When you’re expressing an opinion that you think might not be immediately accepted, it’s tempting to qualify it. The more you undermine your own ideas before you share them, though, the less confident you look.
Photo by Chris & Karen Highland.
As psychology blog Psychology Today points out, qualifying your every belief with phrases like “I could be wrong” or “I’m no expert” doesn’t serve to make your audience more receptive. They simply undermine your confidence before you’ve even shared your belief:
Starting a statement by suggesting you could be wrong will make people less likely to conclude that you’re right. You literally make it harder for them to accept what you have to say.
While that’s fine every once in a while when you’re discussing topics that you have no expertise in, qualifying every one of your opinions this way doesn’t do anything constructive. If you’re confident enough to state your opinion, it’s safe to assume you’re confident enough to say it without undermining it first.
10 Things Passive People Say [Psychology Today]