“Fake it till you make it” often comes at the price of authenticity and losing sight of one’s values.
So how do authentic people stay out of this trap?
One of their key skills is the capacity for No-BS but compassionate communication.
So if you want to be more like them, take note of the words and phrases you’ll never hear a truly authentic person say (and of course, try not to say them either!).
1) “Lucky you!”
It sounds like a compliment until you realize that “Lucky you” is a put down in disguise.
Authentic people’s egos aren’t threatened by other people’s success, so they never feel the need to dismiss others’ success by framing it as just luck.
Even when they are having a tough time at the moment, they don’t go about popping others’ happiness balloons.
So if you truly feel that someone’s privilege is what caused their success, instead of saying “Lucky you”, bite your tongue.
Or say something more authentic like “OMG, I’m jealous!” when you honestly feel bitter and resentful, choose to honor your feelings first instead.
Just like authentic people, you can also learn how to be fully in touch with your emotions and thought processes so that you can speak from a space of genuine truth.
2) “If that’s what you want!”
People who use this phrase are expressing their disapproval but disguise it as agreement.
In contrast, when authentic people don’t like something, they express it calmly and politely.
And if others don’t agree with it? It’s not the end of the world for them because things don’t always have to go their way.
When they aren’t able to approve of or can’t support what someone wants because it is in conflict with their knowledge of the situation and principles, they simply lay down their stance with no attachment.
“Here is how I see this…” or “Can you consider this…” are some examples of far more productive ways authentic people choose to communicate.
3) “You should/should not…”
Authentic people are not interested in being in control of other people because they respect and value individuality.
They are highly self-aware so they don’t say “should and should not” because they understand that those lines are often trying to bulldoze people into behaviors or feelings with control rather than compassion.
But they don’t just apply this to others, they apply this to themselves, too.
Even in their internal dialogue, rather than saying “I shouldn’t get angry,” they say, “I’m angry right now and it’s okay because I feel disrespected.”
They honor others’ decision-making processes and emotions as much as their own.
If you find yourself about to say this phrase to yourself or others, take it as a cue to practice letting go of the need to control and allow for unforced decisions.
4) “I’m more ____ than or I’m not as ____”
Because they have done the work of honoring their unique selves, authentic people are not interested in the comparison game.
Instead of describing themselves as more creative than a colleague, for instance, they would simply say, “I’m creative.”
Instead of being shy about how they’re not as good at cooking as their partner, they would simply say, “Oh, I’m learning how to cook.”
Authentic people get no high from putting others down to feel better, and they also take care not to look down on their own selves by saying they are less than others in any way.
If you find yourself unconsciously indulging in self-pity or egotistical behavior, focus on developing your self-esteem by adopting a growth mindset that honors your gifts and capacity to continuously learn.
5) “Not my fault”
No one likes to be blamed, but authentic people just don’t have this phrase in their system.
That’s because they don’t take any pleasure from putting the blame on someone when things don’t go as planned.
“Not my fault” shifts blame and shows you are judging others for being human and making a mistake.
When they are in the wrong, authentic people are quick to take accountability. And when others struggle with admitting fault, they manage to hold them accountable as well without dismissing their efforts entirely.
They’d probably say “You should have warned us about the problem, but thankfully you’re able to fix everything before it blows up.”
6) “You’re too_____”
When someone exaggerates, not only does it sound fake, it puts pressure on the recipient of the compliment.
Whether it’s followed by a positive such as “You’re too smart” or a negative like “You’re too lazy,” authentic people don’t use these words because it’s somewhat judgmental.
“Too much” of anything is bad.
And coming from a place of empathy, they know how it feels to be judged for being their authentic self and feeling like they have to bend and break—or become inconspicuous— for others’ acceptance.
If someone says this to you, try not to get too hurt as it may mean you simply don’t have the same wavelength.
When you hear yourself about to use this phrase, try to see this as part of their character that doesn’t have to be diminished for your comfort.
7) “No offense, but …”
Authentic people understand the importance of being honest and being compassionate at the same time.
But while someone who is about to be rude uses the disclaimer, “No offense but,” the authentic person chooses their words and the timing before deciding to say anything.
They would ask themselves, “Does the person really need to know this? And if they do, do they really need to hear it now…or could I choose a better time?”
And if someone begins with these lines, take a deep breath and prepare to calmly express your honest thoughts about what they said.
Because, guess what?
You have a right to feel offended if they say something offensive.
8) “It’s just a joke”
Authentic people don’t dismiss other people’s hurt feelings so you’ll never hear them say “It’s JUST a joke.”
If you find their joke offensive even when there was no ill intent, they will apologize because they value the relationship and not because they are people pleasers.
Jokes always have a grain of truth in them and unfortunately, some people use it to mask their intentions or insult others.
If you’ve been on the receiving end of this phrase, consider giving them the benefit of the doubt by calmly asking them to explain why it was funny and repeat it back to them.
It may give them a chance to apologize but if they insist, simply tell them why it was offensive—respectfully, as an authentic person would.
9) “You’re the best_____!”
Flattery isn’t something authentic people like giving or receiving.
When they hear someone say these things, they won’t automatically see them as rude (unless they’re saying it in a sarcastic way), but they see it as a red flag that someone is inauthentic. And they might stay away.
Likewise, you’d never hear an authentic person say this unless it is in a light, casual manner.
So if you want to be more authentic, stay away from this phrase. Instead, make your compliments specific and genuine.
Get rid of “You’re the best!” if you really want to compliment someone. Say something like “You’re really good at writing. I like the way you can make difficult topics enjoyable to read.”
Being a truly authentic person isn’t easy in a world where conformity is more easily rewarded. But the benefits of being wholly yourself is priceless!
You can grow in authenticity each day by simply being mindful when you find yourself using these words and phrases.
Choose sincerity and candid expressions every chance you get and soon you’ll meet the best authentic version of yourself.
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