“I’m Proud Of You”, A Phrase To Be Avoided, We Tell You Why

Last updated by Lauren Hart

For a long time, I thought it was important to tell people I loved “I’m proud of you”. It did me good to hear it from people close to me, but the more time goes by, the more I think it’s an expression that should be avoided... But why? What’s wrong with it? I know it may sound surprising, but other things can be said instead. Let me explain.

“I’m Proud Of You”, A Phrase To Be Avoided, We Tell You Why

A sentence to say to yourself and only you

On the face of it, I think everyone would agree that saying “I’m proud of you” is anything but a microaggression. For many, it’s even a great sign of affection and there’s no malicious intent behind it. Of course, except that... it’s clumsy 😅!

Let me explain. Pride is a personal satisfaction, it’s linked to our feelings and our self-esteem. We can say that we’re proud of ourselves, but when we say it about someone else, we’re saying we’re satisfied with what that person has achieved. What’s wrong with that? Well, it’s a bit egocentric, because it means we’re taking ownership of someone else’s success and achievements, a bit like we had a part to play (when we didn’t 😬). We’re happy that our projections and desires have been fulfilled by someone else.

👉 Worse still, it can put a lot of pressure on the person hearing it and accentuate the fear of being a disappointment. As if they have to achieve a certain level of excellence every time to earn our pride. By saying this, we give a condition to our love and infer that “if you succeed, I’ll love you” 😕.


For a long time, I wanted my parents to tell me that they were proud of me. At the time, it clearly showed how trapped I was in my need for recognition. I ended up chatting with them, and they reminded me that I had to be proud of MYSELF. They didn’t need to validate me, but they were happy for me. That discussion opened my eyes and I told myself that they were right. Firstly because I didn’t need that validation, not even from my parents, and secondly because my happiness was more important than their feelings about my achievements.

👋 You may also be interested in this article: Do we have to love our parents?

What should you say instead of “I’m proud of you”?

Now that it’s clear that this is a phrase you should keep to yourself, in the sense that you’re the only person who can be proud of you, what do you say to others? Taking the example of my parents, the fact that they told me they were happy for me did me a world of good. I think that’s the kind of gesture we should give to the people we love, if we want to support them and recognize their achievements.

  • ❌ For example, instead of saying: “I’m proud of you for getting your degree”,
  • ✅ You could instead say, “you’ve worked so hard, we’ve seen that all year, you’ve done a great job, really, well done!”

By doing so, we show our unconditional love and support, regardless of the other person’s achievements. It’s important to separate the two, especially when it comes to children. It’s a good way of boosting self-esteem and separating their value from their achievements ❤️.

👋 You may also be interested in this article: 10 Powerful messages of encouragement

10 different ways of how to say “I’m proud of you”

I know that deconstructing yourself and adopting new habits is sometimes complex and time-consuming, and then sometimes you may simply need more inspiration. So I’ve prepared a few messages for you to send to your loved ones instead of the famous “I’m proud of you” 💌:

  • 1. “I’m always amazed by your ability to overcome obstacles. You’re an inspiration to me.”
  • 2. “The way you handle things, your life... inspires me a lot!”
  • 3. “I’m happy to see that you succeed in everything you do!”
  • 4. “You achieve so many great and beautiful things, well done for that!”
  • 5. “Be proud of yourself, whatever happens, that’s the most important thing!”
  • 6. “Congratulations on achieving something so incredible.”
  • 7. “Your dedication and perseverance are truly inspiring.”
  • 8. “You’ve done an excellent job and your commitment and creativity are truly remarkable.”
  • 9. “You’re a true inspiration to us all, and I’m honored to know you.”
  • 10. “I can see how much you’ve improved in this area. It’s a pleasure to see your development.”

Editor’s note: The power of words...

Choosing your words carefully can help boost other people’s self-esteem. If you feel pressure to gain the approval of others or if you find it difficult to express your support without saying, “I’m proud of you”, seeing a psychologist could be beneficial. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment to explore these issues and improve your mental well-being.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!


Be sure to check out these articles too;

Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

Read our latest articles here:

Are Narcissists Born Or Made? - Let's Settle The Debate

There you have it, the nature vs nurture debate is back, only this time I want to focus it on those deviously manipulative personalities we refer to as narcissists. Now, evidently these folks get bad press and rightly so because they are often at the root of plenty of harm, but is it really their fault? Can they really be blamed for their terrifying and perhaps inherent traits, or are they simply just products and in this case victims of their environments? Let’s settle this debate once and for all and figure out how and when this disorder becomes apparent. So, are you born a narcissist or is it developed?

Do Narcissists Regret Hurting People?

