Goal

Today, I want to discuss the importance of suffering in silence, so you have the strength needed to resolve your issues.

Table of Contents

What Does It Mean To “Suffer In Silence”?

suffer in silence | sad, distraught woman

Suffering in silence does not mean you carry the weight of immense emotional trauma.

“Be grateful in spite of your suffering.” – Jordan B. Peterson

To “suffer in silence” means fixing what is broken without the need to bitch, moan, or complain.

Most people do not want to suffer in silence because they need attention. Weak individuals are not attempting to resolve personal issues and bring about the most good. Their goal is to fish for sympathy, pity, and likes.

Despite popular sentiment, suffering in silence is a mark of a healthy individual. You are not emotionally stunted. To resolve issues without the need to complain means you have a strong will and the ability to shoulder life’s burdens.

What “Suffering In Silence” Does Not Mean

Suffering in silence does not mean you tolerate bullying, an abusive relationship, or a grave social injustice like the national debt. Suffering in silence means you do not whine or complain about all the personal struggles in your life. Therefore, suicidal thoughts need addressing. A rude individual on the subway doesn’t need a tweet, public acknowledgment, or the ability to ruin your day.

Why You Should Learn To Suffer In Silence

internal process | overhead woman doing yoga

The more capable you are of internally processing difficulties, the better you become.

When I was in college, an older white woman saw me walking towards her. She grimaced, held her purse tightly, and walked on the other side of the road.

Now, I could have done many things in this situation. I could have responded aggressively. I could have told my friends about it or complained in class. These were all options to me after experiencing what I still perceive as racism.

But I suffered in silence. I didn’t respond to this woman, and I did not complain to anyone. I kept the incident to myself and moved on.

And here’s what I gained:

1) You learn how to control your emotions

emotional control | woman smiling

Emotional control is essential to becoming a healthier individual. When you master your feelings, you master yourself.

“We were promised sufferings. They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course, it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.” – C.S. Lewis

The woman’s behavior bothered me, but I did not display my emotions to her. While walking back to class, I processed how I felt. I was upset and offended. But in that one crucial moment, I was able to control my emotions, and that controlling has trained me to process other emotional challenges maturely.

When our first reaction to minor injustices is to complain, we weaken our emotional stability. However, you strengthen your emotional stability by “suffering in silence” during small struggles. Practice with smaller problems, and you’ll maintain emotional control during more significant battles.

2) You gain insight into your behavior and reactions

potential | woman jumping with umbrella

Understanding your behaviors and reactions can give you insight into your values and character. Process your responses carefully, and you’ll learn more about who you are and can become.

I was also curious as to why the situation bothered me. After some introspection, it hit me: such a blatant display of racism is rare. Unlike my ancestors, I wasn’t trained daily to endure discrimination. Therefore, I am completely thrown off when it does happen.

Additionally, you can examine your behavior when you process discomfort internally or “suffer in silence.” I was properly dressed, had a smile on my face, and was carrying books. If she viewed me as a threat, then I’ve done all I could to mitigate that fear. Thus, her reaction is her problem to resolve, not mine.

However, if I had become emotionally aggressive or complained to everyone around me, I would lose my intimate connection to the situation. I would have failed to be grateful for the progress my society has made. Further, I would have yielded insight into my behavior during this altercation.

Only by internally processing what happened can I hope to achieve a more objective stance on the situation and my behavior.

3) You are defined by things other than your reactions

emotional outburst | man yelling at phone

You never want your emotional outbursts to define you.

“How can one be well…when one suffers morally?” – Leo Tolstoy

I could have shared my story around campus and received the typical sympathy, pat on the backs, yadda yadda yadda. But I would have accomplished nothing. Firstly, I would have avoided the responsibility of processing what happened. Thus, weakening my mental and emotional abilities. Secondly, I would have become addicted to such attention. Therefore, I would be encouraged to find more racist instances even if I have to provoke them to strengthen my case.

If you are constantly reacting instead of internally processing situations, you will gain a reputation. Your reputation thrives on the weaknesses of your emotions and how overly sensitive you are. With such a reputation, you will not find allies amongst strong individuals. Your only allies will be weak individuals who are well known for backstabbing, capriciousness, and their love of vice.

Process Your Pain And Emotions Internally To Strengthen Who You Are

thinking | man sitting plains

Suffer in silence, and you’ll better process the difficulties of life.

When we suffer in silence, we remove ourselves from any desire for external justification. Our strength lies in acknowledging the discomfort we feel while using this discomfort to understand more profound truths. This journey stabilizes individuals while ensuring what we experience is not disregarded.

Weak individuals cannot do this. They rush towards emotional instability, then the justification for their instability. They cannot find deeper truths, only shallow pain. They weaken themselves, then become furious at others who want a better path.

Ours is the culture of oversharing and overindulgence. Whether people wish to admit it or not, there is a value in internally processing small defeats. To reflect in private about what can be done and how to make improvements. To try, as much as reasonably possible, to gather all the wisdom you can before going out and seeking wisdom from others.

You don’t need to tell every person about your failure to go to the gym. You don’t need to espouse elegantly about your depression to strangers. You don’t need to whine about your failed candidate’s promises.

Fix your issues. Overcome your faults. Integrate your pain into the better individual you are becoming.

Reading List

  • Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins is a tough son of bitch who has gone through hell. The end result is a strong individual who controls his mind and has achieved a long list of admirable goals. His autobiography covers his life, his mindset, and how learning to deal with pain can make anyone a stronger individual.

Actionables

  1. When have you complained to others? What were you complaining about? Did you do enough self-reflection before talking to them?
  2. What, for you, is a situation where one should not “suffer in silence”?
  3. Are you easily offended? Why or why not? What offends you? Do you believe these things are worth being offended over?

Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

*Image credit to Unsplash.