Thoughts from the Road: Tell People You’re Proud Of Them

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Today I decided to start writing about the thoughts I have while I’m traveling around the world. I use to do it all the time but then I stopped for no particular reason and now I have a backlog of random thoughts about life that might shed some light for all of you, my readers. Today I’m going to talk about demonstrating your pride in others because it’s really important. There are a million different things people may feel prideful about. Maybe your significant other accomplished something at work or earned a promotion. Perhaps someone you know painted an incredible work of art. Or maybe a couple you know finally were able to start the family they always dreamed of starting. Whatever it is, people will feel happiness, joy, and pride in a variety of things.

Tell People You're Proud of Them | My Normal Gay Life Blog
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If someone comes to you and explicitly tells you about their accomplishments, they are usually feeling a sense of joy themselves for their accomplishments. It’s such an overwhelming feeling, they want to share it with others so that others may also share and experience their happiness. As human beings, we can usually sense when this is the case and it’s usually an excellent opportunity to express your happiness for them and their accomplishments. We do this by congratulating them, telling them we are happy for them, and expressing feeling of pride in them.

Tell People You're Proud of Them | My Normal Gay Life Blog
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Saying “I’m proud” doesn’t equate to approval and control.

I’ve read the assertion that expressing your feelings of pride in someone for their accomplishments is tantamount to saying you give your approval or even trying to have control of the situation and their accomplishments. I’ve read this assertion made by more than a few people online and I disagree with it in its entirety. Telling someone you are proud of them does not mean you wish to assert control or a sense of ownership for the other person’s accomplishments, necessarily. Sure, sometimes words are used to do this but in most instances it is simply not the case. It shouldn’t mean this at least and if this what you imply when you say this to someone then you should reevaluate and change that immediately.

Often times, we say we are proud of people or organizations such as sports teams with whom we feel a shared sense of identity. For instance, whenever I hear about someone doing something spectacular at my Alma Mater, I feel pride inside. Did I accomplish anything in this situation? No. But I still feel proud because of our shared identity and association. It has nothing to do with approval and control because regardless of anyone’s sense of pride in a situation, people will likely to continue to excel.

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Expressions of pride lead to unwanted familiarity.

Another reason people tend to argue expressing pride is not healthy is because it leads to unwanted familiarity. We live in a highly connected world where most of us post quite a bit about our lives on social media. Even if we never really speak to some of the people who we are connected to on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, we may still feel a sense of connection and familiarity with them and they may also feel that sense of connection with us. It’s no different then TV personalities or even characters in books and movies who we’ve never met but feel connected to. I mean, who hasn’t felt emotional over something a character did in a TV show? People like Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela are examples of those who accomplished things we all feel proud of yet we didn’t do a thing to contribute to their accomplishments.

Today we all have our audiences and invariably we all have people who look to us as examples of what “someone like me” can achieve. Whether we like it or not, we are all representatives of people within our audiences who relate to us. Our role models and idols are progressively more and more just normal people and that’s not a bad thing. As we become more connected, our sense of identity becomes more complex. Consequently, people tend to feel familiar with others that they normally might not feel a connection to under other circumstances. This isn’t a bad thing and it’s the reason people may both feel and express pride in others.

Tell People You're Proud of Them | My Normal Gay Life Blog
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Why you should tell someone you are proud of them

The main reason we should tell people we are proud shows a sense of empathy for a person in the best of times. I think empathy is often relegated to negative emotions. For example; you upset someone so you actively listen to their perspective in order to demonstrate you understand where they are coming from. However empathy doesn’t need to be associated with bad situations alone. We can experience empathy when it comes to the happiness and joys of other people just as much as we feel empathy towards the sad or tough times people go through. It’s vital to express and share these positive empathetic feelings. It helps build relationships in both a platonic and romantic way. It brings us closer to one another at a deeper level.

If you feel proud of someone, tell them. It strengthens your relationship with that person and expresses positive empathy.

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Ways to Say I’m Proud of You

Of course, when it comes to expressing your empathy for bausch happy emotions, you might find yourself at a loss for the right words to say. Don’t worry! There really is no right or wrong way to tell someone you are proud of them as long as your heart is in the right place. When it comes down to it, telling someone you are proud of them is a matter of expressing your happiness and love for that person, their joy, and their accomplishments. But here are a few ways to tells someone you are proud of them that are highly effective.

“I’m proud of you”

This is an excellent way to tell someone you are proud of them because it is direct and to the point. It is the verbal show of support and often makes people feel very good about themselves. During tough times this verbal expression of support can really help a person to continue forward. I know when I tell my husband this for whatever reason, his demeanor changes and he always smiles.

“You must be so proud of yourself”

This is an example of reflective mirroring and is suitable for those who believe the more direct “I’m so proud of you” asserts control and ownership over the accomplishments of others. In this case, you are telling the other person they should feel pride in themselves and that their source of truth and power lies within themselves. To me, this statement is not very empathetic but it still shows support. Careful how you say this because it can be taken the wrong way by the receiver.

“I love to see your success” This is pretty straightforward as well. It directly tells the person that you feel happy for their success and enjoy seeing them succeed. There’s not much else to say about this one.

“I’m proud to be your_____”

Fill in the blank. Whether you’re a person’s friend, husband, sister, brother, uncle, aunt…whatever it is, emphasize that your relationship to them makes you feel proud and happy. It’s a really great response when a person tells you their accomplishments because you are showing empathy and letting them know their happiness makes your relationship all the better.

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Don’t sweat it

In the end, expressing your pride in someone shouldn’t be a difficult thing to do and doesn’t require too much thought. If someone takes umbrage with the manner in which you try to empathize and express your joy for them, then there is another issue at hand. Just remember empathy really helps any relationship flourish, be it platonic, familial, or romantic. Telling someone you are proud of them can make all the difference in the world. So don’t be afraid to express those emotions.


Will you start telling people you are proud of them more often?


J Harvey

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Thoughts from the Road: Tell People You're Proud Of Them | My Normal Gay Life Blog

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J. Harvey

J Harvey is a travel writer based in North Carolina. With two masters degrees, he decided to forget working a normal 9-5 job and instead create a travel blog focusing on travel for a more inclusive community. He hopes to increase LGBT representation within the travel industry while inspiring others to travel in whatever capacity.

J. Harvey has 173 posts and counting. See all posts by J. Harvey

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