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  • Shelly Bell

Saying "I'm Proud of You" is Weird



A friend of mine sent me a text message to let me know about her upcoming launch party for her new product. I know firsthand the challenges she faced to launch the product. She literally stayed up all night for several days of several months designing and shifting her product to perfection. She has attended multiple accelerators and has had a few conversations with investors. She has put her blood, sweat, and tears into her idea.


When I read her message, my initial feeling was “yes girl you did that! You got here!” My next feeling was pride. This made me pause. I always feel weird about telling someone I’m proud of them. I’ve heard others kinda hesitate to say it to me as well or have an explanation like “not saying that like I’m higher or trying to minimize but yes! I’m proud of you.” I went to The Google to read up on different takes on this. I found an article where a woman spoke about losing weight to a friend. Her friend replied, “I’m proud of you.” The woman took that as “ooh she must really want me to lose weight if she’s proud that I did.”


There was another article about “I’m proud of you” being related to someone being impressed with you. This also kinda feels like someone saying “‘I’m surprised you made it.” There were a few about parenting. What this all comes down to is power dynamics. Does your pride minimize someone else? I don’t think so. You’re allowed to be proud of yourself and of other people you know. Saying “I’m proud of you” is saying “I see what you wanted, I see how you went for it, and I take pride in you achieving what you wanted to achieve.” This is one of those places where we should choose to think the highest and most positive truth. If you said “i’m proud of you” with hopes of minimizing me and I took the truth to be that you’re exalting me, whether you meant that or not believing you’re exalting me is a pretty awesome truth to choose to believe! You’re allowed to only think/feel the highest truths available. #thinkingallowed #iamshellybell

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Shelly Bell

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