How do you know if you’re a mentally strong person?
What qualities should you cultivate if you want to be stronger?
You recognize strength in others. You’ve seen how they operate and what makes them stand out.
But when you ask yourself, “Am I strong?” you’re just not sure.
Let’s start by asking what it even means to be strong.
Then read on to learn about 23 characteristics shared by mentally strong people.
What Does It Mean to Be a Strong Person?
When you meet a mentally strong person, you recognize something in them that sets them apart. You might describe them with words like “old soul” or “wise beyond their years.”
Your main takeaway is their resilience, which you can’t help wanting to see in yourself, too. So, what qualities should you cultivate if you don’t have them already?
What Are the Qualities of a Strong Person?
Here’s just a sampling of the qualities you’re likely to see in a mentally strong person.
- Kindness & Compassion
Which of these have you seen in a strong person you know? Which do you see in yourself? And how do these traits manifest in everyday life?
23 Signs Of A Mentally Strong Person
It’s all well and good to know a list of qualities shared by strong people, but how do you recognize those qualities in yourself or others?
Look for the following behaviors as signs of growing mental strength.
1. You’re slow to anger.
You don’t get ruffled easily. You’ve learned not to take other people’s words and actions personally—or to make assumptions about other people’s intentions toward you. You generally manage to remain calm even when most people find it difficult.
2. You welcome feedback and new perspectives.
You’re open to different viewpoints and always ready to listen to constructive feedback. You recognize that you don’t see everything the way others do—and vice-versa. You’re not afraid to hear from people who might challenge your beliefs.
3. You rarely (or never) yell at people.
As a rule, you don’t yell at people. You don’t like to raise your voice unless it’s necessary to alert others to danger or get someone’s attention. Plus, you know how jarring and unpleasant it is to be yelled at. And you don’t need to yell to have your voice heard.
4. You apologize when you’re in the wrong.
You’re not afraid to admit when you’re wrong and to apologize when your words or actions have hurt or offended someone. You’re always learning how to do better. Part of that is being grateful when someone helps you realize you were wrong about something.
5. You own your mistakes and learn from them.
You’re not afraid of making mistakes, though you try to minimize the consequences for others. Then you do everything you can to learn from your mistakes so you won’t repeat them. If others call you out for past mistakes, you see it as a teachable moment—for you or for someone else.
6. You’re willing to suffer inconvenience to bring about an improvement for all.
You don’t mind being inconvenienced if it leads to a benefit for you or someone else. You might even take on extra work or inconvenience to lighten someone else’s load. You’re also happy to make adjustments to benefit the whole group.
7. You look beyond the surface.
You’ve learned not to react to appearances because there’s usually more to see.
So, you look deeper than most and see things others miss or don’t care to notice. Gaining a better understanding of a person or situation is more important to you than being right.
8. You don’t make assumptions about others.
Because you look beyond the surface, you’re not quick to make assumptions about other people or think you know their intentions, character, or what they want.
You look at what a person says and does before you venture a guess about what’s going on in their heads. And you know it’s just a guess.
9. You don’t impose your personal expectations on others.
You know everyone has different backgrounds and different battles. So, you don’t impose on others the expectations you have of yourself. You might encourage them, and you’re quick to celebrate their wins. But you don’t judge them if they don’t do as you do.
10. You set and maintain healthy boundaries.
While you don’t impose on others, you’re not a doormat for anyone else, either. You set clear boundaries and enforce them politely but firmly. You’re not afraid to tell someone they’ve crossed a line or to insist on a venue where you feel safe.
11. You’re not afraid to ask for help when you need it.
You’re not too proud to ask for help when you need it. While you always try to do as much as you can yourself, you recognize that with help, you can get even better results. You don’t base your value as a human being on how low-maintenance or self-sufficient you are.
12. You’d rather risk someone’s anger than enable them to do harm.
You’re not a go-along-with-the-crowd person. You’ve learned that usually leads to nowhere good. And you’re secure enough in yourself to risk being labeled a “killjoy” by speaking up and advocating for better solutions.
13. You’re as good at receiving as you are at giving.
You’re as gracious at receiving gifts from others as you are generous in giving of yourself and your resources. You’re not too proud to accept an offer of help if you need it. You’re no stranger to receiving blessings, knowing the giver will benefit, too.
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14. You trust your inner voice.
You listen to that voice and value its promptings. You recognize that your conscious mind can only do so much and that it can’t overrule deeply-held beliefs. When your conscious and unconscious minds work together for your benefit, you feel whole and at peace.
15. You forgive yourself.
You know that you’re still human and fallible no matter how much you learn and grow. You’ve made mistakes, and you’ll probably make more. The only way you move forward is by forgiving yourself — and others. You welcome the freedom and peace that come with it.
16. You understand the value of conflict in problem-solving.
Just as you’re open to differing viewpoints, you also see value in conflict because it highlights a disconnect or a misunderstanding, which is often correctable. You look for ways to turn conflicts into solutions that benefit everyone involved.
17. You don’t let negativity affect your judgment.
And when your plans don’t turn out as you hoped, you don’t let that get you down (or not for long, anyway). You decide it must be a stepping stone to something better.
You keep doing what you can to get closer to your goals and become the person you want to be.
18. You avoid procrastination.
Maybe you’ve been a notorious procrastinator in the past, but you’ve built habits and learned tricks that help you avoid it. You don’t expect perfection in your finished product. But you know the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can make improvements.
19. You aim for improvement–not perfection.
You know that, at its root, procrastination is about perfectionism. You embrace imperfection even as you strive to learn more and do better. You know you’re a work in progress, and you’ve learned to enjoy the process.
20. You’re a responsible money manager.
You carefully manage your money, allocating a percentage of your income to savings, as well as monthly bills and other commitments.
And because you’re not afraid to tighten the belt when necessary, your accounts have never looked better.
21. You’re always looking for ways to learn and grow.
You’re always on the lookout for opportunities to challenge yourself, learn a new skill, explore a new place, meet new people, or just give your comfort zone some stretching exercises. You never stop doing your best and striving to be your best self.
22. You’re proactive in maintaining your health and well-being.
You don’t wait for a heart attack or a diabetes diagnosis to adopt healthy nutrition, fitness, and sleep habits. You think of the person you want to be and then decide to do what that person would do. You give your body what it needs out of gratitude and respect.
23. You’re always stepping outside your comfort zone.
When stretching exercises aren’t enough, you’re not afraid to step right out of your comfort zone to embrace a new challenge or try something new. You’re not afraid of making mistakes. And you don’t mind embarrassing yourself if the net effect is positive.
How Can You Tell If Someone Is Strong?
What if you’re wondering about someone else in your life? How can you tell if they’re a strong person?
Aside from what we’ve already mentioned, what are some of the biggest clues?
- They’re patient with everyone — including themselves;
- They’d rather learn something new than guess right and be praised for it;
- They’re always there for the people they love (or they always strive to be);
- However they’re treated, they treat everyone with kindness and respect;
- They see the good in others, and they bring out the best in you.
Now that we’ve covered the qualities and behaviors of mentally strong people, which ones stood out for you? And what will you do differently today?