12 ways to tell someone they deserve better (complete list)

We all deserve better (if not the best) in life. That’s why it’s hard to tell someone – be it your SO, family member, or friend – that what’s happening isn’t fair for them.

Luckily, I’m here to help you with these 12 excellent (and insightful) ways to tell someone they deserve better.

Let’s begin.

1) “I love you and I care about you, but I’m concerned that you’re not getting the most out of life.”

This is a line you could use with all types of people. And yes, I’ve used it myself.

Be it your partner, kin, or pal, this shows that you are genuinely concerned about what’s happening with them right now.

Perhaps your family member or friend is being treated rudely by their SOs – or their employers.

Then again, maybe they’re being unfair to their partner.

Talking about the situation that concerns you – while prefacing that you care – may help soften the blow of what you have to say.

After all, the truth is a bitter pill to swallow.

2) “Please stop settling.”

This statement is simple, but it tells the person you’re talking to everything they need to know.

It’s a known (and sad) fact that many people settle with their romantic partners – and their place of work, even.

As poster Jenna Miles commented in a Quora thread: “People settle because they believe they can’t do any better, and they’re afraid to be alone.”

The sad news is “When we settle (in relationships),” according to a Bustle article, “We put our interest in quantity over quality, and in doing so deny ourselves real happiness.”

In fact, those who settle may not see it. But for those who are concerned (like you and me), this issue is as glaring as the sun.

And since it can be hard to convince someone who’s been settling for so long, I suggest connecting them with the folks over at Relationship Hero.

See, this is what I did with a friend who ‘settled’ with a guy who treated her like trash. She stayed in the relationship because, as she claims, she’s “too old to find love.”

Of course, it wasn’t true. She was beautiful and successful. And even though she didn’t realize it, we all knew she deserves someone better.

After several weeks of nudging, she finally decided to speak with a relationship coach. And, after her heart-to-heart sesh, she called me bawling, mind you.

She told me that the advice she received was a “revelation.”

Needless to say, it didn’t take long for her to leave her cumbersome ex. And while she was perfectly content with enjoying her singlehood, love came to her when she least expected it.

Now, she’s as happy as can be with him. And I’m more than thrilled for her cause I think the wedding bells will be ringing for her soon.

So if you’re like me – and you’re concerned with the people in your life – make sure to send them this link right away!

3) “You have to put yourself first.”

We’ve all been conditioned to put others’ needs above ours. And while it’s commendable, it can be harmful to our psyche too.

That’s because you think too much of this person – or job – that you forego all the happiness you deserve.

For example, you’re afraid to break up with your partner because you’re concerned with how they’ll react.

Or you’re scared to quit your work, although it’s not fulfilling you anymore. (This is exactly what I felt a few years ago!)

That’s all that runs in your mind so you’ve ended up ignoring the most important player here: you.

Contrary to popular beliefs, telling someone to put their needs above others isn’t selfish at all. Explains psychologist Tracy Thomas, Ph.D.:

“Loving ourselves — by taking care of ourselves first and foremost — ensures that our care for others ultimately can come from a place of inner abundance, a feeling of already being taken care of from within. As a result, we become more giving partners, family members, friends, and beyond.”

Now isn’t this what we want for all the people we love?

4) “You have to let this partner/job/etc. go.”

Many of us hold on to something that doesn’t fulfill us because of the fear of being alone.

Based on my experience, the prospect of singlehood was truly scary. When my long-term boyfriend and I broke up, I was worried I wouldn’t find someone else. That’s why I ended up in fleeting relationships.

And it’s just not me who suffered from this dilemma, though. According to a Psychology Today report, “those who feared being single were less likely to end a dissatisfying relationship.”


Then it dawned on me: I had to let things go for I deserve better things.

A better partner. A better relationship. A better life, so to say.

And true enough, when I started to let go of these hangups, my life turned out amazingly. I eventually ended up with the person I deserved – my hubby.

So if you’re talking to a person who keeps on holding on to the wrong things, you better tell them this: “You have to learn to let your partner/job/etc. go.”

pexels mental health america mha 5542916 1 12 ways to tell someone they deserve better (complete list)

5) “Never settle for anything less than what you deserve. It’s not about pride, it’s about self-respect.”

