Emotional Strength: Meaning, Examples & How To Build It

Table of Contents
Emotional Strength – Key Characteristics of Emotional Strength & How to Build it

Soft skills such as emotional strength are essential interpersonal characteristics to become successful in life. Soft skills, in simple terms, mean how you relate and work with other people.

When it comes to dealing with challenges life throws at us, we all react in various ways. Some may crumble under pressure, while some can recover and pick themselves up quickly.

It is critical to find strategies to increase our emotional strength if we do not want to feel helpless or weak. We should concentrate on improving our emotional strength in the same way that we focus on keeping our bodies in shape or adopting good habits.

In this article, you learn about the key characteristics and benefits of emotional strength. We will also share about emotional strength in a relationship and some examples of it across all generations. You will also learn the difference between emotionally strong and emotionally weak individuals.

What Does Emotional Strength Mean?

Emotional strength is defined as an individual’s ability to feel and be open to intense emotional experiences. It is about how a person deals with obstacles and recover from them, rather than how they react in any given situation.

Emotional strength is not about turning a negative into a pleasurable experience. It is where you can feel all emotional experiences at a deeper level, allowing you to be vulnerable and responsive to your emotions. You also have the skill to change how you perceive emotion in your daily life.

Key Characteristics of Emotionally Strong People

  1. They prefer peace more than aggression
  2. They adopt a growth mindset and are unafraid of making mistakes
  3. They focus on how to get around the obstacles rather than the obstacles themselves
  4. They are vulnerable
  5. They embrace change
  6. They practice self-care

They prefer peace more than aggression

Emotionally strong individuals do not exhibit the classic characteristics of authority, dominance, and aggression. They understand that true power comes from being in charge of their destiny.

Peace is the most unbreakable strength you can have. Confident People need to demonstrate “power” when it does not appear self-evident to them or when they believe it does not exist.

They adopt a growth mindset and are unafraid of making mistakes

Emotionally strong individuals love exploring and trying new things. They know that there is always something new to learn and opportunities to become better.

Individuals with a growth mindset thrive in the face of adversity and are tenacious. They are not scared of making mistakes. To them, failures serve as springboards for growth and improvement.

They focus on how to get around the obstacles rather than the obstacles themselves

Emotionally strong individuals concentrate their efforts on the bigger picture when facing obstacles. They don’t allow themselves to get caught up in temporary setbacks.

Emotionally strong people also do not dwell on what they’ve lost; instead, they focus on what can be gained out of the experience.

They are vulnerable

In our society, being vulnerable is considered a weakness. It is difficult and terrifying to express oneself honestly to others. However, vulnerability is an indication of being emotionally strong.

It allows you to be open and honest with yourself and others about your feelings and emotions. When you open yourself to others, you can form a deeper connection with them.

They embrace change

Emotionally strong individuals take complete responsibility for everything that happens in their lives.

They perceive every experience as feedback and do not assign blame for whatever happens. They will also not whine and embrace the challenges that change brings.

They practice self-care

Emotionally strong individuals know that if they don’t take care of themselves, they cannot deal with problems when they arise. They are aware and understand what they need to be at their best.

They consume nutritious foods, get enough sleep, and know how to cope with stress. They can also recognize and communicate their emotional and physical needs to others.

7 Steps on How You Can Be Emotionally Strong

Emotional strength is like building your physical strength. It requires you to follow techniques and steps consistently to build your emotional strength.

Here is a list of actions that you can consider adopting in your life starting now.

Step 1: Recognize and acknowledge where you are right now

We all go through transitions in our lives. It can sometimes be challenging to understand what is going on while we are experiencing one.

You could be dissatisfied with your job or experience a break-up, which is an unpleasant emotional experience.

Step 2: Take a break

Perhaps, you can go on a trip or book a staycation at a place you have always wanted to go. Take this time to relax and let things settle.

Do you know that individuals who don’t go on vacations are more likely to burn out? Avoid this feeling by scheduling in your calendar to take a rest, even if you don’t feel like it.

Step 3: Practice gratitude and keep yourself calm

A gratitude practice builds your muscles of finding the positive in your day-to-day life. It’s not a method of avoiding the negative. Rather, it’s a lens that allows us to be aware and focus on the positive things in life, no matter how bad the day is.

You can recharge yourself by taking a moment to meditate, journal, or do any activities that will make you feel energized and calm.

Step 4: Spend time with your loved ones

It may be difficult for you to do this when you are vulnerable, but this is an excellent technique. If you don’t want your loved ones to see you in this state, you can always ask them for a casual hangout or go for a meal.

By spending time around them, you can relax and heal yourself from whatever you are going through.

