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We love people who are strong and positive; those who can cope effectively with difficult circumstances; and we often admire those who don’t cry. We need to have people we can lean on when the world falls apart. We respect people who are fighters and who refuse to quit. We need our heroes and people who inspire us to be the best we can be. The truly strong can accept responsibility when things go wrong. They don’t complain and actively try to solve problems.

In return, the strong feel confident they can survive because of the pain they have endured. They feel others look up to them, need them, and want them to take control. The strong know their role is not to be a burden, but a blessing to society. They know they can rely on themselves when things get dicey. They have learned how to confront their fears and regulate their emotions.

There are downsides to being strong. People tend to rely on the strong to always be there, and to step in when there is a crisis.  They are often used by others and end up in one-sided relationships. They are expected to play a certain role and  when they fail to play the role, they may lose relationships or be shamed until they return to their expected role.   

Because they are human, the face of strength cracks. The strong feel they can’t be their real selves or share sincere emotions. If they cry or reach out for help, they fear other people will stop needing them or wanting them. Often, the strong suffer in silence.

It is up to each one of us to make the effort to give back to those who give so much to us, to offer help when we see they are struggling, to show appreciation after they help us, to let them know that it is OK to reach out for help, and to communicate with us when they feel isolated and alone.

We all need people who are strong, but they also need our acceptance when they need help. The strong give so much to the world. They deserve better from us.