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What Does The Saying "What Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stronger" Mean?

15 Answers

Roger Clegg Profile
Roger Clegg answered
This is a well-known English saying and is defined as you will get tougher as part of an experience you have been through or through life experience. Say for example you undergo a horrific experience be it a sad occasion or something troubling. When you at your lowest ebb and you cannot go on it is the friends and family who will eventually pull you out of this dark black hole when you feel all hope is lost.
This saying means that it’s the experiences that shape you and that you will grow stronger from what you go through. For example if you have been made redundant through no fault of your own and you have been in unemployment for several years and have been to several interviews. You feel that you have got the job and you are better than the other candidates but nothing you do seems to work. It is the network of support you will have around you including close friends or even counsellors you can depend on to tell you to carry on and you are fighter not a quitter.
It is these types of experiences that will make you a better person. Say for example you have created a new business and rely on loans or people who both let you down through one way or another. If you have been messed around and let down accordingly it is your ability to bounce back and be determined that will make you stronger. For example all these entrepreneurs like Donald Trump did not give up at the first attempt but kept continuing until they reached their ultimate goal. This was in spite of the fact they had to go through rough times to get where they are today.
Arun Raj Profile
Arun Raj answered
The words 'What does not kill me makes me stronger' were quoted by the German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900). The statement given in the question is a powerful one- it speaks about conquering pain and having strength to hold your head high and deal with the worst.

The entire set of quotes is: "Did you ever say yes to a pleasure? Oh my friends, then you also said yes to all pain. All things are linked, entwined, in love with one another." "What does not kill me makes me stronger."

The philosopher was struck by a mental disease in the year 1889 and had to lead the rest of his life as an invalid. However his handicap did not deter him from his philosophical beliefs. Pain and suffering are an integral part of our life as is pleasure and happiness. People like Nietzsche believed that if one had the courage to withstand pain, then he or she could win any battle in life.
thanked the writer.
Tina Medina
Tina Medina commented
Can I have permission to us this answer in a book?.....I like the way you explained it. I would like to use the quote in a close to help sexual abuse victims stay motivated and to know that anything is possible with determination and the ability to conquer pain.
Kristen Spicer Profile
Kristen Spicer answered
The quote " What does not kill me makes me stronger" is very inspirational and true to my life. At the age of 18, I was involved in a near fatal car accident, and then I became a drug addict. I am now 23, and have conquered my addiction and have found my true self. I truly believe in this quote, through everything that I have been through and from all the mistakes I have made that could have killed me, I have learned, and I am now a stronger person.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I think it is understood to mean:  As I face opposition, I become more powerful because of my will and determination.  Of course, this may be puerile nonsense.  There are many illnesses, physical and mental, that weaken us rather than making us stronger. Polio, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis come to mind. There are social "illnesses" -- e.g., gossip, prejudice -- that can harm us, even to the point of crippling for life.  The phrase is good consolation to get someone through hard times, but it would be misleading to take it as literally true all the time.
Bonnie Be Profile
Bonnie Be answered
The quote "what does not kill me only makes me stronger" in today's world it means that whatever your going through is just temporary and if it doesn't kill you it only makes you stronger to deal with other things in life that may come your way.
Esther Wu Profile
Esther Wu answered
To me, "What does not kill me makes me stronger," has some sort of relation to perseverance. We all know what it's like to be discouraged and it does hurt a lot; however, all the criticism hasn't killed us yet, has it? We're still continuing, living on, through all those negative remarks made by second parties. But if we truly think about it, we get stronger everything we make it through a negative comment.
For instance, now I'm suffering through major issues because my friends, family, and everyone, has opposed against me of my idea of joining pep squad, or cheer in high school. However, weird feelings blossom whenever someone discourages me, because it only makes me want to join pep squad even more. Amazing, yes. I'm more encouraged than discouraged, even though I could get discouraged during that time when someone is ranting on and on about not to join cheer.
I hope this is somewhat relevant to your question.
-Esther Etsuka Wu
martha Profile
martha answered
I do not agree. Sometimes it really hurts you for the rest of your life
Michael Lai Profile
Michael Lai answered
It depends on what really, but in general I would agree with this statement. For example, an addiction can weaken you more even if you do manage to survive its withdrawal effects if you don't quit the addiction.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Means that we learn from bad experiences and know how to deal with similar situations in the future feeling less pain. Thats how it makes you stronger I guess.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It means that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. If you get shot and don't die you get mentally stronger. People don't get the true meaning and break it down to the exact truth but really its all motivational
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It's not that difficult to understand...see the problem with today's youngsters is that as they find all the thing almost ready and they don't have to try hard to get them, they don't do even the tiniest effort to put their brain on work...if you had thought about that quote I can assure you than it wouldn't have been nessecary to ask on a web site about its meaning...
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The more common English translation is "What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." It's from Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Twilight of the Idols."

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For all of you "Little Miss Sunshine" movie fans out there, this is the same man the teenager in the movie was really in to (poster on the wall, etc.). I like the quote. It also harks to the teacup story where the potter kept putting the complaining teacup back into the hot oven over and over again until it was finally pulled out to harden and cool--an exquisite piece worthy of showcasing to the world.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It means you are being fooled by the person who saying that. There trying to say they are more in-portent and stronger and more special than you. And they are Jealous

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