Quotable quotes are quotable for a reason. They drive home a point, which is why I’m sharing this passage.

People who settle, sadly, often lose their self-respect along the way. They make do (or compromise) with the relationship or the career they have, even though they know there’s something better for them.

They fail to stay true to their values – so they end up depreciating themselves.

Needless to say, this quote is a reminder for them to value themselves once again.

The very definition of self-respect, after all, is “knowing you are worthy and treating yourself accordingly.” Likewise, it’s a matter of “loving yourself and treating yourself with care.”

As psychotherapist Divya Robin reminds her readers: “When someone has self-respect, they have accepted themselves and believe that they are deserving of belonging in the world.”

And yes, that’s what we want them to know!

6) “Make the most of what you have and keep your standards high. Never settle for anything less than you deserve or are capable of achieving.”

This quote, meanwhile, is from the inspirational book “The Light in the Heart” by author Roy T. Bennett. And yes, I think it’s one of the best things to say to someone who deserves better.

It drives home the point, you know?

This advice is particularly good for someone who keeps on staying in a relationship that doesn’t serve them.

As Juliana Breines, Ph.D. emphasizes in the above-mentioned Psychology Today article: “The possibility of finding true love may be worth the risk of not finding it.”

I mean, I understand why some people settle.

After all, we are a little “biased toward avoiding loss when it comes to romantic relationships.

And that’s because we choose “not to let go of a mediocre relationship even if that would open the possibility of gaining a much happier one.”

So if someone you know thinks this way, I suggest prefacing them with Bennett’s quote. It’s a stark reminder that they shouldn’t settle for something less – because there’s something grander for them out there.

7) “Know who you are. Know what you want. Know what you deserve. And don’t settle for less.”

Take it from Tony Gaskins, a famous life coach and motivational speaker. When you know who you are, what you want, and what you deserve, you won’t settle for less.

And, if you’ll indulge me, I’ll go ahead and elaborate on the statements.

First, it’s crucial to know who you are. As August Comte has said, you need to know yourself to improve yourself.

And the three most important reasons for this, according to a Quora post by Parikh Chugh, are:

  • Self-love. “If you know yourself, the good, the bad, and the ugly, you can start to accept who you are – exactly as you are.”
  • Independence. “Self-knowledge makes you independent of the opinions of others. If you know what works for you – what is good for you and, therefore, what isn’t – it is irrelevant what others might think and advise.”
  • Clear decision-making. “Aligning your head and heart will give clarity, which supports easy decision making.”

Just as important as knowing who you are is knowing what you want. “We run for things that we want,” explains Quora poster Sanjay Balaji. “So to have a meaningful run it’s completely necessary to know what we want.”

In summary, reminding this person who they are – and what you want – will open their eyes to what they deserve. And this, of course, will help them from settling because they know in their heart that they deserve better.

8) “You deserve your dream.”

This is another moving quote, this time from the beautiful mind of Mexican poet Octavio Paz. And, the way I see it, it’s another inspiring way to tell someone they deserve better.

In a nutshell, this statement is telling them that they’re entitled to achieve whatever it is they want or dream about.

Whether it’s a more supportive partner or a higher-paying job, they have the freedom to have it.

It’s just a matter of unlocking their personal power.

Frankly, I know what the lack of this ‘power’ feels like. I kept on searching for fixes – and they didn’t work – largely because I forgot to ‘fix’ myself first.

It’s a good thing I came across the shaman Rudá Iandê, who helped me find my personal power through an easy-to-follow video.

Throughout the years, Ruda has helped many people like me unlock their deep-seated potential. Unsurprisingly, he managed to help me – and many others – find the ‘balance’ we deserve.

So if you want to help this special someone unlock their potential – and be with the person (or whatever else) they deserve – then make sure to show them this free video right away.

9) “Sometimes, you have to forget what you feel to remember what you deserve.”

Here’s another statement that should ‘strike’ that special someone straight in their heart.

Most people indeed feel like they don’t deserve better – when in fact, they do.

