5 Things Strong Women are Tired of Hearing

A strong black woman smiles and considers therapy in Atlanta

Strong women earn the title when they've been through a lot of stuff in life. Often, when they take care of everything on their own, they're told, "you juggle everything so well!" Even when waves of hardships continued to hit, one after the other, they're told, “you’ll get past anything that comes your way!” On behalf of the strong women everywhere, I respectfully submit this request for society to save their compliments.

Unhelpful compliments

Sure, it all sounds like a compliment. It seems the politically correct response would be to show some gratitude, right? But sometimes, when people comment on how gracefully we suffer, it feels more like a punch to the gut. 

How many times have you ever been told some form of this? Such as: 

  • "You’re so strong!"
  • "We’re all depending on you!"
  • "You were built for this!"
  • "We know you’ve got it handled!"
  • "You’ll get through it!"

If those statements made you cringe and have a visceral reaction as a result, you’re certainly not alone. Sometimes "compliments" like these remind us of just how much weight we’re carrying. Wouldn't it feel nice to have a little help instead?

These kinds of comments contribute to "strong stigma".

Understanding strong stigma

Luckily, more research is being done on how dangerous these endearing statements can be. The Washington Post released an article titled “Black Women are Proving Their Strength by Giving Themselves Permission to Say No” which addressed how the stigma to be strong teaches Black women to remain resilient and in control. However, it does not extend grace for emotions such as vulnerability and pain. Another outlet, Medical News Today, wrote an article titled “The 'Model Minority' Myth: Its Impact on Well-being and Mental Health” stating, “the internalized pressure to perform can also lead individuals to experience impostor syndrome, or feelings of shame and guilt as they face a fear of letting others down.

Boundaries are important

One component of "strong stigma" is placing others’ needs before your own. People have to know that they have permission to prioritize their own needs while also being aware of others’ feelings as this promotes good mental health. Setting healthy boundaries helps us from going down that self-destructive spiral of people-pleasing, and serves as self-care for ourselves. It might feel weird setting boundaries at first, but there are ways to do it while still remaining peaceful and non-confrontational. Practicing the art of setting boundaries can be worked through with a mental health therapist who can help validate the jitters that come along with change, which is normal. 

Support is empowering

You deserve a safe space to express and process those inner dialogues, such as:

  • "Everything is not fine"
  • "I don’t want to do this"
  • "What if I drop the ball? Who will pick it up?"
  • "I don’t have a choice" 
  • "I can’t stop now"

Sometimes it's hard to not feel trapped by dangerous compliments and your thoughts. You deserve to be freed of any guilt as it relates to prioritizing your own needs. And you also deserve to get out of the headspace of feeling like you don’t have options and choices. Therapy can help you feel empowered so you can release some of that weight, and it begins with one step. If you're tired of feeling miserable, I can help. 

DJ Jackson

DJ is a strong black woman who helps strong people escape the weight of other people's expectations so they can feel confident without feeling out of control. If you'd like to work with DJ, request a free 15-minute phone consult through our website or give us a call.

4411 Suwanee Dam Road, Suite 450
Suwanee, GA 30024


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