If your parents display these 7 behaviors, they’re secretly proud of you

I was birthed by unemotional, rather cold parents.

Now, they may not be the Brady Brunch on paper, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t loving. 

They just have less conventional ways of expressing it. 

Growing up, for instance, my parents rarely told me they were proud of me–which, to be honest, used to bother me.

But as I matured, I realized they just had different ways of showing their affection and care. 

So if your parents are anything like mine, then don’t fret. 

They may well love and be proud of you but simply aren’t the most direct at communicating it.

In this article, I’ll go through the behaviors your parents might display when they’re secretly proud of you.

Let’s dive in!

1) They share your achievements with others

If you find out that the entire town knows about your latest achievements, be it your college graduation or your newly opened dream business, then this likely points to your parents bragging about you to friends and relatives. 

Word has thoroughly gotten around. 

Perhaps they’ll even post about your milestones on social media, which is essentially their special, digital way of saying “I’m proud of you!” 

When I decided I wanted to pursue writing, my parents didn’t seem particularly impressed. 

Even when I published my first few articles, I would rarely hear glowing feedback from them, apart from the occasional “it was pretty good.” 

But then, I’d find out that their friends all had copies of my work, distributed and organized by, you guessed it, my parents.

It turns out they were quietly my biggest supporters all along. Go figure. 

2) They express an interest in your activities

As established, many parents may not always say “I’m proud of you” outright.  

But if they show a keen interest in your hobbies, work, or studies, enthusiastically asking inquisitive questions and remembering key details, this means they take pride in your passions and pursuits. 

Even when they don’t explicitly express it. 

Remember, when it comes to parents and people who love you, generally the “actions speak louder than words” very much applies.  

And speaking of actions…

3) They support you

People use powerful words so flippantly these days. 

Phrases like “I love you,” or “I’m proud of you,” are at times almost instinctively muttered, without the person saying them even consistently realizing the true weight of those words. 

Hence, for me, when it comes to people who care, the proof is in the pudding. 

Do your parents act as firm pillars of support for your pursuits in life? 

If they provide emotional, financial, or practical backing, then they are supportive of your dream. 

And chances are, they’re proud of you, your assertiveness, and the path you’ve chosen, too.

4) They trust your judgment

You can visibly see pride in a parent’s eyes.

This is the type of look that says you have a parent who trusts and respects you to make your own decisions. 

The latter ultimately indicates their level of pride in your maturity, competence, and ability to make important decisions

They are not overly worried about you, as a parent might be when dealing with a teenager or toddler who is getting their bearings in the world. 

They have faith in you as your own level-headed person–something that will make any parent proud, whether they declare it or not. 

5) They display your work or accomplishments 

things parents say to subtly control you If your parents display these 7 behaviors, they're secretly proud of you

As mentioned my parents were not the most affectionate folks during my formative years–something I’ve since accepted, as I know deep down, they do care. 

My parents live in another country. I get to see them once or twice a year at most. 

The last time I visited them was about six months ago. 

I noticed their living room had changed a little this time around. 

It was now adorned with my life achievements, both academic and professional. 

From graduation plaques and photos to random awards I’ve achieved through the years to magazine snippets about the business I once opened, my life story was on full display in my family living room, framed and all. 

I had previously imagined those documented milestones had been thrown out or were stored away somewhere, permanently collecting dust. 

So I’ll be honest–seeing those endless iterations of ‘me’ prominently displayed in their home was more moving for me than any “I’m proud of you.” 

6) They defend you 

When your parents have your back, this is as good a validation as any. 

Remember, there is no shortage of toxic, jealous people out there–sometimes, even within your own family. 

Maybe your parents have to deal with undermining or belittling criticism about you from their peers or fellow family members. 

Yet rather than passively agree, if they stand up for you in your absence, this indicates they’re proud of you. 

Remember, your parents can be proud of you for many things, including you embracing who you are as an individual.

Think about children who have different sexual orientations in conservative societies. 

Parents of these kids will have to constantly contend with society’s criticism–so much so that it’s easy to fold. 

I know countless people who have had to endure this dynamic. 

That is, parents and kids with such wide generational differences, it takes a real show of character from the former to find acceptance. 

So if a parent stands up for you in these circumstances, this is powerful. 

Rather than cave or stay silent, they’ll speak positively about you to others, expressing their love and affection, showing that they’re proud of who you are and what you represent, however different. 

Now that’s love. 

7) They remember and celebrate your achievements

I come from a family of entrepreneurs. 

My dad and his siblings have all opened their own businesses throughout the decades.

My grandmother isn’t the most outwardly friendly or warm woman; in fact, I find it unlikely she’s ever muttered the words “I’m proud of you” to anyone in her life. 

But yet, she remembers the exact dates every single one of her kids’ businesses opened over the past forty years. 

When many of her friends are succumbing to withering memories, hers remains as sharp as ever–particularly when it comes to her children’s (and her grandchildren’s) achievements in life.  

Remembering the dates of your important events or celebrating successes, no matter how small, are clear signs of parental pride in your achievements.

Final words 

As you may have noticed, expressing pride goes far deeper than saying a few words

People are complex, with different emotions and backgrounds; this sentiment certainly carries over to our parents. 

If your parents are proud of you, you’ll know it in one way or another, even though they may not overtly say it. 

You just have to dig a little deeper. 

Picture of Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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