What is your New Year’s resolution?
This is one of the fun points of turning the calendar — reflecting on the past year and considering our goals for the next 365 (or 366) days. I have heard many well-intentioned resolutions for healthy personal improvements: make new friends, eat less dessert foods, quit smoking, conquer a phobia, pay more attention to partners and loved ones, spend more time with children, go to the gym, increase dating life, save more money, spend money (for chronic savers), balance personal vs. career life, improve stress management, etc.
How many times have you heard someone refer to a person’s personality or character, saying, “He’s a strong man”, or , “She’s a strong woman”? In managing our relationship with ourselves and interpersonal relationships, it is important to understand emotions, associated behaviors, and overall character traits that hurt us more than they help us. These traits we carry or see in others impact how we view and treat ourselves, how we present ourselves to others, and how we view and regard others.
One problematic stereotype is what people generally regard as a “strong” person. It’s problematic because there is often an inaccuracy of how people label “strength” — which impacts the qualities we admire or idealize in others, as well the traits that we want to develop and emphasize in ourselves. When people refer to a “strong” person, the traits that are being pointed to as “strong” are often closer to grandiosity, contempt, rigidity, stubbornness, aggressiveness, and desire to control others. All of these traits hold similarities to bullying.