You may have heard the saying “I am flattered” before, but you might not know the meaning that comes with it. Luckily, we’re here to run you through it and teach you what you should expect if someone you like says this to you!
What Does “I Am Flattered” Mean?
I am flattered means either you appreciate something that someone has said to you or think it was nice for them to say what they did. Usually, when using “I am flattered,” it means that you might not have the same feelings back to the person flattering you.
11 Examples Of How To Use “I Am Flattered” In A Sentence
The meaning is good to know, but it’s even better to see the sentence used. We’ll include some examples here for you to understand what is meant when someone says they are flattered. Unfortunately, it’s not always the nicest thing to hear, but let’s see what you make of these examples!
- I am flattered that you think of me that way, but I’m afraid I don’t feel the same way about you.
- I feel flattered that you’d open up to me like that.
- Stop it. You are flattering me, and I don’t like it.
- I’m flattered that you’d be so open with me, but we can’t keep doing this.
- I feel flattered you feel that way, but we work better as friends.
- I’m flattered that you asked, but haven’t you got better things to think about?
- You’re flattering me every time we talk. I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I’m not interested.
- Look, I am flattered, but I’m not into you in that way.
- I am flattered that you’d come to me for help.
- Wow, you guys were talking about me? I feel flattered!
- I feel flattered that you thought I’d be the best choice!
While the meaning doesn’t always have to be negative, it usually implies that we’re not returning the feelings to the speaker. Whether they’ve announced their feelings for us or complimented us in some way, if we don’t want to say it back, we can write, “I am flattered.”
The phrase usually comes with a “but” conjunction afterward. This includes a clause after it that shows why we’re not interested in their affections. It’s used as a polite way to reject somebody.
Is It Most Common To Use “I Am Flattered” Or “I Feel Flattered”?
“Flattered” is a feeling, meaning that technically “I feel flattered” should be the most common way to use the phrase. However, this isn’t the case. “I am flattered” is the most common way to say it.
Like any other emotion or feeling, we say “I am happy” rather than “I feel happy” more commonly. The same applies to “I am flattered” over “I feel flattered.
Even though it’s a feeling that we can have, we don’t have to announce that. When we want to tell someone that they’ve flattered us in some way, it’s best to use the verb “to be” (or, in this case, “am”). That way, you are telling them how you feel straight away without worrying about the verb “to feel,” which is implied through the context anyway.
Is Flattered A Good Thing?
You can look at somebody using “flattered” in two ways. Firstly, they’re doing it to spare your feelings, which makes it a good thing to use. Rather than outright rejecting you or telling you they don’t feel the same, they can start with “I am flattered” to keep it polite and civil.
However, you can also look at someone saying “I am flattered” as arrogant. Usually, they say it when they feel like you were trying to compliment them or admit your attraction. If this isn’t the case, and they twisted your words, then you might think of them as arrogant instead.
Either way, it’s usually not a good thing when someone is “flattered.” Its most common use makes it an easy and polite way to reject someone without saying the typical (and harsh) phrases like “I’m not interested” or “no thank you.” “Flattered” leaves the conversation a little more open-ended, while “I’m not interested” is a closing statement and usually ends a conversation.
Is It Polite To Say “I Am Flattered”?
As we’ve said previously, you’ll often find that most people who use “I am flattered” in the correct way are doing it to spare your feelings.
“I am flattered” is polite as long as you’re saying it to let somebody down gently. If they’ve opened up to you, but you don’t want to do it back, then saying “I am flattered, but” is a good way to introduce the rejection politely.
Some people might still act negatively when hearing “I am flattered.” Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to change their minds about that. Rejection is hard to take no matter how it’s delivered, so you might want to give them some time to get used to the idea before talking to them again.
Most people will be happy you said “I am flattered” and will also understand the implication behind it. When the words are uttered, people know that the following sentence will be some level of rejection, and they’ll be more prepared to receive the news.
What Does It Mean When A Girl Says “I Am Flattered”?
If you’ve confessed your love or attraction to a girl before and heard these words, then it is often bad news. A girl will usually use “I am flattered” to shut you down gently.
Most girls that say “I am flattered” like you but more in a friendly way than a romantic way. It’s important to remember the difference between these two things when you continue talking to the girl at later stages.
While “I am flattered” almost always comes with a negative clause or rejection after it’s said, that doesn’t always have to be the case. For example:
- I am flattered that you think of me in that way.
Suppose a girl says that to you; she might not be rejecting you. Instead, she might simply be stating that it’s so nice for you to say what you did or that she appreciates it. After that, she may be open to exploring the idea further.
Even though the meaning of “I am flattered” is usually tied in with rejection, that doesn’t always mean it has to be. Some people use “I am flattered” to simply say that they appreciate a compliment and might be ready to give you one back after finishing their sentence.
What Does It Mean When A Guy Says “I Am Flattered”?
There isn’t much difference between girls and guys when the phrase “I am flattered” gets used. In fact, both of them are used as ways to reject someone politely and to spare their feelings.
Also, a guy can say “I am flattered” when they appreciate a compliment or an advance by someone they’re interested in, just like we said about girls above.
- I am flattered that you told me this.
This phrase can be said by a guy just as easily as a girl and may continue to a conversation about each other’s feelings. Just because a guy says “I am flattered” doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in you.
It’s worth noting that girls most commonly use the phrase over guys. Guys have a more challenging time admitting their feelings in writing or speech, and since “flattered” is a feeling, they might be less likely to announce it to you. If you find a guy that does say this to you, then it means they are in tune with their emotions and could make for a good romantic partner (provided they’re not rejecting you).
What Do You Reply To “I Am Flattered”?
The reply you give to “I am flattered” depends on the context of it. Let’s look at the two main scenarios that could come up and see how you reply to both.
- I am flattered that you told me this, but I don’t feel the same.
The first scenario is the rejection scenario. In this case, it’s best to swallow your pride and let them know that you don’t seek any further approval from them. Tell them that you appreciate them telling you the truth and allowing you a chance to move on to someone new.
- I am flattered that you’d open up to me about this!
In the second scenario, we leave the conversation open-ended. You can reply to a comment like this by saying that you’re glad they are there to listen to you and would like to open up more to them. Then you can steer the conversation towards their own feelings to find out what they think about you.
I Am Flattered – Synonyms
Finally, let’s look through some synonyms that have the same meaning as “I am flattered” that might be better for you to use.
- I am honored
- I am so pleased
- I am overjoyed
- I am delighted
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.