And more often than not, it’s because “We all struggle with insecurities. And because of these insecurities, we start to try to justify situations that aren’t right for us – whether it’s a job, a relationship or a friendship,” explained Jinna Yang to HuffPost.

Apart from these insecurities, some continue to settle because:

  • They’re in denial (and think that they’re just in a rough patch)
  • It’s easier to stay than to leave
  • They don’t want to hurt their partner
  • It requires a LOT to end it

Personally, I know how hard it is to convince a person who deserves better. They think everything’s fine and dandy, that’s why I recommend telling them this.

Sometimes, all it takes is a reminder for them to forget what they feel right now – so that they remember what they rightly deserve.

pexels nataliya vaitkevich 5128629 1 12 ways to tell someone they deserve better (complete list)

10) “You deserve peace, love, happiness, and all that your heart desires. Don’t let anyone control your life and take away those things.”

Settling is easier, than say, breaking things off with a long-term partner or leaving a comfy job. But it messes with you.

You’re not as happy, as peaceful, or as beloved as you should be.

That’s why I think this quote by Sonya Parker is one of the best things to say to someone who deserves better.

We all want the best for our loved ones. And it’s painful to see that they’re not getting it. We could only do so much, especially if this person remains oblivious to their settling ways.

Simply put, this statement is a reminder of the things they’re missing out on – all because they’re settling.

Who knows? This may prod the person to reflect on the life they have right now – and why they should pursue the better things that lie ahead.

11) “Never settle for less than your dreams, somewhere, sometime, someday, somehow, you’ll find them.”

If your loved one keeps on settling because they think they wouldn’t find someone (or something) else, then make sure to use this quote from author Danielle Steel.

Being single (or jobless, for that matter) can be hard to accept for some. That’s why they settle for a partner – or a career – that doesn’t make them happy.

It also doesn’t help that “We are programmed to tie our worth with our ability to find a partner. We are told that we are not complete until we find our other half.”

For me, Steel’s statement is a wake-up call for settlers. It also sums up Dr. Breines’ remark earlier: and that’s “Finding true love may be worth the risk of not finding it.”

They may – or may not – find that one true love or their dream career after breaking up with their present partner/job.

Staying with them will not do them any well, either.

Indeed, this is a reminder that good things happen to those who wait. It’s what happened to me, after all.

I refused to settle in subpar relationships, although my ‘biological clock’ was ticking. It took me quite a while – and some trial and error along the way – but I did manage to find the one who was truly meant for me.

And believe me, it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

12) “You can create new and better opportunities for yourself.”

This is a mantra/affirmation I use for myself, but I think it fits this scenario.

See, some people settle – and remain stuck – largely because they think that they won’t find something better.

And let me say, I am guilty of this.

I stayed with my old job – for a whopping 10 years – because I didn’t think I’d find a better opportunity.

After months of deliberation – and this mantra – I finally decided to resign. That was 3 years ago – and I haven’t looked back since.

I’ve managed to rekindle my love for writing, which was my course choice hadn’t I been badgered into Nursing.

Now don’t get me wrong, Nursing taught me a lot of things. It gave me a lot of opportunities. But did I love it?

I was okay with it, to say the least.

Now writing…this is something that I truly love. It didn’t feel ‘heavy’ on my heart because I was passionate about it.

So yes, enough of my sob story.

What I’m trying to say here is this statement will help this certain someone see that they do deserve better. It worked on me, and I bet it’ll work on them too!

Final thoughts

As I always say, we all deserve better. But some of us – including me in the past – feel that we have to make do with what we have.

And I’m telling you, it shouldn’t be the case.

You – and all the people you love – deserve peace, love, happiness, and everything else their heart desires.

And I hope that, at the end of the day, these 12 statements would make them see what they’ve been missing all along.

Wishing you and your ‘special someone’ the best!

Picture of Raychel Ria Agramon

Raychel Ria Agramon

I'm Raye, a nurse licensed in both the Philippines and the US. I also have a Master's degree in Public Management. Just like helping my patients, I like to empower & motivate readers with research-backed articles.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.