Even the Strongest Heart Gets Tired of Being Mistreated

23, July 2017 in Psychology 54 Shared
girl with eyes closed

Even the strongest of personalities gets tired of being hurt, boycotted or manipulated. Because a strong heart isn’t a cold heart, or much less is it immune to the sea of self-involved love or caring. We all have limits. However, the types of personalities that are used to “resisting” are the ones who suffer the most. They are the ones that take the longest to react.

Something that is often misunderstood is that an emotionally strong person is someone who knows how to control their feelings. Nowadays, despite the ease with which we use term “Emotional Intelligence”, we still maintain mistaken ideas. For example, thinking that emotions are the opposite of reason and logic.

“A heart is a wealth that cannot be sold or bought: it is gifted.”
-Gustav Flaubert-

When we picture a strong heart, we almost immediately think of someone safeguarded behind thick armor. Someone who keeps a cool head and a firm stare in order to keep that complex world at bay. An oftentimes hurtful and demanding world, that universe of affection and feelings. However, a strong personality doesn’t always present this type of psychological architecture.

Emotional resistance or strength often responds to that personal commitment that one maintains with other people. It means staying firm in order to offer help when others tumble. Trying to always be useful and remain near. These are profiles that rise like the mast of a boat in a stormy night. They are the pillar that others can lean on, the rock where everyone carefully places their feet to cross a river…

They seem strong, until the day that they break or simply get tired of it. We urge you to reflect upon it.

floating island with heart

A heart that’s tired of being strong

Many times, when someone goes to therapy in search of help, the fist thing they express is their exhaustion. They feel more exhausted than they have ever been. They are overwhelmed, exasperated and clearly feel like they have reached the end of their rope. Their medical analysis doesn’t reveal any health issues. However, they have lost their “vital breath”.

Not only unstable personalities seek therapy. Or profiles with concrete clinical needs or patients that lack the appropriate strategies to manage their emotions or problems. Oftentimes, some people come in who are very aware of their levels of stress. They are up to date with various confrontation mechanisms. They know all about mindfulness and other tools that they have tried to apply, without obtaining any results. Their performance and self-care skills have been so diluted by the exhaustion, that they are incapable of recognizing themselves in the mirror. But I was such a strong person! What has happened to me?

colorful woman and bird

What has happened is that your brain has said enough. When they delve a bit deeper into their personal realities, they always discover the great excess of responsibility on their shoulders, on their hearts. In truth, more than strong people, they are personalities used to exerting extreme and unhealthy resistance. One in which self-protection doesn’t exist.

These are men and women who are used to shutting up their needs in order to become the image of strength. Thus, they become a constant and everlasting light or beacon for others. However, what they at many times receive in exchange is bitterness, egocentrism and solitude. 

Simple advice for people tired of being strong

Let’s picture a treadmill for a second. Someone with the need to be strong is accustomed to keeping a certain speed and level of demand that is usually very elevated. They feel proud of themselves. Their heart is very strong, and they think they’ll be able to keep this pace up for the rest of their lives.

“You can only see with the heart, what’s essential is invisible to the eyes.”
-Antoine de Saint Exupéry-

However, sooner or later, the cramps, pain and exhaustion kick in. The treadmill keeps moving at the same speed, the people around them maintain the same level of demands and exigency without noticing the state of their partner, family member, spouse or friend. However, our protagonist has reached their limit and doesn’t know how to stop the treadmill, that destructive spiral.

What should we do in this case? Slow down, reduce our speed? Not at all. The most appropriate thing to do in that situation would be to stop. Our heart needs to recover.

gif girl watering self

The time has come to take care of yourself

You don’t need a pause or a break along the way. You need to be strong for yourself and not just for others. For that, you need to make some changes, refocus your vital and everyday crossroads in a more harmonious, consequent and healthy way.

Stop and think about the following proposals for a second:

  • Renounce conflicts, problems or situations that have no solution. You have already lost so much time and energy in things and people that aren’t worth your while.
  • Don’t wait for people to behave as you would. It is an unbearable source of frustration.
  • Start becoming aware of your needs. Listen to them every day and prioritize them.

Remember, above all, that you are no hero. Your function is not to make the impossible possible. You are not a magician or a bridge architect for places that don’t even have shores to build upon. Nor can you save the not salvageable. Nor can you give happiness to someone that knows not of joys, respect or reciprocity.

Learn to care for yourself emotionally. Learn to be also be strong for yourself.

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