Step 5: Attempt something new or go out of your comfort zone

It may be difficult for you to do this when you are vulnerable, but this is an excellent technique. If you don’t want your loved ones to see you in this state, you can always ask them for a casual hangout or go for a meal.

By spending time around them, you can relax and heal yourself from whatever you are going through.

Step 6: Make a list of your concerns

Writing your worries down might help you gain a better understanding of what’s going on.

You can schedule time in your calendar to complete the list slowly rather than rushing through it. Then start checking items off as you complete them.

Step 7: Make a list of what is going on well in your life

You can also make a list of what you are good at and your strengths. Then compare this list against the concerns that you have written earlier.

Look at your concern list and see how you can overcome them with your strengths.

Why is Emotional Strength Important?

Investing in building your emotional strength will pay its reward when you meet with failure or rejection. The ability to bounce back after a setback comes from your aptitude and emotional fortitude.

Your emotional capabilities will affect your ability to learn, retain, and respond to the challenges thrown at you. That is also why people react to similar events in various ways.

You can either let failure break your spirit or let it inspire you to give your best shot the next time. It all depends on how you use your emotions.

Here is a list of benefits for being emotionally strong:

  • Increase your life satisfaction and overall quality of life.
  • Improved performance in all areas of your life.
  • Become more resilient in the face of challenges and difficulties.
  • Help you to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Strengthen and deepen your relationship with others.
  • Feel more confident in your ability to deal with problems.
  • Bounce back from challenges and setbacks quickly
  • Improve your decision-making and thinking skills.

List with Examples of Emotional Strength

Agreeable Appreciation Authentic
Belief Belonging Calm
Compassionate Composed Confident
Conscientious Contentment Courageous
Critical thinking Devoted Diligence
Eagerness Emotionally Stable Empathetic
Enthusiasm Excellence Faith
Freedom Flexibility Forgiving
Generosity Genuine Graceful
Gratitude Honesty Hopefulness
Humility Humor Industrious
Loyal Optimism Originality
Passionate Peaceful Perseverance
Positivity Prudence Resilient
Respectful Self-control Sense of purpose
Sincerity Spirituality Tolerance
Trust Truthfulness Valor

Emotional Strength in Relationships

Quarrels, disagreements, and conflicts are bound to happen in a romantic relationship. But, not everyone can manage such difficult trials. They may falter under pressure and not be emotionally strong when it counts most.

True emotional strength comes from within you. You and your partner must be aware of the best strategies for overcoming any obstacle that life throws your way.

The strategies are as follow:

1. Answer these three questions: What brings you joy? What causes you to be depressed or frustrated in a relationship? In what circumstances do you often feel disappointed?

Knowing the answers to these basic yet crucial questions is the first step towards understanding your emotional strength.

The answers to these questions allow you to know yourself deeper and recognize the triggers for your emotional states. It can also prepare you for the uncertainties and surprises that come from your partner.

2. Be flexible and adaptable to your environment.

It makes no difference if you aren’t mature enough to be an ideal partner in a relationship. What matters is that you’ve gained exceptional flexibility in dealing with the various situations that may arise in a relationship.

You and your partner may be passionate during your honeymoon period, but the sustainable way to keep your relationship alive starts from within you. Learn to adapt, compromise, and be emotionally prepared to support and deal with anything that comes your way.

3. Focus on the positive and things that bring you happiness.

You should learn to accept the positive and negative personalities of your significant other in a relationship. When things are not going your way in a relationship, remember to always look at the brighter side.

Do not retreat or avoid responsibility when you encounter a problem. Instead, learn to face and resolve the issues together with your partner.

4. Learn to accept yourself for who you are.

Nobody is perfect. You must understand that you will never be the perfect person for your partner and vice versa. Otherwise, you’ll be prone to negative emotions that make you feel insecure in your romantic relationship.

Such negative emotions will ultimately result in break-ups.  But, if you and your partner are emotionally strong, both of you are committed to doing what it takes to make the relationship work.

5. Have faith in your partner and relationship.

It takes a lot of courage to trust your partner and your relationship. With a strong foundation of trust, your relationship will be able to withstand the test of time.

The trust you show reflects how you see yourself as a person and how you handle trust issues.

6. Do not hurt each other.

It’s a sign of strength when you can realize that the love you are showering your partner is destroying you emotionally.

Stop harming yourself by clinging to a toxic relationship with someone who doesn’t recognize your worth. You should also avoid doing things that may damage your relationship rather than strengthen it.

Examples of Emotional Strength for All Generation

Emotional Strengths of a Child


Hope can transform a child’s everyday life. They will seek inspiration from others, strive and pursue greatness in their own lives. Children can learn to appreciate a world of possibilities and hope by reading a wide variety of stories. Hope is the motivating force that will propel our children’s futures forward.


