Unboxing Pride in Strength
I routinely ask clients to describe how their character strengths help them get through the tough times. Sadly, this question is often met with silence, uncertainty, or even tears.
So many of us find it easier to talk about what we don’t like about ourselves and what we wish we could do better. Often such a skewed focus on our weaknesses brings us down, creates doubt, and gets in the way of meaningful change.
Although warranting investigation and understanding, unfortunately, the bulk of available research on LGBTQIA+ experiences is also skewed toward deficit and the negative impacts of minority stress. Why not gain a better understanding of what helps us overcome and thrive in the face of adversity?
Character strengths are aligned with our values and are more about the experiences we prefer to have rather than a specific outcome. Knowing more about our strengths also helps us understand how we like to work, rest, and play.
Currently, minimal research exists on character strengths and their specific role in in LGBTQIA+ mental health and wellbeing. Some exploratory research indicates the following:
|Improved Wellbeing||Less Mental Distress|
In general, research evidence continues to report on the numerous benefits associated with developing a language and understanding of character strengths. Some of those benefits include feeling more engaged, engergised, productive, and happy. Additional benefits include experiencing more positive emotions, having a greater sense of life satisfaction, and overall improved wellbeing. Now who doesn’t want more of that!?!
So, let’s elevate our pride to better understand and share how our individual and collective character strengths empower us. Following is one example of how this can be done:
- Complete your Strengths Survey
- Ask a trusted other to complete their strengths survey,
- Each of you then guess and share what you think the other’s Top 5 strengths are and explain why,
- Then with an aim to consider how to amplify what’s good, talk about and compare your survey results.
When you have about 15 minutes to spare and you’re ready to discover your free unique character strengths summary you can follow this weblink.
Look out for future posts which will unbox select character strengths and explore how to best leverage them to your benefit.