Just about everybody is drawn to a strong personality. You probably have certain friends or loved ones that you consider the strongest people you know. Perhaps others look to you when they think of emotional strength.
Throughout recorded history from cultures around the world, strength has been a chief virtue. Physical and emotional stability are just as important as honesty and integrity to some. Our ancestors were genetically predisposed to seek the most vigorous mates available to continue the human race’s vitality.
The strong protected the weak and eventually became the great rulers in each era. Even today, some cultures still consider it taboo to show emotions, especially for men. Fair or unfair, the bias still exists. The strongest people are stoic and can’t be weakened by feelings and emotions, but thankfully we can now understand their thought processes.
Even in our society, most men have difficulties expressing their feelings because they’ve been socialized from the cradle to be the strong one.
Characteristics of a Strong Person
When you consider the strongest people, you know, how do you characterize them? You are considering mental and emotional strength rather than physical strength. Do you characterize yourself as a strong person?
Here are some common characteristics:
- Brave in the Face of Danger
- Not Afraid to Say What You Think
- Born Leader
Of course, these are noble qualities that anyone can admire. Not only do strong people take a stand, but they also defend those who can’t defend themselves. While being emotionally strong is virtuous, nobody can be the burden bearer all the time.
Disadvantages of Strong People
While everyone wants to be strong in the face of adversity, even the toughest people can’t be resilient in every situation. When everyone leans on you as a formidable leader, it can be a burden. If this is you, here are some drawbacks you may encounter as a strong personality.
• It’s Difficult to Relax
Doesn’t it feel refreshing just to let down your hair and enjoy yourself sometimes? If you are so focused on being the strong one, you may lack spontaneity, and life can become a drudge. It’s not easy to be calm if you always feel that you must be in charge, but you must find a way to resolve the guilt and relax.
• You Can be Emotionally Exhausted
The strongest people often favor being stoic over showing emotion, which they consider weakness. It may be difficult for you to ask for help at home or work because you’re used to running the show. Before long, you can burn out, and your physical and mental health can be affected.
• The Intimidation Factor
Strong personalities may be the kindest people one could meet, but the tough exterior makes them seem intimidating. However, tenacious people are often controlling and don’t allow for other inputs in the group. It can lead to people staying quiet so the dominating person can have all the say.
• Others May Take Advantage
Maybe you are the strongest personality in your home or office, and people look to you for all the answers. Sometimes, others around you may get used to your strength and can take advantage of you.
While they stand back, you could be overloaded with tasks just because it’s what you’ve always done.
• Personality Clashes
Sometimes people in a group or situation clash because they are too much alike. When strong personalities butt heads, it’s rarely in a subtle fashion. You’ve heard the wise saying that too many chefs spoil the broth?
Difficult personalities usually won’t back down, and it comes to a gridlock, which makes everyone else feels helpless and anxious.
• You May Appear to Be Uncaring
One of the greatest obstacles for the strongest people is that people may confuse your stifled emotions as being callous. While you think you are being strong for everyone else who may be going to pieces, others may resent your endurance.
The knowledge that family or friends may have that opinion can be more emotional than you are compelled to conceal.
How to Balance Strength and Vulnerability
Keeping a stiff upper lip may be good in most situations, but keeping your feelings bottled up can negatively affect your health. Everyone has their own Achilles’ heel and their limits. Here are some useful pointers for balancing your strength and vulnerabilities.
1. It’s Ok Not to Be Ok
Maybe you grew up in a home where showing emotions meant weakness, which wouldn’t be tolerated. Unfortunately, society still impresses young boys to internalize this falsehood. It takes a strong man or a strong woman to have the courage to show emotions.
You needn’t be the strong one all the time. If people see you get frustrated or cry with grief, you are only showing that you are human. It’s normal and healthy to show your feelings and not keep them packed away in your mind.
2. Step Aside Sometimes
Do you need to control everyone and everything around you? While a strong personality will exert proper control of himself and his environment, a control freak usually does more harm than good. Craving constant control isolates you from others who also have valuable ideas and input.
Practice good listening skills and be part of the team, even if you are the leader. When you listen to others and share the responsibility and the credit, you’ll earn more respect in the long run. Plus, everyone can contribute to their strengths.
3. Break the Myth of Perfection
Of course, you should do your best in everything you do. The fallacy of perfection isn’t an excuse to be lax in your responsibilities or endeavors. However, you may never accomplish anything if you refuse to be anything less than perfect.
Realize that if human beings are involved, flaws and conflicts will always exist. Strong people do their best while accepting that nothing is perfect. Breaking perfectionism’s shackles frees you to get along better with others and accomplish more in your life.
4. Don’t Be a Doormat
Just because you are tough and know how to get the job done doesn’t mean others can take advantage of you. There may be people in your life who would be more than pleased to lie back and relax while you deal with all the problems and tasks. This goes back to the strong personality’s need for complete control.
Your robustness will serve you well in these situations by speaking up for yourself. Do what is expected of you, and don’t allow people to glide in on your coattails. You won’t feel overworked and resentful when you let people know their boundaries with you.
One of the most empowering words in the English language is “no.”
If people dump everything on you, you have the right to decline politely. They will learn to have more respect for you, and you will have time to do things you want to do.
5. Learn to Relax
Do you base your self-worth on your work and how much you’ve accomplished? Maybe you think it’s unacceptable to take a day off or spend some time away on a family vacation. Do you want your children to say at your passing that you were a wonderfully strong person but never spent time with them?
What have you gained if you’ve kept a steel veneer all your life if your friends and loved ones never saw your soft side? Nobody ever expresses regrets for not spending more time in the office or being a strong leader in the last moments of life. Your strength is revitalized when you take some time for fun, relaxation, and being with your loved ones.
6. Learn to Be Spontaneous
The strongest people often are extremely regimented and consider their unwavering routines as a strength. Yes, it’s important to be prompt and to keep a schedule for your daily tasks. Life would be chaos without organization.
When’s the last time, let loose and did something out of the ordinary? It can do a lot for your relationship with your sweetheart, your family, and your friends. Spontaneity can also minimize your stress, anxiety, and depression.
Do something fun like traveling to a place you’ve never been or joining an amateur rock band. You may find a hidden talent you never knew you had. Being strong doesn’t mean you must be static and always being in work mode.
Having a strong personality is admirable if you balance it with being true to your feelings. It can work to your advantage, or it can be detrimental to your well-being. Keep in mind St. Francis DeSales’ advice: “Nothing is as strong as gentleness and nothing is as gentle as true strength.”