(When was the last time someone told you they were proud of you?)
The word “love” is so over used the meaning may have little meaning anymore. I love pizza, I love sunsets, I love music, I love so, and so on and so on.
It is likewise with the word “friend.” It is used to the point to describe people whose name you know and that’s about it.
I think we often use those terms because that is how we want others to feel about us rather than how we feel about them. We all want loved and we all want friends. We have come to accept that the first step in gaining such is to love others first and be a friend first.
Certainly real love and real friends require something deeper.
When someone says, “I’m proud of you,” it is with the certainty that you have gone beyond the threshold of a mere hackneyed phrase or acquaintance. You have done something that has moved another person’s heart. Thus it is usually said when one stands for a principle or shows uncommon character. It is likely you have stayed the course or endured a severe trial successfully or not.
When you hear it or say it generally it means someone, quite possibly yourself, has met or exceeded expectations.
In my family we say that quite often to one another. I don’t mean everyday, but when someone does something for which we are well pleased. When we say “I’m proud of you,” it is preceded or proceeded with why. That adds richness and depth.
To reveal the times those words were said to me by those closest would be a betrayal of what personally connects us. All I can say is that it is always received with modesty and humility which is the reason it shall be kept to myself.