I’m Not Proud of You

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.


6 thoughts on “I’m Not Proud of You

  1. I tell my son “I’m proud of you” when he does well or does something difficult. I think it’s odd when someone says, “I’m proud FOR you”


  2. Yeah, it’s a weird expression. I’ve occasionally said it to my children but not often. Mostly I admire them. Or I find another synonym to express my excitement at one of their achievements. I also find it strange to be “proud” of a heritage. It’s just an accident of birth ~ I didn’t do anything to be an American. It just happened. There’s nothing to be proud of there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I see what you mean, but personally I like someone to tell me they are proud of me. I must have done something pretty notable for that to be said. I like the “You must be so proud of yourself” too, and “Congratulations, you did it” are good and I usually say them along with the “I’m proud of you.” Interesting thing to think about!

    Liked by 1 person

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