or how about: "Well, *I* think you're amazing. And I will love you no matter what happens with this job/test/whatever."
Those of us who are reading this thread can tink about our encouragement techniques.
My own mom was great. She'd point out, "well, you do this really well; remember this other time you did great, and I see similarities now; I'm sure you'll do your best."
But mostly she'd listen: "Is this normal nerves, or are you really worried?"
Sigh...missing her a lot lately. There is nothing that has affected my life as powerfully s the rock-solid belief that my mother would love me and admire me no matter WHAT tests I failed, or no matter how badly I messed up.
No amount of blind encouragement could ever have provided the strength that this did.
Yes, this. It's about listening. It's about hearing the other person's concerns and responding to them in a way that's helpful. I can understand why the OP feels dismissed by her dad's responses. They don't reflect that he hears her. Maybe it isn't rude, but it also isn't helpful to her.
I had similar problems with my dad. When I finished my bachelor's degree in the late '80s, I had a very hard time finding a job. The field I was in was very competitive, and there just weren't a lot of jobs available. My dad, in a misguided quest to be helpful, would offer suggestions that were not helpful at all. To give an example, my goal was a job in TV production. My dad thought it would be a great idea if I made my own music videos and sent them to MTV. Because, you know, they just play whatever anyone sends them. My dad had no knowledge of the production process, quality equipment (which I did not own or have access to), or how the music industry works. To him, all anyone needed to get a music video on MTV was a camcorder, some envelopes, and postage. He thought it was that simple. If I didn't act on his suggestions, he nagged at me about them. Why hadn't I sent videos to MTV yet? When was I going to make videos and send them to MTV? My choice was to make excuses or to be honest: Because MTV doesn't play music videos from random people for bands from MyTown that nobody has ever heard of.
And that's where unhelpful becomes even more unhelpful: But how did I know that MTV wouldn't take them? By gosh, everyone gets started in business somewhere, and if you don't try then you aren't ever going to succeed! Have confidence! You can do this! He believed I was being unnecessarily pessimistic, but I was actually being realistic. Confidence in my skills was not the problem. The problem was that many people with great skills were competing for few jobs, and also MTV doesn't accept random videos. That's not how it works.
It is frustrating when people give advice or vague suggestions of affirmation when they don't understand the process. They might mean well, and that can be respected. But when you try to inject reality because you
understand the process, it adds to the frustration when that knowledge goes unheard. Being realistic is not the same as being negative.
In my situation, I would have found it much more helpful if my dad had just listened to my worries and told me he supported me in the job search rather than dispensing unrealistic advice and affirmation. In essence, his unrealistic advice and platitudes created unrealistic expectations. That wasn't helpful.