Living better - Susanne Prosser

8 ways in which strong women quite often stand in their own way

Quite often, strong women make life difficult for themselves. Why not change your modus operandi and discover how easy many things can suddenly can? Here we sing the praises of multifaceted femininity, where women are allowed to be strong and weak.

Those who focus on the role of women in terms of career and society will soon find out that discrimination, even at our latitudes, is still high on the agenda. On average, women earn up to 40% less than their male colleagues and still many men do not respect them the way they should. It’s positive and important that we be strong for ourselves and for other women. No discrimination should be allowed at any time.

And now the big “BUT”: Over and again there are situations in which we tend to leap forward too much and lose ourselves in the fight for independence and equality. This is countered by a great need for harmony and the desire to be recognised. We all, men and women alike, share this desire to a certain extent – women maybe slightly more.

Over and again, real power-women notice in themselves one or several of the following patterns of behaviour, which are not always, but quite frequently, more of a hindrance than a help. Read for yourself:

1. Not accept help

“No, its ok, I can do it!” is a thought marking the beginning of many problems. Because, in the end, we’re only hindering ourselves. Why on Earth should we really do everything by ourselves and alone? Much better is to ask actively for help, and to accept help too.

2. Not show feelings

Many strong women think it’s a weakness to be sad or angry. Despite the fact that they’re strongly playing their part in both work and private life, many successful women believe they must hide their feelings in front of others. But anyone performing poker-faced shouldn’t be surprised when needs and desires are not perceived and therefore also not taken seriously. Here, the beaming smile is a female symptom; as small girls we were already brought up to adapt to other people’s expectations and always to be nice and happy. This also means that we’re trained to keep a straight face and not lose our temper. Women quite frequently continue this behaviour as adults until they realise that there is a pattern and that it is always about others and never about themselves.

Stop it now; it’s better to show and say openly more often what is really going on. It doesn’t matter if we sometimes make ourselves unpopular. If you want to be everybody’s darling, you’ll always make others happy but not the most important person in your life, yourself. And we really don’t want that, do we?

3. Overtaxing yourself

Having perfectionism in their blood, they believe that they must be able to deal with things according to the illusory world reflected in the media: career, child, relationship, business …. everything that appears on the radar of life is to be managed and tackled perfectly. It should be clear to us at last that this doesn’t work, dear ladies. We don’t need a perfect home, perfect body, perfect children and so on. We should celebrate our not being perfect and show how happy we are about it.

4. Snapping at men

Literally born to resist and be bolshy, many strong women don’t put up with things easily. Whilst it is indeed important not to put up with everything, sometimes rebellion turns into a proper revolution with no real reason and just on principle. Yet in reality it’s a fact that continuous friction doesn’t really lead to any friendship. And seriously, do we need it? Not at any price, as already pointed out in section 2. However, sometimes it really is worth re-examining in order to be able to assess a situation correctly – and not to lock-and-load straight away, just to threaten that ‘we have options’. Often we’ll be the ones losing out …

Having a bone to pick with everyone

Literally born to resist and be bolshy, many strong women don’t put up with things easily. Whilst it is indeed important not to put up with everything, sometimes rebellion turns into a proper revolution with no real reason and just on principle. Yet in reality it’s a fact that continuous friction doesn’t really lead to any friendship. And seriously, do we need it? Not at any price, as already pointed out in section 2. However, sometimes it really is worth re-examining in order to be able to assess a situation correctly – and not to lock-and-load straight away, just to threaten that ‘we have options’. Often we’ll be the ones losing out …

6. Don’t give any compliments to men

Wenn er etwas falsch gemacht hat, ist bei uns oft schnell die Hölle los. Aber einmal sagen, was richtig toll an ihm ist … hmmm … damit haben starke Frauen schon hin und wieder ihre Problemchen. Stimmt’s? Hallo, Mädels! Nehmen wir’s doch nicht so streng, wenn etwas mal nicht so gelaufen ist, wie wir es uns gewünscht haben. Denn in anderen Momenten können wir doch richtig happy mit unseren Liebsten sein. Männer lieben Komplimente und Bewunderung – mindestens genau so sehr wie wir.

7. Not being able to accept positive statements about you

Quite often there’s a girl who cannot (or does not want?) to believe it’s true, if someone says: “You’re really great!” But why? Let’s concede that others can see how lovely we are and let’s just be happy about it …

8. Tending towards helper syndrome

Because power-women can deal with everything, understanding and being in control, it’s rather easy for them to also resolve other people’s problems. They can do this with ease, casually. At least at first. But usually it doesn’t take long until our energy reserves are put to the test and start to run thin. To the benefit of others. Usually, hiding behind the helper syndrome is some lack of self-esteem. Helping others also helps us not to have to look at our own problems. In order to be able to fill these gaps, some power-women are particularly good at helping others with the utmost dedication. Careful ladies, be economical with your resources.

You see, we don’t have to decide whether we want to be strong, independent and invincible or weak, needy and sensitive. We can be all of these.

Photo credits: (c) iStock.com/dolgachov


The articles in the Instahelp online magazine build on personal stories and experience. We want to give our writers the freedom to express their own thoughts. This means that the articles are an expression of the authors’ own opinions and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of Instahelp.


Instahelp supports you at difficult times in your life

Online counselling by psychologists


Christiane Maier-Plos

Mag. Christiane Maier-Plos

Clinical and health psychologist

Write what’s bearing down on your spirits.
I’ll support you on your way and I look forward to your message.

Write to me
Show more online psychologists


We’re here for you! ×
Welcome to Instahelp. Do you have a problem to resolve or questions about Instahelp? We’ll be pleased to help.
We look forward to hearing from you and will respond within two minutes.