Negative Effects of the Warrior Mentality

How hiding behind a brave front can have devastating consequences in our lives and in the lives of others.

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Posted in , Mar 20, 2015

Woman wearing boxing gloves. Thinkstock.

Anyone who has a loved one in the military is familiar with the warrior mentality. Our service men and women are heroes in the truest sense of the word. Part of the reason they can do the job they do is because of their strength and fortitude. It’s only natural for families and close friends to pick up on these traits and begin to emulate those who serve.

This can be a good thing–up to a point.

But when carried too far, that brave front we hide behind can have devastating consequences in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

Here are some of the negative effects of the warrior mentality:

We push the people who love us away.
We deny them–as well as ourselves–the comfort of shared burdens. The people who love us also hurt for us and want to help, leading to the next negative effect.

This keeps others from feeling needed.
We all want to feel needed. And that’s never more true than when someone we love is struggling. I’ve learned that this warrior mentality can be incredibly selfish and self-centered.

It causes hurt and confusion in those trying to help.
Rejection is hard, no matter when or where it comes. But when it comes from those we’re trying to help, it leaves us feeling wounded. We doubt our own ability to reach out to others in a positive way.

It isolates us from the help we need.
God does provide the help we need, when we need it. I know that for a fact–I’ve seen it lived out in my life and the lives of those around me. But He never forces that help on us. We can turn it down, and that leads to isolation.

It’s a false front, so we never feel good about ourselves.
When we hide behind something that’s not true, it always leaves us feeling guilty. We may be able to keep up a warrior mentality for a time, but it’s not a permanent fixture. When it fades and we try to keep up a false front, we feel like failures.

It sets up an impossible model for those in similar situations.
It’s hard to focus on others when we’re hurting. But the truth is that we don’t live in a vacuum. Someone is always watching us. When we pretend we have it all together, we provide an unreachable goal.

I know how hard it is to be real and ask for help when I need it. But every single time I have, it’s been a blessing for me and for the one I’m reaching out to. 

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