5 Phrases You Only Hear People Say Once You Start Healing

Some of them can be tough to hear, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Throughout your healing journey, people are going to talk — and you may begin to hear how you’ve changed too much and how you’re no longer “nice.” As frustrating as it may be, these comments are a testament to how far you've come throughout the year.

Trauma specialist Annalie Howling elaborated on this in an Instagram post, sharing five things you'll begin to hear from others when you are on your healing journey.


To say this list is spot on is an understatement!

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5 Phrases You Only Hear From Others When You Start Healing

1. "How are you so strong?"

Throughout your healing journey you may have heard the phrase, “How are you so strong,” muttered once or twice. But if we are being honest, strength is not a choice you made, rather it was something forced upon you.

As Howling puts it, “If you saw me through my struggle you would know my strength was not a choice.”

So, let’s not idolize strength without looking at the other side. Even though you came out stronger, the mental toll it took on you was no walk in the park.



According to psychologist Valeria Sabater, “People accustomed to being strong are actually at the greatest risk of developing depression.” And it adds up.


As they put it, we do our best to be strong for ourselves and others, but it’s just a front. Truthfully, we are deceiving ourselves when we pretend to be strong all of the time.

However, if you are left with no other choice but to be strong, accept your vulnerability. Sabater writes, "What makes us weak is hiding ourselves from the world."

2. "You are so brave!"

You may have seen this phrase plastered on someone's comment section when they stand up and reveal their trauma — and don’t get me wrong, this phrase is well-intended!

But looking underneath the surface, we don’t give enough credit to how much mental struggle it took to get there.


Truthfully, standing up for yourself is never easy, and letting your loved ones know what you've gone through is even harder. Afterall, most of us struggle with being vulnerable.



Howling writes, “I could no longer tolerate the cage I was shut in, so I tore it apart.”

For some tearing apart this cage may not be worth it. Honestly, it may be downright terrifying and who wants to work through that fear, right? But learning how to speak up for yourself is an important part of growing up. Your voice and opinions matter!


3. "You used to be so nice."

Talk about a frustrating phrase people may have told you throughout your healing journey. But pause for a second and remind yourself this: their expectations don’t determine your niceness!

As Howling writes, “I used to think being nice + good were what I ‘should’ do. I’m still ‘nice’ but I now use thank you and [expletive] you where appropriate."

Many individuals think that if we don’t comply with their wants, then that must mean we've become meaner. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth! You're just tired of being taken advantage of!



How many times have you done something for someone out of the kindness of your heart? How many times has that person taken that kindness and ran with it?


Over and over again, I could imagine. Remember, setting boundaries doesn’t make you a terrible person. Rather, it means you value yourself enough to know when your kindness is being taken for granted — and we love that for you!

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4. "Why don’t I see you anymore?"

Okay, let me spill the tea without getting canceled by certain individuals. So, there were moments in my personal life when certain loved ones engaged in some off-hand behavior. They were spreading rumors about someone very dear to me.

Long story short, I called them out on it, and I cut contact for a long time. Eventually, I addressed the situation with them and moved on, but just because I forgave doesn’t mean I forgot.


As my late uncle put it, “Always do your best to forgive someone but never forget. Because to forget is to not learn.”



So, even though I put up with these individuals when I see them, I don’t go out of my way to hang out with them.

You should never feel guilty for refusing to surround yourself with people you can’t trust. Remember, you decide who to give your energy to and if it’s not them, well — excuse my language — they can kick rocks.


5. "You have so much self-love!"

We often hear that self-love is crucial throughout your healing journey — but it may take a while to get there. You see, to learn self-love requires breaking yourself down into a million pieces and hitting an all-time low.

As Howling writes, “I had to hit self-low, break into pieces, and love each tiny shard until I could put myself back together. I’m proud to let every piece of me shine.”

And self-love has so many benefits!



Be flexible with yourself and no matter what, never give up! You are worth it in the end.


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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.