Is The Statement “What Doesn’t Kill You Make You Stronger” Is Correct?

Have you seen the baby happy playing with a toy, and suddenly throwing that toy away and then crying that he doesn’t have the toy anymore? Until his mother comes and gives the toy back, so he is happy for another few minutes. And then he throws that toy away and starts crying again? Have you witnessed this cycle before?

The thing is that our brain is conditioned to deal with disappointments. Our main goal, since we think the death is the worst thing that can happen to us, is to keep on living. We like to know what will happen next; it’s a survival instinct.

Flying cubesThat is why so many people are stuck in the jobs, relationships, financial hardships, and do nothing about. Because even if something uncomfortable, or painful, we still know what it is, and that makes us safe.

Our brain, through generations in order to survive concentrated more on coping mechanism, on mastering disappointment. We even have a saying:” What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” And most of the time, our society admires individuals who struggle, who are in pain, who endure pain and come out alive.

There are people who decide that they had enough of the struggle, because it hurts so much. But they struggle to get out of that cycle because of the patterns in the brain. So from one bad relationship they go to the next relationship that will turn out to be the same kind of relationship as they experienced before. The brain forms patterns that need something different to do in order to overwrite them.

Here are three tips that Harvard Asst. Clinical Professor – Dr. Srini Pillay recommends reversing that:

  1. Frame everything in the positive. Don’t talk bad about yourself or others, don’t use the sentence that has the word “no”, or “not.”Hand Checking on Solution and X on Problem Boxes
  2. Avoid rebound relationships as it can be with other people, or with financial decisions or even with yourself. Just by not getting in any relationship at all, or dropping a relationship that doesn’t look appealing right from beginning anymore, won’ help. You need to change your behavior patterns. You need to eliminate patterns that keep on repeating. So if you don’t want to end up in the next relationship being the same as the last one, figure why you keep on getting in the same relationship. Before you dive in into a new relationship, your thinking and behavior pattern should be different.
  3. Focus on mastery of the new situation. Concentrate of the situation itself, how good the situation is, not on how good you are. Appreciate things and look for the positive in any situation.

So that saying about hardships make us stronger, is very wrong. Not even wrong is totally harmful. Being a martyr doesn’t make us better; it’s just keeping us in pain.



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