10 phrases emotionally wounded people use to push others away

Ever noticed how some friends just keep pushing you away, no matter how hard you try?

Well, sometimes it’s because they’re really hurting on the inside.

This hurt can make them say certain things to protect themselves. It’s their way of keeping safe from more pain.

In this article, we’re going to look at 10 common phrases people use when they’re emotionally wounded and trying to keep others at a distance.

Understanding these phrases can help you be there for someone who might be having a tough time.

1. “I don’t need anyone”

This is a common phrase that emotionally wounded people might use.

They say it in an attempt to show that they are strong and independent. But, deep down, it’s often a way to avoid getting close to people. They fear that if they let anyone in, they might get hurt all over again.

If you hear someone repeatedly saying they don’t need anyone, it might be a sign that they’re struggling with some emotional wounds.

2. “I’m fine, really”

Ever had a friend who always insists they’re fine, even when they’re clearly not? This phrase is a classic sign someone might be hurting inside.

They use it as a quick answer to deflect any deeper conversation about their feelings. It’s a protective shield, keeping their true emotions hidden.

If your friend is always “fine,” they might be dealing with more than they’re letting on.

3. “It’s not a big deal”

This was something I used to say a lot.

Whenever something bothered me, I’d brush it off saying, “It’s not a big deal.” But deep inside, I was hurting. This phrase was my way of trying to convince myself that my feelings didn’t matter. I thought if I could ignore the pain, it would go away. But all it did was isolate me more.

If you notice someone dismissing their problems like this, they might be wrestling with emotional pain.

4. “I’m used to it”

Did you know that people can become accustomed to emotional pain? When a person frequently says, “I’m used to it,” they might be indicating that they’ve normalized their pain or discomfort.

This phrase is often used by those who have experienced prolonged periods of emotional distress. They might use these words to express resignation or acceptance of their ongoing struggle.

This acceptance, while seemingly brave, can also be a way of pushing people away, preventing them from getting close enough to see the true extent of their pain.

5. “I always mess things up”

This phrase breaks my heart every time I hear it. It’s a clear sign that someone is in pain and may feel like they’re to blame for their own or others’ unhappiness.

When people feel emotionally wounded, they often internalize their suffering, blaming themselves for things that go wrong. They may even believe they’re destined to mess everything up. If you hear these words from someone close to you, it’s crucial to reassure them that everyone makes mistakes, and it doesn’t define their worth or their future.

6. “I’m always the one to blame”

This one hits close to home for me. I used to believe that everything bad happening around me was my fault. Any disagreement, any problem, I’d quickly take the blame even if it wasn’t mine to take. It was a way of punishing myself for the emotional pain I was feeling.

This constant self-blaming can be a sign that someone is emotionally wounded and trying to push others away. If you hear this from someone you care about, it could be their cry for help hidden behind the mask of self-blame.

7. “No one understands me”

Let’s get real here. Hearing someone say, “No one understands me,” is like a punch to the gut. It’s raw, it’s honest, and it’s a big flashing sign that someone is hurting inside.

This phrase often comes from a place of deep loneliness and isolation, a feeling that their pain is so unique and overwhelming that no one else could possibly get it.

If you hear this from a friend or loved one, don’t dismiss it or take it personally. Instead, see it for what it is: a desperate plea for empathy and understanding from someone who feels lost in their own emotional turmoil.

8. “I don’t care”

When someone says “I don’t care” often, they usually do care—a lot.

This phrase is a common defense mechanism used by those who are emotionally wounded. It acts as a shield, protecting their true feelings and vulnerabilities. By claiming not to care, they can keep others at a distance, preventing them from seeing the depth of their emotional pain.

So next time you hear “I don’t care”, remember it might just be a mask hiding their real feelings.

9. “I’m just tired”

I used to say this all the time. “I’m just tired.” It was an easy way to deflect questions about why I seemed off or why I wasn’t my usual self.

But, in reality, I wasn’t just physically tired; I was emotionally exhausted. This phrase can often be a subtle hint that someone is carrying a heavy emotional burden.

So, if you notice a friend frequently saying they’re tired, it may be worth checking in on them a little deeper.

10. “I’m a burden to others”

This phrase is perhaps one of the rawest and most honest of them all.

When someone expresses the belief that they’re a burden, it’s a clear sign they’re carrying significant emotional pain. They may feel like their problems are too heavy and don’t want to bring others down with them. This belief can cause them to isolate themselves, pushing others away to avoid feeling like a burden.

If you hear someone express this feeling, it’s important to let them know that they’re valued and loved, and their struggles don’t make them a burden.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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