For far too long society has viewed sensitivity as a weakness.
But far from weakening you, when combined with strength it makes you all the more powerful.
Can you be both strong and sensitive?
Let’s take a look at the admirable characteristics of women who embrace both strength and sensitivity to prove it!
1) Strong and sensitive women are vulnerable
Even just the thought of being vulnerable can strike fear into the heart of many of us.
After all, there’s an undeniable exposure that comes with putting yourself out there.
It’s scary showing the real you, but it’s also the only way to build authentic connections.
Being intentionally open required a lot of courage.
Because in the words of vulnerability researcher Brene Brown:
“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.”
Luckily as we’ll see next, strong and sensitive women also have this in spades.
2) Strong and sensitive women are courageous
In a sense, being sensitive requires a lot of daring.
It can be easier to toughen around the edges to try to protect yourself. In the process, numbing yourself to the wide range of human emotions.
Strong and sensitive women are brave.
Not because they are fearless. But for the very reason that they do feel fear.
Yet they don’t let it hold them back.
Courage in the absence of fear isn’t really courage, it’s just foolhardiness.
True courage comes from facing your fear and coming out stronger.
3) Strong and sensitive women are persistent
Courage is great. It gives you the strength you need. But it’s persistence that offers you stamina.
Because life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
A strong and sensitive woman needs to keep on going if she’s to make it to the finishing line.
Being sensitive and feeling all of your emotions can be challenging.
That’s why grit and determination are essential companions for a strong woman. She needs this extra layer of toughness.
She also needs to be able to bounce back when she gets knocked down. Which leads me to my next point…
4) Strong and sensitive women are resilient
So if persistence is about keeping going, resilience is more about the ability to recover from life’s setbacks.
I like to think of myself as a strong yet sensitive woman.
So when something sad or bad happens, I’ll cry my eyes out and feel every little emotion.
But after I’m done I’ll shake it off and pick myself up. And I think I’m all the stronger for it.
I provide an outlet for my emotions to be expressed. But I simultaneously cultivate the strength to support myself rather than get lost in those emotions.
5) Strong and sensitive women are adaptable
A strong woman needs to be flexible.
Otherwise, things that don’t bend have a habit of breaking under pressure.
People can be much the same.
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed in life, it’s that change is inevitable.
We can either learn to go with the flow and change the plan or rigidly cling to something we need to let go of.
Sounds like a no-brainer right?
6) Strong and sensitive women are kind
Much like vulnerability, kindness can all too often get mistaken as a weakness.
But there is a whole lot of power in caring.
Not only is it a sign of inner strength and self-esteem it also has real tangible benefits.
Research has found that it makes you more attractive, gives life more meaning, helps us build stronger relationships, improves businesses, and can even improve your health.
7) Strong and sensitive women are honest
A strong but sensitive woman knows that honesty is important.
Yet it always should be delivered with tact.
Whilst telling the truth is vital for building trust within relationships, blunt words can cut like a knife.
Delivering harsh blows simply because it’s “honest” isn’t much of a defense.
A woman who strives to be both strong and sensitive is mindful of her words and how she delivers her truth.
8) Strong and sensitive women are open-minded
Sometimes stubbornness can resemble strength.
After all, on the surface, it appears unwavering and solid.
But underneath it’s actually based on weak foundations of mental fragility and insecurity.
Open-mindedness on the other hand shows that a woman has the inner strength to reserve judgment and consider other ideas, opinions, and perspectives.
She is not only sensitive to the viewpoint of others, but she also uses this as a strength to learn and grow.
Because at the end of the day, a closed-off mind cannot develop.
9) Strong and sensitive women are optimistic
There’s so much strength in adopting an optimistic outlook in life.
For starters, research has shown that it reduces our sensitivity to suffering. One study even found that optimists apparently enjoy higher pain thresholds.
The author of the study, psychiatrist and psychotherapist Ettore Favaretto, concluded:
“Those with temperament traits that are more prone to anxiety and instability-known as ‘cyclothymic-related temperaments’-are also more susceptible to pain, while optimists and energetic personalities – known in technical parlance as ‘hyperthymics’, are more ‘protected.’”
