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15 Things People Who Have Mentally Strong Parents Understand

15 Things People Who Have Mentally Strong Parents Understand

Mentally strong parents can be tough for any child to get used to when growing up. These parents often share their tough-love attitudes with their children and it can be a challenge for many adolescents.

I know firsthand. I grew up with mentally strong parents and would sometimes despise the fact that they were harder on me than most of my friends’ parents.

But now I understand why. And I am incredibly thankful for the way I was brought up.

My mentally strong, sometimes tough, and always loving parents passed on their mentally strong attitude in life onto me. And for this, I will be forever grateful!

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If you’ve had mentally strong parents, you’ll know exactly what it was like and you’ll appreciate what they did for you. Here are 15 things that only people with mentally strong parents will truly understand.

1. Life’s Not Easy

From as far back as you can remember, if you’ve had mentally strong parents, I’m sure this is one of the recurring sentiments they’ve told you, “Life’s not easy.” Mentally strong parents are mentally strong because they’ve completely grasped this concept long ago. Sometimes life gets hard. Sometimes it gets tough. Sometimes you don’t think you can go on. But mentally strong parents always told you that you’ll be okay. They prepared you for life’s ups and downs and you were ready for each and every one of them.

2. Never Give Up

Along these same lines, mentally strong parents always told you not to quit. Whether it was a sport that you weren’t too fond of or a class you signed up to take, mentally strong parents always made you stick it out. They didn’t want to raise a “quitter” and so they always made you see things through. You may have hated it at that time, but that drive to never give up stayed with you throughout life!

3. It Takes A While For Good Things To Happen

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.” This phrase was often repeated throughout your childhood and although you may have wanted things right away, you quickly realized that things worth waiting for were things worth having. You now have a great patience when it comes to obtaining things you desire.

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4. Sometimes Your Best Laid Plans Won’t Work Out

“The best laid plans of mice and men oft’ go awry.” This statement was probably uttered quite frequently as a child to you. Even if you think everything is going to go as perfectly as you plan it to, sometimes life throws a wrench at you. You have to take things in stride and shrug off unforeseen complications.

5. You Have To Adapt

Along the lines of taking things in stride, you have to adapt. Adapting is a critical part of succeeding in life. Those who adapt to different situations will always come out on top. Ever since you were little, your parents told you that you have to adapt and grow in order to be successful. They were right.

6. Hard Work Trumps All

Life doesn’t reward people who are lazy. Those who work hard and put the time into doing something are the ones who get what they want. Mentally strong parents made their children do chores, go to sleep on time, wake up for school on time, get good grades in school, and do their homework as soon as they came home. If you have mentally strong parents this happened to you too. And this hard work and preparation carried on throughout your life. There are probably few people you know who have anywhere near the same work ethic as you do now.

7. Life’s Not Always Fair

If your parent rehearsed lines from Mick Jagger before, you probably had a mentally strong parent. “You can’t always get what you want” was a sentiment often uttered by my parents, and one that I learned very early on. But by learning that things weren’t always going to go my way, it made me prepared for all sorts of stumbles I’d encounter later in life. I learned to be tough and ready for anything.

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8. Anything Is Possible

Even though I knew things weren’t always fair in life, I knew that one thing remained true, anything is possible in life. Even things that seem unbelievably challenging or long-shots that seem like they would never happen, can happen. “You can do anything in life” my parents often told me . . . and I always believed them.

9. Don’t Be A Sheep, Be The Sheep Herder

“Most people walk around like sheep, always doing what they are told. Don’t be like them. Be the guy who herds the sheep.” These phrases were told me as a young boy and I knew I never wanted to be a sheep. I knew I always wanted to do what I wanted to, and I wanted to have my own mind and my own heart. My mentally strong parents wouldn’t allow me to be a follower, they demanded that I be a leader. And I am.

10. Stand Up For Yourself

My mentally strong parents never took any crap from other people. They always demanded respect and they always got it. If they felt they were not being heard, appreciated, or respected, even in the slightest way, they demanded a change. I watched them stand up for their beliefs countless times over the years, and they led by example. They always told me to do the same and I always did.

11. Fight For What You Believe In

“Even if everyone else does something, do what you really believe in. Do what is right.” If you have strong-minded parents this belief is deeply engrained in you. You always fight for what you believe in and stand by your convictions. Mentally strong parents teach you this as soon as you start to talk. Because of this, you always do what you know is right in life.

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12. Everyone Has Problems, Not Just You

Your parents taught you to get over your problems early on by telling you that “Everyone has problems, it’s not just you.” In other words, they made you believe that you weren’t being unfairly singled out in the issues department. And that rather than complaining about your issues, you have to get over them! If you have mentally strong parents, you don’t dwell on your problems; you quickly move past and get over them!

13. You Can’t Please Everyone

Mentally strong parents are mentally strong because they know who matters. They also know who doesn’t matter, and they know not to waste their energy on these people. Your mentally strong parents told you early on that “You can’t please everyone” and you listened. You now know this to be true and you don’t waste your time on people who don’t matter. Instead, you focus your energy on more productive things.

14. Sometimes You Have To Take Risks

All mentally strong parents knew that in order to succeed in life, you sometimes have to take risks. Even though it may be scary or nerve-racking, risks are essential to getting ahead. The weak-minded settle for less and never go for things they truly want in life. The strong-minded, however, do. If your parents were mentally strong, you’ve grown accustomed to taking the necessary risks in life that reap the best rewards. You’ve been watching your parents do it for years.

15. Don’t Feel Entitled To Anything

“You work for what you want in life. You are not entitled to anything.” This motto was definitely prevalent in your life growing up. Mentally strong parents would never allow you to feel entitled to anything. The mentally strong are self-reliant, independent, and hard-working, and the feeling of entitlement of certain things is an insult to them. They instilled the core beliefs of self-sufficiency in you early on, and you never forgot them. You are now self-reliant, independent, and hard-working, just like them!

Although it may have been tough growing up with mentally strong parents, by now, you should realize just how lucky you were. Your peers and friends may have had it easier back then, but your mentally strong parents were shaping your future. They were giving you the tools needed to not only prosper and succeed in life, but to also be happy. You can now thank them for everything they’ve given you!

Featured photo credit: Stephan Hochhaus via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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