The last image anyone would want to portray out there is that of being less confident. Though no one would want to have this image, it is sometimes beyond one’s doing because of some unknown aspects such as phrases that one uses daily.
An individual may use certain phrases without the intention of coming off weird but from the receiver’s end, these phrases mean something different, portraying the user as less confident.
Here are such phrases to avoid.
1. “I don’t mean to brag, but…”
The first thing that this phrase gets into the mind of the listener, is bragging. The only focus they will have on the words that come after this phrase, is scanning to find any instance of you bragging. Whether you like it or not, they will find one and that is how your confidence score will fall to non-confident.
2. Overusing the words, “I/me”
When conversing or writing, try to check if you use the word I or me more often than necessary because if you do, then the one you are conversing with may get negative vibes. Overusing these two phrases makes one sound too self-centred.
When you make everything you converse about yourself, it then appears like you are full of yourself and want to be seen and recognized.
3. You just don’t get it
When conversing with anyone, coming off as demeaning and irritating will not play out well for you. Yet using the phrase, “You just don’t get it” does exactly that.
This phrase both demeans and irritates whoever they are said to.
It insinuates that the one saying them is the only one who understands whatever they are explaining and the other party is thickheaded. Confidence does not make others feel demeaned, rather it is a lack of it.
4. I am surprised you have problems with this. It is so easy.
While you might think that a task is easy and that everyone should execute it with ease, you shouldn’t say it out loud.
Saying it out loud makes it appear that you do not understand that people are different and they perform every task differently.
5. “No offence but…”
If truly, you do not mean to be offensive, then why use this phrase?
Chances are high that whatever you will say after this phrase will be offensive. Even if what you say won’t be offensive, then the listener may just find it offensive because of that phrase.
Saying, “no offence but…” Sets the mood for adversarial conversation with the listener waiting for what could go wrong.
6. “I hate to bother you, but…”
When something is urgent and so important that it can’t wait, asking for help won’t be something that you would hate doing. You should gladly ask for the assistance you would want.
Starting a statement with this phrase gives your power away to another party so they can even say that you are bothering them.
Instead, inquire when they can be available for what you’d want help with.
7. “We can just do whatever you want”
Confidence can be seen in an individual who can make a decision efficiently. Decision-making illustrates that one knows what one wants and they are willing to stand by it.
On the other hand, a lack of confidence can be seen in instances where one can’t make a decision and is readily willing to go with the flow of others. Instead, one can politely say what they want and offer a platform for compromise from the other party.
For instance, one can say, “this is what I want, and I know it may be different from what you want. Let’s see what we can do so that we all get what we want.”
8. “If that’s okay with you”
Though you would want to sound as polite and considerate as possible, this phrase may sometimes work against you.
This statement already makes it seem like you are not confident with whatever proposal you are giving. Besides, what if the person you are talking to is not okay with what you are telling them?
9. “I would just…”
A phrase with the word just, downplays whatever you are saying. It also makes it seem that you are not sure about what you have put across. Or rather, it was a “by the way” thing.
For instance, saying “I just wanted to inquire about that job opening” sounds off and makes you sound less confident.
Instead, remove just from the statement, and you’ll sound straightforward and confident.
10. “I wonder what they feel or think about me”.
It is common to have this thought from time to time, but voicing will do a disservice by making you appear less confident.
It makes you appear as if you care so much about public opinion.
11. “I am Sorry”
This phrase is only meaningful when one is apologizing. However, when one overuses it throughout the day, it passes a negative message about your level of confidence. When you overuse this phrase, chances are high that you are apologizing even when you have not done anything wrong. Before using these words, stop and ask yourself if it is necessary.
12. “I believe/think/feel that…”
This phrase is not different from the one that includes the word “just”. They are fillers that diminish the weight of the point that one wants to pass through.
Instead of saying, “I feel that a meeting will iron everything out”. Simply say, “A meeting will iron things out”.
13. “It is not my fault”
When it is not your fault, then this phrase is necessary. However, when you find yourself overusing this phrase from time to time, then it could mean something opposite from the image you would want to pass. When you use this phrase, you want to distance yourself from the mistake and show the image of how responsible you are. When you overuse it, you instead insinuate that you remove yourself from the situation and therefore pave way for pointing fingers. It may insinuate that you lack accountability. If possible, avoid using it as much as possible.
14. “Does that make sense?”
Part of what constitutes to lack of confidence is doubt. One can cast doubt in his or her conversations by adding the phrase, “Does that make sense?” at the end of sentences.
This phrase suggests that whatever you say cannot stand on its own and that approval from the people you communicate with is needed for support.
If possible, communicate things you are sure about. If you are not sure, end your statements without this phrase.
15. Filler words: “um” “uh” “like”
When one needs to think before saying words while communicating, the chances of using filler words to fill in the silence are high. These are words that we think would be better than silence, but the truth of the matter is that they make one look less confident.
It is okay to stay silent for a second or two than to use these fillers. They do a disservice to your image, rather than good.
Here are other articles on confidence
Using ‘Fake It Till You Make It’ To Achieve Self Confidence
5 Tips To Help You Boost Your Self Confidence
Identity Crisis And How To Cope With It
How To Overcome Self-Doubt
4 Ways To Be More Assertive At Work And In Your Personal Life