If you want to be more authentic, stop using these 8 phrases right now

by Isabel Cabrera | February 8, 2024, 12:39 am

Authenticity is one of the best traits you could ever display.


Because it shows that you’re so comfortable in your own skin that you don’t need to hide behind a mask. Because it’s the best way to form genuine connections with others. And because it’s the key to a happy life with no pretense.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Well, if you want to be more authentic, stop using these 8 phrases right now.

1) “I find this behavior X and Y, but who am I to judge?”

There’s a popular trend on TikTok where women say, “When we spent hours gossiping about everyone but at the end say, ‘Who are we to judge? Let them live.’”

While this is obviously a funny and relatable joke, it’s part of a bigger phenomenon where people judge someone else’s behavior just to lessen the blow by bringing themselves down a notch.

“She’s still in touch with her ex, which is terribly unhealthy. I think X and Y and Z about it. But who am I to judge?”

Exactly. Who are you to judge? And if you don’t think you are someone who should judge, why are you judging in the first place?

While funny, gossiping about others and then brushing your judgment aside with a phrase like this is very inauthentic.

2) “I’m not trying to brag, but…”

…but you are bragging. Got it.

“I’m not trying to brag, but” works on the same principle as “no offense, but”.

You are essentially trying to contradict your action by saying that you’re not, in fact, doing that action, therefore gaslighting the person you’re talking to (and potentially yourself).

But the fact that you *say* you’re not bragging doesn’t mean you’re not bragging. It just means you’re being inauthentic about it.

If you want to brag, brag openly. Of course, the best course of action is not to brag at all.

3) “Good for you!”

Another inauthentic phrase is “good for you”, which basically means “I’m envious or/and feel contempt, but I’m faking niceness for various reasons I won’t disclose”.

“Look at this new coat I bought!”

“Oh. Uhm, good for you!”

Wow. The judgment is so loud I can almost hear it.

While some people might say “good for you” and actually mean it, the phrase has now gained such negative connotations that it will almost always come across as passive-aggressive.

Therefore, try to avoid “good for you” at all costs. Speak with more honesty and authenticity instead.

4) “I wish I had the confidence to wear that”

While we’re on the topic of judgment and clothes, “I wish I had the confidence to wear that” is another phrase you ought to erase from your vocabulary.

No matter what your intention is, it essentially sounds like you hate the outfit in question and don’t want to admit it.

By praising the person’s confidence, you’re saying, “Wow, you’re very brave if you’re wearing something that weird and not feeling self-conscious. Personally, I’d feel embarrassed and wouldn’t get out of the house.”

Of course, some people do genuinely admire others’ confidence and style.

If that’s what you want to express, try putting it more politely, such as: “I love your style so much! I don’t feel confident enough to pull something like that off, but it’s really inspiring to see you wear clothes like that.”

Ta-da! Now that’s a nice compliment.

5) “Wow, that’s crazy…”

Have you ever met someone who just couldn’t stop talking?

As in, it’s been twenty minutes and they keep rambling on while you stand there with your arms full of groceries and are holding your pee in?

You’re on your tenth “wow, that’s crazy” when it begins to slowly dawn on you that maybe, the rambling neighbor thinks you actually care because you haven’t given them any proper indication that you don’t.

This whole time, you’ve been acting so inauthentically that you’ve kind of orchestrated your own demise.

The lesson here is not to rudely slam the door in their face but to be more assertive about your needs and boundaries. A simple “I’m sorry but I’m a bit busy” should do the trick.

6) “I’m fine”

Are you, though?

People who say they’re “fine” are usually never fine.

And the reason is that “fine” has now become such an inauthentic phrase that it’s kind of an obvious front for “I’m doing terribly but I’m either putting on a brave face or I’m pouting”.

“Are you upset with me?”

“I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“I said I’m FINE!”

Uhm. Doesn’t seem very fine to me. Just saying.

If something’s bothering you, it’s better to talk about it than to let it simmer deep inside you.

And if you don’t yet have the words to express your emotions, say so: “Look, I do feel upset but I need a little bit of space to process my feelings. Can we talk about it when I feel a bit calmer?”


7) “I don’t care about other people’s opinion of me”

Well, good for you (see what I did there?), but I don’t entirely believe you.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing when you don’t need external validation to feel great about yourself. However, not caring about *anyone’s* opinion might be a bit of a stretch.

Humans are inherently social. We care about our loved ones – our parents, friends, siblings, romantic partners, children, and so on.

Is there truly not *one* person whose opinion matters a great deal to you?

Yep, thought so.

See? You do care. Don’t be afraid to admit it. At the end of the day, we all care.

8) “I’m too busy to do X”

Are you too busy? Or is it just not a priority?

People say they’re too busy so often that it’s now become a go-to excuse.

“I’d write a book if I wanted to, but I’m just too busy.”

“I’ve been wanting to start going to the gym, but I’m too busy.”

If you want to be more authentic, stop using this phrase as a way to shield yourself from responsibility.

We all have the same amount of hours in a day.

You *could* do the thing you’re supposedly too busy for. But you’re not because other things take priority, and that’s completely okay. You’re not a robot, after all. If you’d rather read a book than work out, that’s a valid choice.

Next time you want to say you’re too busy to do X, try: “It’s not a priority at the moment because I’m focusing on Z.”

Much better.

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