8 traits of people who stay strong, even when their heart is broken

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When life serves you heartbreak, it’s easy to crumble under the weight of your emotions. But what if that heartbreak could also be a foundation to build a stronger, more resilient you? 

I have a friend who has faced devastating loss and heartache, yet she remains one of the most resilient people I know. 

It’s as if her broken heart has become the source of her strength, making her not just unbreakable, but extraordinary. 

If you’ve been through heartbreak and find yourself standing tall, you’re stronger than you think. 

Read on to discover the 8 traits that make you a beacon of resilience, even with a broken heart.

1) Emotional resilience

When heartbreak strikes, it’s like a tornado that leaves emotional debris scattered everywhere. Many people find it tough to pick up the pieces, but not you, and not my friend. 

Just like her, you’re emotionally resilient, a trait that is more precious than gold in the face of adversity.

Emotional resilience doesn’t mean you don’t feel the pain; it means you find a way to keep going despite the pain. 

You’ve been through emotional storms, yet you stand tall like an oak tree that’s weathered countless seasons. 

You don’t pretend the storm didn’t happen, but you don’t allow it to uproot you either. Instead, you use your broken heart as soil, nourishing new growth and fostering emotional durability. 

You learn from each tear, each pang of pain, and emerge stronger, ready to face the world and whatever it throws your way. 

2) Self-compassion

Heartbreak often comes with an extra serving of self-criticism. Questions like “What did I do wrong?” or “Why wasn’t I enough?” start to plague your thoughts. 

But if you’re standing strong despite a broken heart, you’ve likely embraced the power of self-compassion.

Much like my incredible friend, you treat yourself with the kindness you’d offer to a loved one going through the same ordeal. 

You recognize that being human means facing setbacks and emotional blows, and that’s okay. Instead of beating yourself up, you wrap yourself in a comforting blanket of understanding and self-care.

Self-compassion gives you the emotional space to heal without fast-forwarding through the process. You don’t rush to “get over it.” 

You give yourself the grace to grieve, to feel, and to mend at your own pace. It’s like you’re your own best friend, telling yourself, “It’s okay to be hurting. You’ll get through this, just like you’ve gotten through tough times before.”

3) Optimism

Even when the clouds are dark and the world seems full of shadows, optimism can be the glimmer of sunlight that breaks through, offering hope for better days. 

If you’re standing strong despite heartbreak, chances are you’ve harnessed the healing power of optimism — just like my friend, who never loses her faith in the promise of a new dawn.

Optimism isn’t about denying reality or pretending that everything is okay. It’s about choosing to focus on the possibilities rather than the limitations. 

You look at your broken heart and see not just an end, but a new beginning; not just a loss, but a lesson. You grasp onto hope, trusting that even though life is tough now, it won’t always be this way.

It’s not just wishful thinking; it’s a conscious choice to uplift yourself. You catch yourself when you start to spiral into negativity and gently guide your thoughts back to what can be gained from the situation. 

Maybe it’s newfound wisdom, self-discovery, or even just the simple understanding that you are stronger than your setbacks.

4) Strong support network

The myth that “strength equals solitude” has been debunked time and time again, yet it’s a misconception that still lingers. 

We often think that being strong means shouldering burdens alone, tackling challenges without asking for help. 

But if you’re weathering heartbreak with resilience, you likely know that true strength often lies in the power of a strong support network — just like my steadfast friend.

She’s a warrior, no doubt, but even warriors need a place to rest and recharge. She understands the importance of reaching out to friends, family, or even professionals when the weight of heartbreak becomes too heavy to bear alone.

You’re no different. You know when it’s time to tap into your circle of support, be it for a listening ear, practical advice, or simply the comforting presence of people who care about you. 

You’re not afraid to say, “I need help,” or “I’m struggling,” because you understand that doing so isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a hallmark of emotional intelligence.

5) Willingness to seek professional help

Seeking professional help, like consulting a therapist or counselor, is sometimes stigmatized as a last resort for people who can’t “handle” their issues. 

But let me set the record straight: taking that step is one of the most empowering actions you can take. 

It’s something my friend did when she was navigating the labyrinth of her own heartbreak, and it made a world of difference.

You, too, understand that there’s immense strength in asking for expert guidance. 

Whether it’s therapy, counseling, or any other form of professional help, you recognize it for what it is — a valuable resource to help you unpack your emotions, understand your behavior, and strategize for your emotional well-being.

It’s not about “fixing” you because you’re broken. It’s about equipping you with the tools you need to mend your own heart and come out even stronger on the other side. 

With each session, you’re not just healing; you’re investing in your future self, gaining insights and coping mechanisms that will serve you for life.

6) Ability to set boundaries

Boundaries often get a bad rap, misconstrued as barriers that keep people out. But in reality, setting boundaries is an act of self-preservation and self-respect. 

Take it from my friend — her journey through heartbreak taught her that without clear boundaries, you risk losing yourself in the emotional whirlpool that often accompanies a broken heart.

Like her, you’ve recognized the value of saying “no” when you need to, of drawing lines that help you maintain your emotional well-being. 

Maybe you’ve had to distance yourself from the person who broke your heart, or perhaps you’ve declined invitations to social events that you knew would be too emotionally draining. 

You do these things not out of spite or bitterness, but out of a deep-rooted respect for your own emotional state.

And you extend that respect to others, too. Just as you maintain your own boundaries, you honor those set by the people around you. 

It’s an empathetic cycle that encourages emotional wellness for everyone involved.

7) Active coping strategies

When the weight of a broken heart seems unbearable, it’s easy to fall into a passive state, hoping that time alone will heal your wounds. But you, like my friend, know better. 

You understand the importance of active coping strategies — deliberate actions that facilitate emotional healing and personal growth.

Maybe you’ve picked up journaling as a way to articulate your thoughts and emotions, or perhaps you’ve immersed yourself in physical activities like running or yoga to reconnect with your body. 

It could even be as simple as setting aside time each day for mindfulness, or reaching out to friends and loved ones when you need a morale boost.

What sets you apart is your willingness to take control of your healing process. You’re not just waiting for the emotional storm to pass; you’re learning how to dance in the rain, using these coping strategies as your choreography.

And the beauty of these active coping strategies is that they don’t just apply to heartbreak. 

These are life skills, tools in your emotional toolkit that you can carry into future challenges and obstacles, heart-related or otherwise.

8) Maintains routine

In the face of heartbreak, it’s tempting to let everything go — to cancel plans, to call in sick, to binge-watch sad movies all day long. 

But you know the immense power that lies in maintaining a routine, even when your world feels like it’s falling apart.

Sticking to a routine provides you with a sense of normalcy and control, things that are often in short supply when dealing with emotional pain. 

Perhaps you still wake up early, get dressed, and put in a full day’s work, or maybe you keep up with your weekly book club or Saturday morning yoga class. 

It doesn’t have to be rigid or inflexible, but having that backbone of structure in your life acts as a grounding force.

Routine can also serve as a distraction, but not the unhealthy kind that enables you to avoid dealing with your feelings

Instead, it’s the sort of distraction that allows you the space and time to heal, to process what you’re going through without being consumed by it.

Finding strength in the midst of heartbreak

If you see yourself in these traits, take a moment to honor your incredible strength. 

Like my friend, you’re showing that even when your heart is shattered, you remain resilient and empowered. 

Never underestimate how your actions, even in the toughest of times, can serve as an inspiration for others. 

When the heart heals — and it will — you’ll emerge stronger and wiser, ready to face whatever comes next.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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