It’s a myth that you can’t be strong and kind at the same time!
Some people believe that caring people are “weak” or just people pleasers.
Of course, some people do have a tendency to people-please, and these people are usually kind at heart.
But that doesn’t mean EVERYONE who’s kind is a people pleaser! Some people have strong but caring personalities.
They’re firm but nice at the same time – and they can handle anything that comes their way (regardless of what other people think they’re capable of!).
If you’re this type of person, you’ll almost certainly have these 11 traits!
1) They say no when it feels right
From one caring person to another, I know all too well how people think you’re a pushover when you’re a caring person!
But if you’re strong and caring, you know this isn’t true.
When you care for someone, you want to help them out. You want to attend their birthday plans and family dinners. You want to be polite and respectful.
But you still have boundaries. You still have things you aren’t comfortable doing – and you can say no when those things crop up!
Like you wouldn’t lend your friend money just because they’ve asked you for it. You wouldn’t sacrifice your time if you had other priorities, either.
You do what you want to do, not what everyone else wants you to do.
2) They’re considerate of others’ feelings
Caring people are considerate of others. They usually have emotional intelligence, so they seem to know how someone is feeling before they even say it.
When a friend is going through a rough time, you wouldn’t say insensitive things. You wouldn’t do this even if they weren’t going through a rough time!
You’d think about how they might be feeling and make a real effort with them. You might invite them out more than normal, text them more often, or just be mindful of what they’re going through in every interaction you have.
Even if you were arguing with someone, you’d do your best to think about their perspective and how they might be feeling.
3) They apologize when they’re in the wrong
If you’ve ever owned up to your wrongdoings and apologized, you’ll know that it takes strength to do it!
Confessing your mistakes opens you up to rejection and feelings of shame, which is why a lot of people (understandably!) find it hard.
Sadly, I’ve met many people who’ve preferred to cling to their pride rather than say sorry. Unfortunately, they’ve lost a lot of good people from it.
But someone with a kind heart and emotional strength pushes through the challenges of saying sorry.
They apologize when they know they need to. Or when someone asks them to. They even do it when they know they shouldn’t really be doing it!
Why? Because they know it’s better to be the bigger person and apologize so you can all move on, rather than hold onto their pride and lose someone important…
4) They show an interest in other’s lives
You know those friends who genuinely seem to care about your life? They ask you questions like, “How are you doing?” and “How did your thing go last weekend?”.
You even get a text from them on the day of your interview weeks after you told them about it!
Some people brand this behavior as “needy” or “too much”. But a caring person with a strong sense of self doesn’t care about that!
They’ll happily mark dates in their calendars that are important to their friends. They’ll make an effort to remember things they say and ask follow-up questions later.
Showing an interest in other’s lives is something they think is important, and they’ll do it even if others look down on them for it!
5) They ask for advice when they need it
I remember working an office job once and a coworker was told in her performance meeting that she asked for advice “too often” (and they meant it critically!).
Asking questions or seeking advice all the time can be something you do when you lack self-esteem. But it isn’t always the case.
Some people (the strong, caring type) ask for help because they value other people’s opinions. They know when they’re struggling and need advice, so they ask for it. Which is actually a very tough (and very brave!) thing to do.
6) They show their vulnerable side
We’ve all heard the toxic idea that to be “strong” and “brave”, you have to keep your chin up and show no emotion – ever!
Yet this isn’t really a sign of emotional strength. Someone with true courage can show their vulnerable side, especially to their loved ones.
When they feel embarrassed about something, they’ll tell their partner about it even if it’s hard. If they’re struggling with something personal, they’ll talk to a trusted friend rather than make out like everything is fine.
Even in daily life, they won’t hide the fact that they like (or even love) certain things. They’ll proudly show their vulnerable side without feeling too vulnerable for it!
7) They forgive others
Forgiveness isn’t easy. If it was, there’d be no resentment in the world and we’d all live in perfect harmony!
Giving someone your forgiveness isn’t always seen as integral. Some people will say, “How could you forgive them for doing that to you?” in disgust!
I gave my forgiveness to a friend who deeply hurt me. I didn’t welcome them back into my life, but I accepted their apology. Many people called me a fool.
But guess what? It was the best thing I ever did! It helped me move on, close that chapter, and let go of the anger I felt.
It takes strength to let go of the past like this and move on. People who are brave enough to do it usually do it for themselves and/or the other person. That makes them both strong and caring – towards others and themselves!
8) They cut people out (respectfully)
Cutting people out is even harder than forgiving them! People say it like it’s easy, throwing about words like, “Get rid” or “I wouldn’t put up with that!”.
But it’s actually incredibly tough to remove someone from your life, especially when you’ve known them for a long time. It’s even harder to do it respectfully!
First up, you care about them, and you have to let go of that care to let them go. Secondly, you have to stay strong in the weeks, months, and even years that follow.
You have to stop yourself from reaching out to them or picking up the phone. You have to delete their number and stop checking their Instagram every day.
Cutting someone out may seem like a harsh thing to do. But it isn’t. It’s something you can only do when you care about yourself and others – because cutting them out is usually what’s best for both parties.
9) They make genuine offers to help
I’ve met many people in my life who offer to help you, but they don’t really mean it.
They’re just being polite or want to look good by offering it. When you take them up on their offers, they disappear off the face of the Earth!
Genuinely caring people don’t make promises they don’t intend to keep. If they say they can help with your house move, they mean it. You could call them and they’d be right there – no excuses and no “Sorry I didn’t see this…”.
10) They’re selfish sometimes
When someone cancels on a friend or declines to do something for others, it’s easy to brand them as selfish. It’s easy to think they don’t care about anyone except themselves.
Yet this probably isn’t true! Yes, there are some truly selfish people out there. But some people just know how to look after themselves.
They say no because they know if they said yes, they’d just be people-pleasing. Or because if they did what someone else wanted, they’d be sacrificing something really important to them.
If you’ve ever said no to someone, you’ll know that it’s actually really difficult – especially when you’re saying no to benefit yourself.
So this isn’t selfish behavior – it’s actually the behavior of someone incredibly strong and caring!
11) They move on from hardships
The past really can do a number on you. It can live inside your head for years after it happened.
When someone ruminates on the past too much, they definitely care deeply. You wouldn’t be able to worry about these things if you weren’t a caring, compassionate, and empathetic person.
But despite your care for these things, you eventually let go of them when you have inner strength. You process the past, learn what needs to be learned, and move on.
You don’t let it trouble you forever, even if some people think that makes you cold!
It’s hard for compassionate people sometimes. You can get hurt and people often think you’re easy to take advantage of.
But that isn’t true. It takes strength to care about other people and be genuine in what you say. Even though some people might think you’re “foolish” for being nice, you aren’t!
So if you recognize these traits in yourself, start celebrating them, no matter what others think of you for having them!
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