21 phrases to avoid if you want to sound like a strong and confident person

In our daily interactions, the way we communicate plays a crucial role in how others perceive us. 

Being able to express ourselves confidently and assertively can leave a lasting impression on people. 

However, certain phrases may inadvertently undermine the image of strength and confidence we wish to project. 

In this article, we will explore 21 phrases that you should refrain from using if you want to sound like a strong and confident person. 

By eliminating these expressions from your vocabulary, you can enhance your communication skills and make a more positive impact on those around you.

1) “I’m sorry, but…” 

Starting a sentence with an unnecessary apology can weaken your message and suggest uncertainty. 

The substitute could be to confidently state your thoughts or opinions without prefacing them with unnecessary apologies. 

For example, you can begin by expressing gratitude or appreciation for the listener’s patience, and then dive straight into your point, making a more assertive and impactful statement

This way, you maintain a strong presence while still being respectful and considerate in your communication.

 Remember, expressing yourself confidently can leave a lasting impression on others and showcase your self-assurance in any situation.

2) “I’m not sure, but…” 

Using phrases like this can make you appear indecisive and unsure of yourself. 

Rather, express your ideas with conviction, even if you might not have all the answers. 

Replace with: “Let me find out for you, and…”

3) “I think this might be a stupid question, but…” 

Labeling your question as “stupid” diminishes your self-assurance and may deter others from taking you seriously. 

Remember, there are no stupid questions; curiosity is a sign of intelligence. 

Say: “I have a question about…” to express your curiosity.

4) “I’m just…” 

Minimizing your contributions with phrases like “I’m just” downplays your value and achievements. 

Emphasize your accomplishments without downplaying them.

5) “I could be wrong, but…” 

This phrase conveys doubt and undermines your credibility

Instead, share your thoughts with confidence and be open to discussions

Try “I believe that…” if you want to talk about any idea.

6) “I’ll try my best…” 

Although sometimes we want to express commitment is commendable, using “try” suggests the possibility of failure

To fix that, use “I will” to show determination and confidence in your abilities.

7) “This may not make sense, but…” 

phrases to avoid if you want to sound like a strong and confident person 1 21 phrases to avoid if you want to sound like a strong and confident person

Discrediting your own statements before sharing them can give others a reason not to listen. 

An alternative phrase that you could use is “Let me explain…”. 

Trust that your thoughts are valuable and articulate them clearly.

8) “I’m not good at…” 

Stop saying self-deprecating statements that highlight your weaknesses

If you’re not confident about something, say “I am working on improving my skills in…” instead. 

Focus on your strengths and show enthusiasm for learning and growth. People will see you as a positive individual. 

Embrace a growth mindset and recognize that everyone has areas of improvement. 

9) “Does that make sense?” 

Asking for validation on your ideas constantly can make you appear unsure. 

Instead, ask for feedback or encourage questions to foster a more engaging conversation.

10) “I hate public speaking.” 

Though public speaking might be daunting to even think about, try not to immediately decline if someone asks you to present. 

You can address the situation by simply explaining: “I prefer one-on-one interactions, but I’m open to addressing a group.”

11) “I’m not as talented as others…” 

Comparing yourself negatively to others undermines your self-esteem

Acknowledge your unique skills and strengths, and work on improving in areas that need development.

12) “I’m just lucky.” 

Attributing your success solely to luck diminishes your efforts and hard work. 

Take credit for your achievements and acknowledge the effort you put in to reach your goals. 

Use “I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had” to show your gratitude.

13) “I hate confrontation.” 

To be honest, I used to hate confrontation too. 

We all know that avoiding confrontation is natural, but expressing intense dislike for it can make us seem less assertive. 

Emphasize your willingness to address issues constructively and find solutions. 

You can still be honest with what you feel by saying: “”I prefer resolving issues through open communication and understanding.”

14) “I don’t know anything about that.”

phrases to avoid if you want to sound like a strong and confident person 3 21 phrases to avoid if you want to sound like a strong and confident person

Even if you lack expertise on a topic, avoid outright dismissing it. 

A technique that I always use is redirecting the conversation to a subject I am knowledgeable about. 

By doing so, I can actively contribute to the discussion while still acknowledging my limited knowledge in the initial topic. 

Another effective way is to use open-ended questions to gather information from the other person. 

Everybody loves to show that they are knowledgeable, and by asking thoughtful questions, you not only encourage them to share their insights but also demonstrate your curiosity and willingness to learn. 

15) “I’m not good with technology.” 

Well, technology is clearly not something everyone is good at. 

But instead of admitting defeat, show a willingness to learn and adapt to new technologies. 

Demonstrating openness to progress will enhance your image as a confident individual.

16) “I’m not a leader.” 

Some people are born leaders, some aren’t. 

But trust me, even if you are not in a designated leadership position, you still have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership qualities in various situations. 

So when your boss asks you to take charge of a project or lead a team, instead of saying you’re not a leader, you can try saying something like:

“I may not have a formal leadership title, but I’m confident in my ability to guide and motivate the team to achieve our goals. I’m ready to take on the challenge and provide the support needed to ensure our success.” 

Embracing leadership qualities will not only impress your superiors but also inspire confidence in your colleagues, creating a positive and effective work environment.

17) “I’ll do whatever you want.” 

While being accommodating is important, avoid sounding overly submissive. 

This phrase makes people think you are desperate. 

Rather express your willingness to collaborate and find solutions that benefit everyone.

18) “I don’t deserve this.” 

It’s time for you to believe in your worth and avoid self-doubt. 

Accept compliments graciously and acknowledge your achievements as I’ve mentioned above.

19) “I don’t think I can handle it.” 

Instead, say “I’m up for the challenge, and I’ll give it my best effort.” 

By replacing the self-doubting phrase with a more confident one, you convey determination and a positive attitude towards tackling the task. 

Expressing your willingness to take on challenges shows that you believe in your abilities and are ready to face whatever comes your way.

20) “I’m not good with change.” 

Rather than admitting a resistance to change, expressing openness to new opportunities demonstrates flexibility and adaptability. 

Embracing change indicates that you can handle uncertainty and are willing to learn and grow in dynamic environments. 

You can use this: “I embrace new opportunities and adapt quickly to changes.”

21) “I don’t want to sound arrogant, but…” 

Avoid downplaying your skills and instead confidently express your capabilities. 

Sharing specific reasons for your confidence can help others understand your strengths without coming across as arrogant.

A better approach would be: “I’m confident in my abilities, and here’s why…” 


Eliminating these phrases from your vocabulary can significantly enhance how others perceive your confidence and strength

Embrace assertive language and positive self-expression to make a lasting impression. 

Remember, confidence is a skill that can be developed and refined over time, so practice mindful communication and watch your interactions improve.

Picture of Nguyet Yen Tran

Nguyet Yen Tran

Yen is a freelance writer and a researcher specializing in mental health, self-awareness, and psychology. Her hobby is studying human behavior throughout their reaction upon situations. Be sure to check out her other posts on our blog.

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