I’m so proud of you. Knock it off.

Every once in awhile I hear someone use the phrase “I’m so proud of you” and my skin crawls. I know not everyone feels this way, but to me, it sounds condescending. It makes me feel seven years old. It makes me feel like the speaker is applauding me for improving myself and rising to his/her own standards that are obviously higher than my own.

Unless the action is something that the speaker has been personally helping me to overcome, with lessons, reminders, advice, whatever–unless the speaker has actively participated and has a stake in my accomplishment, however small or large it is, then the speaker has no right to claim ownership to anything I do. It is not his/hers to take pride in.

My sister is the only person allowed to say that and not make me want to punch something (usually). My boss is allowed to say it ’cause he’s my boss. If you’re not one of them, please find something else to say.

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