Can You Be Tough and Strong if You’re Soft and Nurturing Too?

As the soft and nurturing type, we're sure you've asked yourself if it's possible be tough and strong too. We dove deep into the topic and here is what we found.
By aha insurance - Oct 26, 2018

At aha insurance we continually explore ways to stay in control of all aspects of life – because we know life is about more than insurance. In our Life Matters series we talk about staying in control of your life and living on your terms. Control feels great!

It seems in our rapidly evolving world, women are expected to maintain some traits associated with their gender since humans began walking erect, while also shouldering the modern-day responsibility of incorporating more modern-day characteristics.

The pressure is on to find “balance” in our lives, which is really just code for “do everything and be everything for everyone.” Sometimes it’s hard to feel like tough and strong can live concurrently in a soft and nurturing personality.

Tough and Strong

Every form of media — television, movies, and of course social media — all urge women to be a bad-ass Wonder Woman, while also implying any woman who doesn’t look like a supermodel while working hard at home and in their jobs is less than those who have all of these traits. Add into the mix an expectation of providing financial support to their family and emotional support as mothers, friends, sisters, aunts, wives and lovers, and it can be rather daunting for women to find satisfaction looking in the physical and emotional mirror. Women are also encouraged to ensure they spend time nurturing themselves in acts of self-care like eating healthy foods, exercising and spending time doing other things they enjoy. What woman isn’t tough and strong, if they are shouldering all of these expectations? Yet, there are still those who feel tough, strong women are “hard” or worse, and others who look down their nose at women who are understanding and nurturing, considering it a sign of weakness. It would seem that womanhood is being redefined too frequently to keep up.

Society has high hopes for women. Switching back and forth between these traits, or even incorporating all of them at once, if needed, isn’t always an easy task. Have a big meeting at the office? Don’t let your soft side show. Have a child crying? Tuck away your tough work persona. Women are even turning on one another in judgement of how these separate situations are handled and it can often feel like a minefield. Sometimes the opinions of others, like a boss or a valued loved one, do count, as much as some wish they could ignore that. Yet, there is a belief that a feminist embraces all of these struggles and roars in response.

The good news is that women today are working really hard at accepting themselves and one another, without a list of pre-set criteria for how they “should” act or look. The choices are endless for women in terms of their self-identity, and the acceptance of flaws is an overriding objective, along with reframing what actually qualifies as a character flaw. (Hint:  being tough and strong, while also soft and nurturing doesn’t make the cut as a flaw!)

Soft and Nurturing

While we are still chasing that elusive, widespread approval for women who are living, breathing, multi-faceted humans, women are still freer than ever to incorporate seemingly conflicting personality aspects into who they are and want to be. Tough is necessary sometimes, but so is soft and nurturing, and denying any aspect of a full and dynamic range of character traits doesn’t benefit anybody. Life is never straightforward, and nor is being a woman who is tough and strong, as well as soft and nurturing, but those with the ability to care the least about what others think are often the ones who are happiest and emotionally healthiest.

aha insurance is Canada’s first car and home insurance brokerage to offer a fully online customer experience. Customers can purchase and manage their car and home insurance online in minutes from the convenience of wherever they are. This puts customers in complete control, and control feels great.