Your strongest qualities are your sensitivity and empathy, but they can be your weakness when you start putting others' needs before your own.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 11, 2021. It has since been updated.
Be it a challenge, a rocky relationship, or a rough chapter in your life, you’re not the kind of woman who would back down from facing them. No matter what comes your way, it may stop you in your tracks for a moment but you will still go out there and brave the storm. And along the way you experience some of the most heartwarming and heartbreaking emotions. Although your strength and resilience define you, you are still sensitive and feel deeply for the people around you and the experiences that unfold before your eyes. You have grown to understand yourself better over the years, and you know that emotions can easily trigger you, but you have started learning how you can use your empathy the right way without having to lose yourself along the way.
According to highlysensitiverefuge.com, “Highly sensitive people tend to be empathetic, artistically creative, intuitive, and highly aware of the needs of others…” When you’re able to balance your soft-heartedness with the need to stand up for yourself, you are able to give to others selflessly. But when you see that you’re having to give up your needs for it, you are not afraid to step back.
Deborah Ward, who wrote for Psychology Today, said, “The truth is that high sensitivity gives us the ability to be strong, capable and thriving, even in the face of adversity. In fact, the very traits that make us highly sensitive are the qualities that can give us enormous inner strength.”
Here’s why strong women often have a soft heart:
As you carry around a big, warm heart, you’re concerned about the needs of others and only have kindness to offer them. People find it easy to connect with you because not only do you make them comfortable, but you are ready to show up at their front door in a heartbeat when they need you. However, you also have your priorities in place. You know that unless you love yourself, you won’t be able to spread the love to others. So you make sure to tend to your needs and that fills you up with the immense strength and positivity to keep you going. And this is what helps you keep your chin up and be the source of encouragement that others need.
When your friends need someone to lend a listening ear, you’re often the first person they turn to. No matter what you’re going through, you put a smile on your face and you’re there for your loved ones and you share the weight of their burden with them. When they are going through tough times, you soak up the pain and become the pillar of strength for them to lean on. While compassion is one of your greatest qualities, it is sometimes your weakness as well because you go out of your way to bring happiness into the lives of others. And you do this even if it means smiling through your problems so that your friends can forget about theirs.
Discouraging words, hurtful comments and even soppy television commercials can really dampen your spirit, but only for a short while. You don’t let yourself be beaten down for too long because you believe that there’s no point losing hope in the toughest situations. So you might as well keep a smile on your face and keep moving forward until you find a way out. Because of this, you have endured some of the toughest battles that life has thrown at you, from tough relationships to personal issues to struggles at work. And each time, you may have felt stuck or lost, but you were determined not to stay in the trap. Eventually, you found the best answers to each of those tough situations that came your way.
The one thing you don’t mind is putting your needs on pause to go the extra mile for others. Because of your deep sense of empathy and all the ups and downs you have been through, you can imagine exactly what others are going through. So your heart instantly goes out to them and you do anything to help them out. The kind of troubles you have overcome lets you know exactly what to say to your loved ones, and with your help, they find the strength to carry on. Sometimes you ignore your own struggles because you are determined to share the pain with them, you cry with them and fight their battles with them. And you will willingly forget your troubles to take on others' troubles.
Caring deeply for your loved ones comes most naturally to you, almost by instinct. But you also believe that loving someone doesn’t mean that you always have to give in to their whims. You can’t stand letting the people around you harm themselves as you watch from afar. You’re the one who steps up and gives them the brutally honest truth they need to hear that nobody else would have the courage to tell them. You don’t believe in sugar-coating things, you say it like it is because that pinch of salt can push the person closer to making a change in their life. You don’t do this for appreciation or any favors in return. You do this because you believe that as you grow, you ought to take people along with you.
There are times when you doubt yourself completely, and you feel like your entire world is falling apart. But even then, you almost never show the world what you’re going through. When you’re around people, they always see that you’re a bubble of happiness and energy. You might be laughing and smiling away, but inside there’s fear and anxiety pinching your heart. But you choose not to complain or let others know what you’re going through. While others may think you’re thriving and going through life effortlessly, only you know the real pain that’s going on inside you. You push that feeling of dissatisfaction or heartbreak to the back of your mind because you forget that it’s okay to let others know what you’re going through.
Even on the toughest days, you still force yourself to get out of bed and face the world. You brush aside your feelings to the point where you start wearing a mask in front of others. But once you give yourself some time, you realize that your heart is filling you with the strength you need to cope with what’s happening. And soon you come up with ways to turn a wrong situation into the right one. You might take your time but you will come to terms with what you’re going through and let nothing drag you down for long. You may be silent about your suffering but you won’t keep walking with the wounds. You thrive on the hope that comes from within.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.