We’ve all been in situations where we want to make a good impression, but words just fail us. Maybe it’s a new job, a first date, or even just meeting your partner’s family for the first time.
How do you quickly convey that you’re someone worth trusting, someone genuine?
After meeting some truly authentic folks and learning from my own missteps, I’ve gathered 7 simple yet powerful phrases that can help you sound more authentic and trustworthy.
These aren’t magic words, but they can work wonders in making you come across as the real deal.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go.
1) “I don’t know, but I can find out.”
In a world where everyone is trying to be an expert, saying “I don’t know” can feel like a risky move. Trust me, I’ve been there — afraid that admitting ignorance would make me seem unqualified or unreliable.
But you know what I discovered? There’s an underrated power to admitting what you don’t know.
With this phrase, you’re actually doing a couple of amazing things. First, you’re being honest about your limitations. No one knows everything, and pretending otherwise is a one-way ticket to losing trust.
Second, by adding “but I can find out,” you’re showing initiative and responsibility. You’re saying, “I may not have the answer now, but I’m committed to getting it for you.”
What’s beautiful about this phrase is its humility and its promise. You’re not offering empty assurances or trying to bluff your way through. Instead, you’re promising to invest your time and effort to seek the answer.
And guess what? People respect that. They appreciate the authenticity and are more likely to trust you because you’re upfront about what you can and can’t do.
2) “You’re absolutely right.”
We’ve all met that person — the “Yes Man” who agrees with everything anyone says, just to win favor or avoid conflict.
But let’s be honest, that approach usually feels disingenuous, doesn’t it? People can usually sense when you’re not being true to your own thoughts and beliefs.
So, when you say, “You’re absolutely right,” it has to come from a place of genuine agreement. I’ve found myself in conversations where I was tempted to nod along just to keep the peace or make a good impression.
But experience has taught me that authentic trust is built on honesty, not flattery or blind agreement.
When you truly believe that the other person has made a valid point and you acknowledge it openly, you’re doing more than just agreeing.
You’re giving them credit for their insight, and you’re showing that you’re someone who values truth over the appearance of being right.
This not only fosters trust but also encourages a culture of open dialogue and genuine interaction.
So remember, only say “You’re absolutely right” when you really mean it. Authenticity shines brightest when it’s true, and people are more likely to trust a genuine agreement than a hollow echo.
3) “I’ve made a mistake; let’s correct it.”
Admitting a mistake is easier said than done, right? I know I’ve been in situations where acknowledging an error felt like the last thing I wanted to do.
But here’s the real deal: owning up to a mistake doesn’t make you look weak; it makes you look human, accountable, and yes, trustworthy.
When you say, “I’ve made a mistake; let’s correct it,” you’re doing two powerful things.
First, you’re showing humility. You’re admitting you’re not perfect, which honestly, is a relief to everyone around you because guess what? They’re not perfect either.
Second, you’re immediately shifting from problem to solution, demonstrating responsibility and leadership.
This phrase is a trust builder because it shows your commitment to making things right, not just for your sake, but for everyone involved.
You acknowledge the error without dwelling on it, focusing instead on moving forward constructively.
4) “Here’s what I can and can’t promise you”
Promises are powerful, aren’t they? I mean, think about it — how many times have you felt reassured, just knowing someone gave you their word?
But promises can also be double-edged swords. Make them lightly, and you risk appearing unreliable or insincere.
That’s why this phrase is such a game-changer in establishing trust.
You’re signaling that you’re about to make a commitment you fully intend to keep.
It’s not a vague assurance; it’s a specific pledge that outlines exactly what the other person can expect from you. And there’s something very reassuring about that level of clarity.
This phrase does more than just make you seem trustworthy — it actually holds you accountable.
You’re defining the scope of what you can realistically deliver, setting the stage for a transparent and honest relationship.
It’s like saying, “These are my limitations, but within those limits, you can count on me.”
5) “I appreciate your time”
How many times have we been in conversations where we felt the other person was only half-listening? Frustrating, isn’t it?
Time is a precious commodity for all of us, and recognizing that is a surefire way to build trust. That’s where the phrase “I appreciate your time” comes in as a real asset.
Saying “I appreciate your time” is like sending a verbal thank-you note. It’s simple but incredibly impactful.
You’re acknowledging the effort and time someone has invested in meeting with you, listening to you, or helping you in some way.
This not only shows your good manners but also elevates you in the eyes of the other person as someone who values and respects them.
But, here’s the real key: you have to actually mean it. People can sniff out inauthenticity a mile away, especially if your eyes were glossed over the entire discussion before you pulled out this phrase.
So whether you’re wrapping up a meeting, saying goodbye after a social gathering, or finishing a client call, make it a habit to feel gratitude for other’s time — and then express it.
It’s a quick, effortless way to make a lasting, positive impression.
6) “I’d love to hear your feedback, positive or negative”
Who doesn’t appreciate a pat on the back? But let’s be honest, constructive criticism can often be more valuable. It helps us grow, improve, and become better versions of ourselves.
That’s why knowing how to ask for it with confidence is a vital tool in your authenticity toolkit.
When you say this phrase, you’re showing vulnerability and a genuine desire to learn. You’re not just fishing for compliments; you’re asking for an honest assessment.
You’re effectively saying, “Your opinion matters to me, and I trust you enough to hear the good with the bad.”
This open request for feedback does two major things for you. First, it makes you relatable and approachable. Nobody is perfect, and admitting that you value other people’s perspectives shows humility.
Second, it fosters a culture of openness and honesty. It tells the other person that it’s safe to share their thoughts with you, setting the stage for a transparent and authentic relationship.
So the next time you finish a project, give a presentation, or even make a decision, ask for that feedback. You’ll not only gain valuable insights but also solidify your reputation as someone who’s genuinely trustworthy and open to growth.
7) “I choose not to participate in gossip”
We’ve all been there — caught in a whirlpool of gossip, tempted to join in.
But here’s the thing: gossiping may provide a fleeting sense of belonging, but it has a way of eroding trust over time.
That’s where this phrase comes in as a real trust-builder. It isn’t just a show of personal integrity; it’s like putting up a sign that reads, “Safe Zone.”
When people hear you opting out of gossip, they instantly recognize you as someone who can be trusted with confidential information, and as a person who respects others even when they’re not around.
But here’s the caveat: this phrase needs to be delivered with tact. No self-righteousness, no judgment. Simply stating it as your personal choice will do the trick.
This way, you’re not attacking anyone else’s character; you’re simply stating a preference that elevates your own.
So the next time you find yourself in a situation where gossip is circulating, remember this phrase.
By choosing not to participate, you’re not just protecting someone else’s reputation, you’re elevating your own.
The trust builder’s lexicon
There you have it — 7 phrases that can make you come across as both authentic and trustworthy.
Words are powerful tools; they can either build bridges or burn them. By consciously choosing phrases that enhance openness, honesty, and respect, you’re not just communicating — you’re connecting.
The journey to being your most authentic self isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon that takes time, reflection, and practice.
So go ahead, start using these phrases in your daily interactions.
You’ll not only be seen as someone who’s genuine and reliable, but you’ll also be building relationships that stand the test of time.