9 ways really strong women are sometimes misunderstood

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Strong, independent women are often misunderstood. Their strength is misconstrued as arrogance, their independence as aloofness.

But these misunderstandings stem from societal misconceptions about what it means to be a strong woman.

In reality, strong women are compassionate, empathetic, and deeply connected to their own values and the world around them. They are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and to challenge the status quo.

Let’s delve into the ways that these powerful women are sometimes misunderstood and how we can change our perceptions to better understand their unique strengths.

1) Their self-reliance is mistaken for coldness

Strong women are often perceived as self-reliant, impervious to external opinions. However, this trait is occasionally mistaken for aloofness or detachment.

Contrary to this misconception, strong women deeply cherish their relationships. Yet, their inherent independence means they seek validation from within rather than from others.

They confidently navigate away from societal norms, guided by their inner strength and convictions.

Nevertheless, those unfamiliar with this form of resilience may misinterpret a strong woman’s self-sufficiency as unapproachability or indifference.

2) Their assertiveness is seen as aggression

Assertive women confidently express their thoughts and beliefs, though this trait can be mistaken for aggression due to societal biases. 

It’s crucial to recognize that assertiveness involves clear communication and boundary-setting, not aggression. Unfortunately, societal norms often label strong women as “bossy” or “aggressive.” 

In reality, assertive women prioritize mutual respect and cooperation, rejecting dominance hierarchies. They strive for productive interactions without seeking to overpower others.

3) Their emotional strength is perceived as being emotionless

Strong women often exhibit emotional resilience, tackling challenges with grace. Unfortunately, this resilience may be misconstrued as emotional detachment.

However, the reality is that strong women feel emotions deeply – they just have the capacity to manage these emotions effectively rather than letting them dictate their reactions.  

This emotional fortitude reflects their personal development and self-awareness, enabling them to confront fears and challenge limiting beliefs. Rather than suppressing emotions, they embrace them, utilizing them for growth.

To delve deeper, explore my video on embracing imposter syndrome. It elucidates how self-doubt can spur authentic growth and empowerment.


If you’re interested in exploring more topics around living a life with more purpose and freedom, I invite you to join over 20,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. You can subscribe here. Together, we can continue the journey towards understanding and embracing our authentic selves.

4) Their desire for autonomy is seen as rejecting companionship

Strong women prize their independence, relishing the freedom to chart their own course. Yet, this autonomy is often mistaken as a rejection of companionship.

But the truth is far from it. Strong women swear by the significance of supportive communities and genuine relationships. They appreciate shared joys and the resilience nurtured through mutual support.

However, they understand their self-worth isn’t reliant on others. They don’t seek completion or validation from partners as they view autonomy as personal empowerment and responsibility.

5) Their financial independence is misunderstood as materialism

Financial independence holds significant value for strong women. They grasp the importance of aligning financial decisions with core values, using money as a catalyst for positive change.

Sadly, this commitment is occasionally misconstrued as materialism or a fixation on wealth.

In reality, strong women perceive financial independence as a pathway to personal liberation and empowerment.  

They see money as a tool to unlock opportunities, exercise autonomy, and champion causes dear to them. For them, it’s about fostering purpose and engaging ethically in economic spheres.”

6) Their capability to be alone is mistaken for loneliness

Strong women are adept at finding solace in solitude. They see it as a time for introspection, creativity, and personal growth. Strangely, this is often mistaken for loneliness.

Truth be told, their comfort in solitude is about being in tune with themselves, understanding their needs, desires, and emotions. It’s a journey of self-awareness and self-compassion.

Their ability to embrace solitude reflects their inner strength and freedom, seeing it as an opportunity rather than a burden.

7) Their rejection of societal norms is seen as rebelliousness

Strong women fearlessly challenge societal norms that contradict their beliefs. It’s remarkable how their nonconformity is often misunderstood as mere rebellion.

In reality, their defiance springs from a deep-rooted commitment to authenticity. They reject rigid structures, embracing diversity and nurturing connections built on mutual respect and empathy.

However, this departure from norms is occasionally misconceived as discord. Their refusal to conform is a testament to their unyielding pursuit of personal freedom and authenticity.

8) Their pursuit of personal growth is misunderstood as self-centeredness

Strong women are dedicated to personal growth. They understand the transformative power of self-awareness and are committed to doing the inner work necessary to confront their fears and challenge limiting beliefs. However, this pursuit of personal growth can often be misinterpreted as self-centeredness.

In reality, their focus on personal growth is about becoming the best version of themselves so they can contribute positively to the world around them. 

Yet, this pursuit of personal growth can often be misunderstood by those who see it as a sign of self-centeredness when it’s actually about cultivating a sense of purpose and contributing to a better world.

9) Their ability to adapt and evolve is seen as inconsistency

Strong women, like my aunt Phoebe, see challenges as opportunities to flourish and learn

I’ve seen firsthand how my aunt, when faced with a sudden layoff, turned it into an opportunity to pursue her passion for photography.

Despite the uncertainty, she launched her own freelance photography business, using her newfound free time to hone her skills and network with clients.

Now, some may have seen her career shift as inconsistent, but in reality, it showcased her adaptability and determination to thrive in any situation.

Embracing the strength within

In essence, strong women are not aloof or indifferent – they value authentic relationships and meaningful connections.  

They know that their worth is not tied to anyone else and that their financial independence is a form of empowerment, not materialism. They reject societal norms that don’t align with their values and embrace diversity and authenticity.

As we strive to understand and appreciate strong women, it’s crucial for us to question our own biases and preconceived notions. How might our perceptions change if we started viewing their strengths not as threats but as signs of resilience, self-awareness, and personal freedom?

If you’re interested in exploring more topics around living a life with more purpose and freedom, I invite you to join over 20,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel. You can subscribe here. Together, we can continue the journey towards understanding and embracing our authentic selves.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an entrepreneur and thought leader in personal development and digital media, with a foundation in education from The London School of Economics and The Australian National University. As the co-founder of Ideapod, The Vessel, and a director at Brown Brothers Media, Justin has spearheaded platforms that significantly contribute to personal and collective growth. His deep insights are shared on his YouTube channel, JustinBrownVids, offering a rich blend of guidance on living a meaningful and purposeful life.

If a woman uses these 12 phrases in a relationship, she has no respect for boundaries

People who become distant from others as they get older usually display these 9 behaviors