The top 8 qualities of mentally strong people

Having mental strength means having resilience – a lot of it.

It means being able to respond to adversities well (sometimes positively) and maybe even prosper from such bad times.

It may seem like something many people are born with. But it’s also a quality someone can develop over time with conscious effort and a lot of practice.

To see if you’re mentally strong (or learn how to be), keep reading to learn the top 8 qualities of mentally strong people.

1) They don’t fear rejection or let it take over their life decisions

It’s easy to let fear of rejection run the show. It’s especially easy when you have anxiety or depression.

Worrying about being rejected comes in so many forms.

Whether that’s worrying that the barista won’t have your type of milk when you ask for it, or that telling the person you like will leave you ghosted.

But life will always come with some form of rejection.

And mentally strong people know that if they want to live and experience the joys of life, they have to take risks.

They have to face the fear of rejection head-on and not let it decide whether they go after their dreams or not.

2) They bounce back quickly

Mentally strong people bounce back faster than they fall down.

If they get caught in the rain, they don’t mope around in their wet clothes moaning about it until the day ends.

Instead, they peel off their sodden sweaters, dry them as best they can, and get on with their day with a smile.

If someone puts them in a bad mood, they don’t stay in the bad mood and take it out on everyone around them.

They remember that negative people are usually just going through something themselves.

Because, as the saying goes, “When life knocks you down, get back up and fight harder.”

3) They don’t take their anger out on others (or they apologize quickly when they do)

Things make us feel bad in life all the time.

Whether that’s stubbing your toe on the corner of the table or screwing up big time at work.

But people with inner strength know that taking their frustrations out on the innocent is just downright wrong.

Instead, they recognize when they’re feeling low and know what steps to take to cool off.

Like telling their partner they’re in a bad mood when they get home from work, and need time alone before having dinner together.

Or taking a moment to breathe when the kids are playing noisily and it’s making their headache worse.

They don’t snap and they don’t react in anger.

And, in the rare times they do, they apologize genuinely for their mistakes.

4) They are flexible and respond positively to change

Talking about flexibility always reminds me of this job I worked years ago.

Whenever change was proposed, the same people would spiral.

They ranted to anyone they could about how bad it would be and how worried they were about what it meant for X, Y, and Z.

Whether that was a big restructuring or just a new system being introduced, the level of negativity/fear was the same.

I always found it strange that the negativity took over when there were so many positives to come from the said change.

I’ve since learned that those people were worried because they didn’t believe in themselves.

They didn’t believe they could do what needed to be done.

And they didn’t have the mental strength to tell themselves, “Everything will be okay” and, “I’ll get through this no matter what happens”.

5) They define their self-worth (not others)

qualities of mentally strong people 1 The top 8 qualities of mentally strong people

Those statements above are examples of how mentally strong people talk positively to themselves. 

They don’t let others make them feel small.

They don’t define themselves by the mistakes they make. Nor do they take other people’s criticisms personally.

They know that confidence is a mindset and self-worth comes from within.

They know they are worthy of love, care, kindness, and good things, despite what anyone else may think or say.

And they carry those thoughts with them every day, through everything that happens.

6) They don’t get jealous

Feeling envious of others is a normal human response, according to research.

But mentally strong people don’t act on jealous feelings or make others feel bad about their successes.  

Like if a colleague gets a promotion over them, they don’t respond sourly and talk trash behind their backs.

Instead, they act with integrity and congratulate their colleague.

They wish them the best in their new role and feel genuine joy for them, despite their own disappointment.

If they do ever get jealous, it’s “healthy” jealousy.

Like if a friend tells them they’re going traveling, they wish them a good time and say light-heartedly, “I’m so jealous!”.

They don’t rain on their parade by spewing negativities and telling them it’s a bad idea (when it really isn’t).

7) They are happy for others during bad times

When mentally strong people are going through bad times, they don’t try to drag everyone else down with them.

They don’t have a mindset of “I’m feeling bad, so everyone else around me has to feel bad, too”.

Instead, they can be genuinely happy for others in bad times, especially people they truly care about.

For instance, if they’re going through a divorce and a friend has just gotten engaged, they don’t attempt to bring their friend down because they’re experiencing heartache.

They know how to put their own bad feelings aside and feel joy for their friend, despite how it makes them feel deep down.

8) They know when to ask for help

No one should go through life alone.

Even though it’s important to rely on yourself and self-soothe, mentally strong people know when to ask for help.

They show their vulnerable side when they need to. They talk about their feelings and open up about what’s going on.

They know that, even though they can handle things alone, they don’t always have to.

And when life gets too much for them and they need support, they know how to turn to the people they love for help.

Final thoughts

As you can see, being mentally strong comes in many forms.

It could be as simple as talking positively to yourself when change is looming, to knowing that vulnerability is a good thing that should be practiced often with the people you love.

While being strong isn’t always a natural instinct, it’s possible with conscious effort and a positive mindset.

Because life will always throw things your way.

And, even though you’re never truly alone, being able to handle the unexpected things in life will always be one of your finest assets.


Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.