We’ve heard them all before. Just about all of us knows someone who is that self-proclaimed “Superman” or “Wonder Woman” and portray themselves as not having any weakness whatsoever.
Of course they actually do, but that isn’t the point. It’s the conveying that they have none that I’m talking about.
I understand. They may have experienced so much in life that they feel they have no choice but to be “strong.” They may feel that life is so cut-throat that showing any form of weakness makes it worse for them.
It could be peer pressure. After all, these days, there’s this obsessive need to be “strong” all the time and society believes that sensitivities are what’s absolutely ruining the country. Not crime, sexism, politics, racism, mass murder or anything like that. No. It’s people being sensitive to this or that.
Then again, hell…they may actually believe that they have no weaknesses at all.
But here is why proclaiming to have “no” weaknesses isn’t as “strong” as you might think.
Personally, I’m not impressed with people who are like this. For one, even Superman and Wonder Woman have weaknesses; however, we see more “strength” from them than anything else. But if I wanted Superman and Wonder Woman, I’d watch them on television.
Don’t get me wrong. Again, I understand.
But for a person to even pretend not to have weaknesses tells me a few things.
One, it tells me that you feel you’ve experienced every bad thing there is to experience in life and you think you have all the answers. We all know that isn’t true, but we all also know that person who thinks they know anything and everything. “I don’t know” isn’t in their vocabulary. Theories and opinions are passed off as fact. You could bring something that person has never once encountered, but rather than for them to simply say that, again, they theorize. I’m sorry, but as a black man who has experienced racism on a much more constant basis than most white people, while one may be able to tell me what they themselves have experienced, they absolutely cannot tell me what I’ve went through or try to minimize my experience(s) simply because theirs went a certain way. Not happening.
Two, it expresses that you have no room, nor desire to improve. You already feel you’re where you need to be. Think of it from the perspective of an employer. Would you feel comfortable hiring someone at an entry or mid-level position who told you they had NO weaknesses at all? That means to believe you will never have a single issue with them or they would have to impress you so much in the interview that you would be confident at that point that at NO time during their employment would you EVER have to do your job as an employer to talk to them about their strengths and weaknesses, since everything would so obviously be a strength coming from them. How well would a person like that work as a member of a team, where ideas are shared and brainstorming would happen on a regular basis? We’re also talking about someone who believes they are so good that they wouldn’t need to try for job or career advancement.
Three, if one has to convey themselves as society wants them to, that says that you cannot think for yourself. This isn’t about whether or not you actually ARE a strong person, but if everything you do or say seems right in line with those in society who constantly complain about the country being so “weak” and “sensitive,” then it isn’t a good look or worthy of much confidence from others. I’m sure most folks would prefer someone who thinks for themselves and makes those decisions that aren’t the most popular, not to simply rock the boat, but with some level of passion and sense to what they’re doing.
Four, everyone has a different definition of what “strong” means, along with the word “weakness.” If we can’t completely agree on those, then right away, we may have issues. For example, I consider a “strong” person to be one who is completely honest with themselves. They can say that they are good in certain areas and not so good in others. They welcome improvement. Even when people tell them how good they are, they look to improve even more. They work as though they aren’t very good, even though they might actually be. They not only acknowledge what they’re good at, but they don’t shy away from what they aren’t.
But for others, “strong” is all that is GOOD about the person and “weak” is every single thing that isn’t. That’s it. With that in mind, that means I would be judged on what I feel and proudly accept that I need to improve on. If you feel crying means a man is weak, that means you would be judgmental of me crying. We’re already not going to get along.
Five, folks don’t want to see two different faces. This is why it seems people are so easily annoyed by anything on social media that doesn’t seem legitimate to them, i.e., happy couples and/or a happy life. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, but we’ve all seen or heard someone talk about how absolutely disgusting it is and how much folks love to pretend they are SOOOO happy in life and in their relationships that they are so obviously lying about it to look good on social media.
It’s the same way with those who want to convey consistent strength. The minute it’s realized that a person isn’t as strong as that, one may appreciate it at first, but if you come across later as a person who pretends that what you considered was a weakness never happened, or it is somehow worse when others do it, but not you, then you portray yourself as two-faced. You’re not genuine.
Last, but not least, it’s one-dimensional. People like to deal with those who have layers. If “strong” is all you eat, breath and sleep, you’re a pretty dull person. That doesn’t mean you need to walk around and cry about every single thing that ever happens, but when you’re cut, bleeding makes you seem human. Ignoring the blood or pretending you don’t bleed at all makes you comes across as above or different from others in a condescending way, which can be quite the turnoff. Think about those of whom everything and I mean everything they post on social media puts them in the biggest, brightest, best and strongest light. Whether legitimate or not, again…dull person.
MANY more examples out there, but you get the idea. No one is saying that you aren’t allowed to feel “strong” or that you should reduce yourself solely for the sake of others. What has happened in your life could very well have forced you to strengthen your “armor” so to speak. Nothing at all wrong with that.
But understand that as with anything else, it CAN be overdone to the point that it loses its effect. For example, if “strong” if how one attempts to bully others, but a person like me doesn’t even respond to that, what message would be conveyed? Nothing at all. Strength doesn’t always mean “right” or “better.”
Sometimes, the strongest thing you can possibly do…is to realize and understand that it’s okay to not always be.