From their lack of empathy to their scarily manipulative and controlling streak, narcissists arguably display despicable behavior that simply can’t be condoned. Once these people get their claws into a victim, they become ruthless and have absolutely no regard for the effects their behavior may have on their mental health. Now, as with many syndromes, nothing is black and white with these types of personality disorders. In fact, there are certainly many inaccurate theories regarding their relationship with remorse regarding their actions, and that’s why I’m here to set the record straight.

A Guide On How To Deal With Narcissist Silent Treatment Guide📕

If you've ever been involved with a narcissist, you'll know exactly how dangerous and vindictive they can be. Now, they won't use physical violence to break their victims down, although the tactics they use are just as painful and debilitating. These slippery characters operate under the shadow of darkness and use subtle mind games and tactics in order to exert a maximum amount of control and manipulation over their prey. You have no doubt already guessed it, but in case you haven't yet, the silent treatment is a narcissist's go-to tactic when it comes to punishing their victims and taking control of them. Find out here why these abusers use this method and how to deal with it.

8 Reasons Why Ghosters Always Come Back 👻

If you’ve ever given online dating a whirl, the chances are you’ve been ghosted by someone. Now, for those of you who are unaware of this practice, it involves putting a sudden end to a relationship without offering any form of explanation. If I had to estimate how many times this has happened to me, I’d say there are definitely over 10 guys out there who owe me an explanation as to why they suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth… However, all the confusion and short-lived heartbreak has taught me that ghosters always seem to reappear at one time or another.

Should You Really Confess Your Feelings?

Who hasn’t had a crush in their life? You know, it’s when you fall for someone and have feelings for them even though you don’t really know them. I’m one of those people who have had lots of crushes, and sometimes I’ve even admitted my feelings. In fact, a recent example was just before I started my relationship with my current partner. I offloaded what I was feeling all of a sudden… I’ll tell you why I did it and how to go about it.

How To Get Revenge On A Narcissist?

Narcissistic abuse is one of the most horrific challenges anyone can ever go through in life, but that’s not to say that their reign of terror will last forever. Evidently, breaking the cycle of abuse isn’t exactly straightforward, however, once the discard phase has been activated and victims realize that they can walk away with their heads held high, the revenge phase can commence 😈. Unsurprisingly, getting even with a raging egocentric narcissist needs to be carefully planned, but ironically, their self-centered personalities expose to many axes of revenge, which will evidently really get to them…

Are Narcissists Lonely?

Loneliness is one of society’s biggest enemies, and none of us are exempt from it, not even the most devilish of narcissists out there. In fact, throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, 36% of Americans claimed that they have never felt lonelier, which sets a scary benchmark for the wider population 😔. Now, lots of us would no doubt immediately assume that narcissists are too independent and strong-willed to feel alone, however, the truth is they are often the biggest victims of loneliness, yet simply have trouble expressing their inner malaise.

"Nobody Likes Me"

Never invited to parties, never listened to or solicited... It feels like you're just an ordinary person, who is pushed aside and has no value. If this is the case, we often end up coming to the sad conclusion that "nobody likes us! But, why do we think this? Now, this thought does not reflect reality, it hides deeper issues that need to be worked on to detach ourselves from this heavy feeling. Everyone deserves to be loved, including us!

6 Reasons Why Narcissists Never Apologize - They Hate Saying Sorry

I’ll be the first to admit that my stubbornness means I’m not exactly the most willing person when it comes to uttering the words ‘I’m sorry’, but I always push through my pride; although unfortunately, the same can’t be said for narcissists... Indeed, people who suffer from this personality disorder will simply never hold their hands up and accept responsibility for their actions, despite how deeply they’ve hurt your feelings. 😱 You know the idiom getting blood from a stone, right? Well, when it comes to apologies from these toxic personalities, nothing is more appropriate, and here are 6 reasons why!

Why Do I Feel Bad When People Don’t Message Me Back?

Friday night rolls around and after a hard week you were expecting to have a drink with a girlfriend, but she seems to have left you hanging on read... To make matters worse (and the humiliation?) you even saw the little typing sign appear, yet you never received a reply. Well, if that’s the case, obviously you or your "how about a drink tonight?" didn’t deserve an answer. Let’s take a look at why some people don't reply to messages, and why when someone doesn't reply to your text, this makes us feel so bad.

Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist


  1. Only LoveBen Howard
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
  4. Beautiful DayU2
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
  6. White FlagDido
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
  15. With Or Without YouU2
  16. HelloAdele
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
  19. WingsBirdy
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar

How to detect a narcissist

How to detect a narcissist

How to soothe an anxiety attack

How to soothe an anxiety attack