Another possible, undesirable side effect of a comment like "You are so strong" is that it puts the suffering person on a pedestal and can make them feel reluctant to be "real" with their emotions, for fear of letting others down or burdening them by sharing the real pain they may be going through. As Kelsey was told by a woman after she lost her spouse: "I cringed when people said, 'You are so strong.' I may have appeared strong, but I was falling apart inside. I was surviving only because of Paxil."
-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 213