Am I the only person in the world who refuses to say “I’m proud of you?” That phrase has always struck me as turning the focus around to the speaker, as if the proud-making occasion is all about the speaker. Whenever anyone has said they’re proud of me (or anyone else), my immediate internal reaction is, “Well, good for you.” It’s only a matter of time before I actually say it aloud.
Possibly an aftereffect of parental criticism, I feel diminished to hear “I’m proud of you.” I simply don’t believe the speaker intends to honor either the accomplishment or the person. The proud-maker is the one who should be proud and probably is, wholeheartedly, until “I’m proud of you” takes a little wind out of their sail. Why steal their pride in their accomplishment?
That’s why I say, “You must be so proud of yourself.” If I express how I feel about the occasion, I’ll say, “I’m thrilled/happy/excited for you.” My feelings are for, or because of, them not me. It’s all about them.