I was flipping through American Girl's new book, A Smart Girl's Guide to Knowing What to Say, and came across a section about being supportive to someone who is grieving or going through a very difficult time. It gave examples of helpful and unhelpful things to say, and one of the unhelpful things was to compliment the grieving person on being strong and saying that you couldn't handle the situation as well as they are handling it. This is unhelpful because:
1. The person may seem okay on the outside when they're broken inside, and complimenting them on being strong may make them feel like they need to act like they're okay when they're not.
2. This compliment may be appropriate for a person who chose to do something challenging, but it's not appropriate (and a little insensitive) to say to someone who is going through something horrible that they never would have chosen.
This is what I thought all along. Kind of nice to see it in print.