknesses.

And self-confident people are very much self-aware!

They know their strengths and they’re happy about them. But they also know their weaknesses.

While those who are insecure are ashamed or in denial of their weaknesses, the truly self-confident ones are totally fine with them!

They know that they can’t be good at everything…and that’s just okay.

They still like themselves anyway!

More importantly, because confident people know what they’re terrible at AND what they’re excellent at, they make brilliant collaborators. 

They won’t overstep their expertise and will trust you to perform at your best, while complementing your weakness with their gifts. 

9) “I apologize.”

A person lacking self-confidence would have a hard time acknowledging their faults—to them, it’s a sign of weakness!

They’d point fingers and the last thing you’d hear them say is “sorry”. 

Confident people are not like this at all.

Because they’re self-aware, they know when they’re the ones at fault.

And the moment they realize it, they’d acknowledge their mistakes and apologize for whatever trouble they’ve caused.

Just like their weaknesses, they won’t consider their mistakes as something that they should be ashamed of.

It doesn’t define them, as far as they’re concerned.

Everyone commits mistakes from time to time, the difference with confident people is they don’t let it diminish their self-worth.

10) “I’m positive about this.”

Self-confident people are hopeful and optimistic.

In a world where everything is uncertain, confident people have retained the capacity to see possibilities. 

Are they just naive?

Not at all.

Where those lacking in self-confidence see nothing but barriers, they see hope. 

They strongly believe in themselves and the people around them. Their positivity comes from studying, practicing, and repetition. 

For example, if they’re asked if they can mount a huge event in three months, they’ll say, “I’m positive,” because they have done it before, not just once but to the point of mastery.

Research by psychologists show a strong relationship between confidence and optimism

People who are confident also become more influential because they are perceived as having knowledge, competence and credibility. 

So when confident people say “I’m positive,” people around them follow their lead and make even the most challenging situations a success. 

Final thoughts:

Not everyone is gifted with self-confidence.

And even those who are born with it can just easily lose it as we experience trauma growing up.

The good news is that anytime you decide to put an effort on it, you can train yourself to be more self-confident.

How?

Well, you can start by getting rid of negative self-talk and using positive affirmations instead. 

Make promises to yourself, and keep them—whether it’s sticking to a good morning routine or meeting a deadline. 

And of course, you need look no farther. You can simply try using the phrases I listed above!

With mindfulness and practice, you can slowly rewire your brain and create new pathways and behavioral patterns. 

Words have the power to shape our thoughts and our actions.

So watch yourself become more confident, one little phrase at a time.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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