And that’s not all.
There’s evidence that optimists also have better health, less stress, better emotional health, greater persistence and achieve more than pessimists.
10) Strong and sensitive women are empathetic
Empathy is similar to kindness in that it encourages us to be friendlier, considerate, and compassionate to our fellow man.
But it goes further. It’s the ability to understand where someone else is coming from. To share in their feelings.
Deeply sensitive people are often incredibly empathetic.
Being able to tap into the feelings of others is a great strength as well as a sign of sensitivity.
Not only does it help to reduce less-than-desirable behaviors like bullying and aggression.
But it’s been shown to promote lots of so-called “prosocial behavior” — things like volunteering, helping, and forgiveness.
11) Strong and sensitive women are forgiving
Sure it takes strength to forgive. But in many ways, it takes far much more strength to carry around the burden of a grudge.
That’s why making a conscious choice to let go of past hurts is always the smart choice.
Rather than forgive for the sake of the other person, a strong woman knows that it’s in her own best interest too.
But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.
It takes great sensitivity and strength in equal measures. Yet in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. writing in A Gift of Love:
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”
12) Strong and sensitive women are generous
A strong and sensitive woman is always willing to share what she has.
She may offer up her money, help, kindness, skills and talents, or time.
Generosity is one of life’s great virtues. We live in communities and societies that rely on altruism.
Sure, giving is good for others, but it’s also good for us too.
Research has shown that increased self-esteem, better health, and lower stress levels are just a few of the benefits.
13) Strong and sensitive women are loyal
The loyalty of a sensitive and strong woman is never practiced recklessly.
Self-preservation is always key.
Blind loyalty to people and things that are undeserving risks falling into the territory of low self-esteem.
Having said that, naturally, loyal women show their strength and sensitivity by always having your back, being there through thick and thin, staying true to their word, and much more.
14) Strong and sensitive women are fair
Make no bones about it, doing what’s right isn’t always easy.
It can be far more tempting to put our own selfish needs above what’s fair.
When we stand to profit from someone else’s loss it takes a whole lot of strength to stand by our values.
But it also requires great sensitivity.
It’s our care and compassion for others that help steer our morals and encourages us to be fair and just.
15) Strong and sensitive women are passionate
Being sensitive means experiencing the whole colorful rainbow of human emotions.
And even though it can create quite the rollercoaster ride, one thing is for sure:
You get both the highs and the lows.
Those highs can make strong and sensitive women intensely passionate, purposeful, and spirited.
16) Strong and sensitive women are assertive
Being sensitive to the needs and wants of others doesn’t make your own any less valid.
That’s why it’s important to learn the skill of assertiveness.
Every strong woman in life will be called to confidently and firmly state her case.
Being sensitive never means you have to be a pushover.
Sensitive women need to have clear and healthy boundaries to protect themselves.
Learning to be assertive is one of the tools in her belt to help her enforce those boundaries.
17) Strong and sensitive women are emotionally intelligent
One of the greatest strengths a sensitive woman has is the ability to understand and manage her emotions.
Because feelings are such useful signals. They signpost deeper messages to us.
But by their nature, they can be overwhelming, distracting, and even misleading.
Feelings aren’t facts. And so it takes deep self-knowledge and emotional intelligence to navigate great sensitivity.
18) Strong and sensitive women are patient
Our capability to tolerate delays, problems, or suffering is undeniably a great measure of our inner strength.
When we lack patience we may quickly snap, get annoyed, or become anxious.
Finding the inner strength to develop more patience helps us to stay rational, improves our resilience and resistance, and benefits our relationships.
Arguably it’s one of the keys to a more peaceful, stress-free life.
Final thoughts: Sensitivity and strength are compatible
Hopefully, this article has shown you by now that sensitivity doesn’t equal fragility.
Sensitivity allows us to experience depth in life, nurture stronger relationships, and gain a greater understanding of ourselves and others.
All of which are undeniably strengths.