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Proud of you – Never heard words

I never had anyone say they were proud of me. While at the end of the day it is most important to take pride in yourself, regardless of feedback from others or what people may or may not say, there are many experts that say it is important to hear those words, especially from your parents. I would have liked to hear it in regards to my accomplishments.

While some people may say the word is not necessary, in general the thought from most experts is that it is important for others (especially parents or those who raised you) to say they are proud of their children; not just because they are kids, but because of their accomplishments. But the words of being “proud of you” can really come from anyone….close friends, relatives, partners, siblings, mentors, and others. It should never be overused though.

One of the keys to telling someone you are proud though is make it about the accomplishment. The phrase never be overused, but used on occasion, when there was a real action taken on something that mattered. Saying you are proud of someone should also encourage the process and recognize the obstacles that were overcome. There is a fine balance as to when or when to not use the phrase, but be sure to never overdue it..

Someone saying they are proud of you can be about anything as well. It can be because you went above and beyond in being kind to someone else, graduated from school under challenging circumstances, displayed extra special generosity, made a major career move or accomplishment or anything. But the action/word/phrase to be proud can’t be overused. If so, it can even make the person feel entitled

I have never heard anyone say “I am proud of you”. Even though I thought or and took the initiative to create a successful business that has impacted millions (if not tens of millions of people) and I came from a lower income background to be a multi-millionaire with enough to place me in top %; and I achieved that the right way.

I never heard those words though I also retired at almost unheard of age of 40, do not swear, am very generous and kind, overcame a volatile family with substance abuse in it, and went through even more. I must admit it would have been nice to hear those words. Heck even just once in my life, especially from my parents. While I do have many faults, and am far from perfect, I also have many extraordinary accomplishments that were done the right way, by the book, and with integrity.

Pride is internal though. I remind myself this all the time. I can look in the mirror and say I made a difference, did it with integrity, and have many positives about me. According to most experts, and my therapist!, this is most important; the internal feelings of being proud. Look at yourself in the mirror and know you made a difference in a positive way.

I know others who have never heard these words as well. It is funny in that for the people who I know who have not heard those words from others, especially their parents, they all seem to be aware of it, and many seem to be hurt by no one telling them they were proud of them.
I know of the 50 year old who is successful career wise who still seems to hold a grudge against his parents because he never heard it; the person who never heard those words even when hitting educational as well as career goals, the daughter who never heard I am proud of you from their mom, and a few other examples.

Hearing someone say they are proud of you can also come from mentors or even a certain type of role model. A number of children from difficult, poverty stricken backgrounds may come from broken homes and lack role models. They may too be wishing someone would just encourage them, give them direction, and say they are proud of them. If there is someone in your life who has meaningful accomplishments, be sure to speak those words.

It seems like never hearing the words “I am proud” of you when they were younger causes struggles, hardship, poor life decisions and maybe even resentment as the kid ages into an adult. We wrote about a book about emotionally immature parents, and how things like this cause challenges as the kid ages. Even though pride should be internal, and that is of course most important, it is sometimes easier said than done. It seems like most people who never heard the words at all can struggle with the fact they were never told by anyone that “I am proud of you”. But that is my own opinion. But I do think it can be very hard for those people who are never by someone they are proud of them…I can relate and sometimes wonder/struggle about it I take a honest assessment of myself.

But at the end of the day, I am proud of myself. It is important for others who also achieve great things, and who do not hear the words “I am proud of you”, to remind themselves as well that it is an internal feeling of taking pride.


Jon McNamara is the CEO of needhelppayingbills.com, a company that he started in 2008 and that specializes in helping low income families as well as those who are in a financial hardship. He also found NHPB LLC, a company committed to helping the less fortunate. Jon and his team also provide free financial advice to help people learn about as well as manage their money. Every piece of content on this website has been reviewed by him before publishing and many of the articles he has personally written. Jon is the leading author for needhelppayingbils.

One thought on “Proud of you – Never heard words

  • February 24, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    This too is so sad. Every child deserves to have someone tell them they are proud, if the child has earned it. It reads as if you have from where you started to are now. I am proud of you are words that are not spoken enough in our world.


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