Children thrive in an environment where they feel protected and safe. School and the home are places where children feel safe to explore new things, make mistakes, and grow.


Confident children can think and express themselves freely. They are self-assured and will tackle any situation with confidence. They know that they have the resources they need to succeed.

Emotional Strengths of a Student


When studying or learning a new topic, students who are enthusiastic about learning experience less stress and worry. They are more engaged in the subject and are likely to persevere when confronted with a problem until they find a solution.


Curious students have a desire to explore new things and test new hypotheses. Students who are proactive in asking questions will become more involved in their surroundings. They will learn to look for answers to problems.


The challenges that students encounter, whether it is bullying, family problems, or simply getting through difficult moments at school, require courage. They will learn from the mistakes and adventures of fictional characters in books they read.

They will also take those lessons and apply them to their own life. They understand that having the courage to take chances and be vulnerable will lead them to great outcomes.

Emotional Strengths of an Adult

Critical thinking

Emotionally strong adults can make well-informed decisions. They tend to sort, categorize, and evaluate information to understand and see how it all fits together. More importantly, they will not allow their emotions to blur their decisions, especially in critical moments.

Strong internal locus of control

Adults do not treat criticism as a personal attack and self-sabotage themselves. They are in control of how they feel and perceive anything that comes their way.

Continuous learning

Adults do not beat themselves up because of their setbacks or failures. Adults are aware that they are always a work in progress.

They are always looking out for new experiences and seeking new knowledge to improve themselves.

Emotional Strengths of an Elderly

Giving back to society and the community

Those who learn to appreciate this stage of life can share their experience and skills with their families’ and communities’ well-being.

Open to change

As adults grow older, they will undergo various changes, such as children leaving the nest, physical and mental strength, and mobility decreases, etc. All these require them to adjust and adapt to their changing circumstances.


There is a growing body of evidence that senior adults can be resourceful and creative with their accumulated experiences. Their passion and energy allow them to continue to be respected members of society.

Emotional Strength Vs Emotional Weakness

One significant difference between emotionally strong and weak individuals is the way they deal with negativity. It’s easy to allow negativity to affect you when people are emotionally vulnerable.

Negativity serves to bring them down deeper into your negative feelings in the long run. However, emotionally stronger people will do their best to avoid allowing negativity to overrun them. They strive to attract optimism and happiness into their life.

Another difference is emotionally weak people tend to feel sorry for themselves. While emotionally strong individuals will not feel this way if things go against their expectations.

When confronted with a less-than-ideal circumstance, they will seek a way out rather than wallow in their misery. Emotionally strong individuals see roadblocks as opportunities to explore and do things differently.

Whereas emotionally weak individuals feel trapped and unhappy because, to them, these barriers cannot be overcome and represent the end of their journey.

7 Quotes on Emotional Strength

  1. “You have power over your mind―not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”  ―Marcus Aurelius
  2. “No matter what kind of challenges or difficulties or painful situations you go through in your life, we all have something deep within us that we can reach down and find the inner strength to get through them.” ―Alana Stewart
  3. “I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.” ―Anna Freud
  4. “It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength is often that of greatest difficulty.” ―Dalai Lama
  5. “A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.” ―Vernon Howard
  6. “As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.” ―Vincent van Gogh
  7. “You really have to look inside yourself and find your own inner strength, and say, ‘I’m proud of what I am and who I am.’ “ ―Mariah Carey

Frequently Asked Questions About Emotional Strength

Where Does Emotional Strength Come From?

Emotional strength comes from your ability to think realistically and being persistent in the face of challenges. An emotionally strong person also recognizes and accepts how they feel within them.

Where Do You Find Emotional Strength?

Emotional strength is found within you. Just like physical strength, emotional strength is a muscle you need to train with consistency and effort.

It’s all about your flexibility in the face of setbacks, crises, and uncertainty. It is also about your ability to deal with everything that comes your way.

How to Show Emotional Strength?

You show emotional strength when you adopt a growth mindset and are unafraid of making mistakes. You tend to focus on how to get around the obstacles rather than the obstacles themselves.

Furthermore, you embrace change and practice self-care so that you can be the best version of yourself. You also display the vulnerable side of yourself to others. You are comfortable to open yourself and be honest with your feelings with others.

Overall Conclusion Of Emotional Strength

Emotional strength is something that no one is born with. People who have learned to be emotionally strong haven’t gotten there because life has been easy for them.

It is built with years of effort and battling through challenges and emotions. Take notes on the things mentioned above to help you build your emotional strength and create the life you deserve.

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