If someone uses these 7 phrases often, they might be hiding their unhappiness

If someone uses these phrases often, they might be hiding their unhappiness

We all want to be there for our friends especially when they need us most, right? 

But sometimes it’s not that simple. People don’t always want to tell you how they’re really feeling. Maybe they’re not ready to open up or perhaps they don’t want to burden you with their issues. 

The thing is: you can tell if someone is hiding their unhappiness just by what they say. You just have to know what to look out for. 

With that in mind, today I’m sharing 7 phrases that you might hear a lot from people who are hiding their unhappiness. 

Do you recognize any of these phrases from people in your life? 

1) “I’m just being dramatic, don’t mind me”

Have you ever been talking to a friend and they’ve finally started to open up about how they really feel? They might be sharing some struggles they have at work or maybe something they’re going through with their family.

Then all of a sudden, they say “I’m just being dramatic, don’t mind me”. It’s like they realized they’ve shared too much and don’t want to come across like they’re looking for sympathy. 

I noticed my sister saying this quite a lot a few months back. She was moving house and transitioning to a new job. 

Although her unhappiness was based on some temporary life stress, I reminded her that she wasn’t being dramatic and her feelings were valid. 

If you notice a friend saying this phrase regularly, it could be a sign they’re trying to hide their unhappiness and might need some extra support from you. 

2) “I’m just tired”

“I’m just tired” is the classic phrase people use to try to divert attention away from them. When someone notices they’re a bit off form they’ll say “I’m just tired” to cover up what’s really going on. 

Is this a phrase you hear often from someone you care about? 

Sometimes they might genuinely be feeling tired as fatigue is a symptom of things like stress, anxiety, and even depression. 

It’s normal to feel tired but if you notice that it’s someone’s go-to phrase when their mood seems low, there’s a chance they might be hiding more deep-rooted unhappiness. 

3) “I’m so jealous”

This one’s a little tricky. Sometimes people use it to convey excitement for you like if you’re going on holiday, they’ll say “I’m so jealous, can’t wait to hear all about it”. And there’s probably nothing to be concerned about here. 

But other times you’ll hear people express envy about more permanent things in your life like your relationships, your job, and even your lifestyle. 

Everyone feels little pangs of envy in life but if someone is constantly saying “I’m so jealous” they’re showing a lack of contentment with what they’ve got. 

Focusing on your struggles instead of counting your blessings by practicing gratitude is a key reason people feel unhappy in life. In one study, two groups were asked to write letters alongside their counseling for mental health. 

One group wrote letters of thanks and reported feeling better, sooner. “The other group in the study that were asked to journal their negative experiences instead of writing gratitude letters reported feelings of anxiety and depression.”

Expressing and dwelling on negative emotions like envy can lead to unhappiness and keep you there so watch out for your friends who say “I’m so jealous” a lot. 

4) “I’ve just got a lot going on right now” 

Life gets busy from time to time, sure. But do you know someone who always seems to have a lot going on? 

This phrase reminds me of my friend, let’s call her, Fiona. She’s one of those people who is always stretched to the max. She’s super busy at work, she’s committed to too many social plans and she’s always involved in extracurricular activities with her sports team.

She uses the phrase “I’ve just got a lot going on right now” to explain her stress levels and low mood. But the more I think about it, the more I realize this is her constant state. I’ve decided to speak to her to see if there’s anything I can do to support her because I think she’s hiding her unhappiness. 

Being constantly stressed can contribute to lower levels of happiness so if you know someone like Fiona, who always has a lot going on, it might be time to suggest they take on a little less, for their own sake. 

5) “I just can’t catch a break”

Have you heard someone constantly use the phrase “I just can’t catch a break”?

We all know what it’s like to be down on our luck but hearing this phrase repeatedly suggests there’s something more going on.

The problem is: when people feel like they can’t catch a break, they can quickly and easily fall into a cycle of negative thinking. This impacts their outlook on life and their mental well-being. 

Negative thinking can turn temporary unhappiness like having a bad week, into a more long-term thing. 

If you notice someone always saying they can’t catch a break it could be a sign they’ve fallen into negative thinking and are doing their best to hide their unhappiness. 

6) “I just need to get through this week/month/year”

Life is for living and enjoying, right? It’s about more than just getting by or surviving. 

Hearing someone say “I just need to get through this week/month/year” consistently is a sure sign they’re hiding their unhappiness. 

Taking the outlook that life is to be endured or something to simply get through like they’re just going through the motions is a sign that someone might be feeling discontent and stuck in life. 

There are lots of reasons someone might feel like this but there are also many ways to move forward and it all starts with awareness and a decision to make a change. 

In this situation, the best thing you can do is support your friend through this transition. 

7) “I’m fine, don’t worry”

Ironically when you hear someone say “I’m fine, don’t worry” over and over again, it might actually be time to worry. 

Some people aren’t so good at asking for or even accepting help from others. But the truth is everyone needs the support of others at some time in their life. 

If you’ve got a friend who constantly says “I’m fine, don’t worry” and refuses to accept help, it might be time to pause and consider if they need you to do more.

It’s a fine balance between respecting someone’s wishes and being there to support them when they need you.

Having a sincere talk can show them you’re a supportive friend, just like they are for you and you want to hear their problems. 

A listening ear is often what someone needs to start feeling better. 

Final thoughts

Listen out for these phrases from your friends and family. 

It’s especially important to note if you hear the same person saying some of these phrases repeatedly.

Sometimes being a supportive friend is about refusing to accept their first answer and digging a little deeper to understand what’s really going on.

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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