Contrary to what the popular saying claims tough times don't make you stronger, healing properly from tough experiences is what makes you stronger. So if you feel like you are still being affected by "tough" situations or you are bothered by your sensitivity, there's a good reason for that.
7 reasons hard experiences don't make you stronger
Have you ever wondered why all the hard times you have been through haven't made you "stronger"?
Firstly, the gravity of situations can be subjective. What you feel is a tough experience may not be for someone else. There are experiences that most people agree are tough for whoever is affected by them. But even then, the personal experience is different, some people bounce back while others not so much.
Here are some reasons why tough experiences don't toughen you up.
You felt like it was your fault
When you feel like the difficult situations or experiences were your fault, it can be hard to recover from them. Instead of learning from them and moving on, you adopt negative emotions like shame, blame, and guilt.
You felt like it was what you were supposed to do
Not all tough experiences, if any, make you stronger. It is also an assumption that it is the experiences that make you stronger. There are other factors like age, skills, support, and a multitude of other things that contribute.
But sometimes you simply do what you are supposed to do in each situation. That doesn't mean, however, that you will handle different situations the same way. Different situations might require different coping mechanisms.
It is what it is
Sometimes we overestimate the meaning of sayings. And if you identify with the saying it can cause unnecessary contradiction because life doesn't follow sayings.
It revealed your weaknesses and fears
Tough experiences are double-edged because they can bring out the good in you but also expose you. If they reveal your weaknesses and fears, it can leave trauma. If you don't deal with them with compassion and acceptance and boundaries, you can get stuck in the feelings of being weak and afraid.
When tough experiences are more than our resources can handle, we can get stuck in stress reactions that make handling future situations hard. Resources can be physical, mental, or emotional. Mental health issues can result from such stressful situations that affect the personal capacity to deal with challenges.
You didn't get the help you need
Part of becoming stronger involves processing what happened, understanding personal responsibility, acknowledging external responsibility, and reframing the experience. However, sometimes this therapy or help is not available.
"Stronger" means traumatised
Part of what most people call stronger is actually defensiveness from unresolved emotional and mental pain. Rather than coping better, we cope worse by inflicting pain and adopting a survival-for-the-fittest mentality.
Tough experiences don't always make us stronger, for the better at least, but they have lessons that we can use moving forward. To heal properly and get positive strength from hard situations requires getting support, processing, and finding ways to be more self-confident and better equipped.
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