8 phrases that instantly make you sound humble and genuine

by Tina Fey | March 1, 2024, 9:25 am

We all wear a mask, some more elaborate than others, but it’s our words that often reveal the truest reflection of our character.

You might find yourself in a conversation, striving to express sincerity and modesty, yet unsure of how your words are being perceived.

In a world where authenticity is highly valued, yet often scarce, how can we ensure the impact of our words matches our intentions?

Here’s a list of 8 phrases that can help you embody these qualities.

My goal is to guide you towards a more authentic expression of yourself through language, in an engaging and clear manner. 

1) “I appreciate your perspective.”

This is a phrase that instantly communicates respect for the person you’re conversing with.

It shows that you’re not only listening but genuinely interested in their viewpoint.

It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing, but about honoring their right to have an opinion.

Humility isn’t about diminishing your own thoughts, but about making room for others’ as well.

Genuine people understand that their perspective is just one of many, and they’re open to learning from the experiences and insights of others.

When you say “I appreciate your perspective”, you’re saying that you value them and their thoughts, an expression of humility and sincerity that’s sure to resonate.

But that’s not the only way to convey humility…

2) “I could be wrong.”

In a world where everyone seems to be striving for the last word, this phrase can be a breath of fresh air.

It shows an openness to the idea that you might not always have the right answer, and that’s perfectly okay.

Genuine humility involves acknowledging our fallibility and not being afraid to admit it.

By saying “I could be wrong”, you communicate a willingness to consider others’ ideas and a lack of ego-based defensiveness.

Remember, it’s not about always being right but about being open to growth and learning, which is a hallmark of genuine, humble individuals.

And while we’re on the topic of recognizing our own fallibility…

3) “I don’t know everything.”

This is a phrase of liberation, one that I’ve personally found to be incredibly freeing.

I recall a situation where I was in a meeting with colleagues who looked up to me for guidance.

A complex problem was presented, and while everyone turned to me for the solution, I felt a sense of unease. I didn’t have the answer, but the pressure to appear knowledgeable was immense.

It was then that I decided to utter the words, “I don’t know everything.”

The room fell silent, not with disappointment, but with a sense of relief and respect.

Admitting that I didn’t have all the answers opened up a collaborative conversation where everyone felt comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas.

This phrase not only made me appear humble and genuine but also created an environment of trust and mutual respect within the team.

Yet, there’s another phrase that often goes unnoticed in our daily interactions…

4) “Thank you for your patience.”

Patience is a virtue, and recognizing it in others is a mark of humility and sincerity.

This phrase is particularly effective in situations where someone has had to wait on you, either for a response, a task completion or even your attention.

Expressions of gratitude can have profound and positive effects on our relationships, both personally and professionally.

When you thank someone for their patience, you’re acknowledging their effort and time, reinforcing the mutual respect in your relationship, and fostering an environment of authenticity and humility.

Speaking of recognition…

5) “Your efforts really made a difference.”

I remember a time when a colleague of mine had worked tirelessly on a project that wasn’t receiving much recognition. She was dedicated and passionate, yet her efforts seemed to go unnoticed.

One day, I decided to express to her how much her hard work meant to the team. “Your efforts really made a difference,” I told her.

The look of gratitude and surprise on her face was unforgettable. This simple phrase not only made her feel valued but also strengthened our professional relationship.

It reminded me how important it is to acknowledge the efforts of others, a practice that truly reflects humility and authenticity.

And while many of these phrases touch upon recognizing our own limits and valuing others, there’s a simple statement that speaks volumes about our journey in life…

6) “I’m still learning.”

Life is a perpetual classroom, and acknowledging that you’re an ongoing student is a testament to your humility and authenticity.

This phrase speaks volumes about your willingness to grow, adapt and improve.

It shows that you’re not complacent in your knowledge or skills, but always striving to better yourself.

It’s a reminder that even with expertise, there’s always more to learn.

With this growth mindset in place, there are times we have to face the consequences of our actions, leading us to…

7) “I was wrong.”

The ability to admit our mistakes is a measure of our authenticity and humility.

This phrase may not be the easiest to say but it’s often the most impactful.

It shows that you value integrity over ego, which is a trait of truly humble and genuine individuals.

Remember, it’s not about justifying our actions but owning up to them and learning from them.

Moving on, there’s one last phrase that underscores the importance of respecting others…

8) “I value your input.”

This phrase shows respect for the thoughts and opinions of others.

It suggests that you’re open-minded and willing to consider different perspectives.

It doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything being said, but it does mean that you’re listening and genuinely interested in understanding their viewpoint.

This is a mark of humility as it places importance on others’ ideas rather than solely on your own.


Each of these phrases offers a window into the character of a humble and genuine person.

Incorporating them into your daily conversations can help elevate the authenticity of your interactions and deepen your connections with others.

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