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Are You Relentless Or Unrelenting? 6 Healthy Skills For Personal Success

Posted in Marty Weintraub

Posted on January 16th, 2015

You probably know our type, that bull in a china shop, unstoppable whirling dervish-of-a-force.  We take the world by storm and take no prisoners! Visualize the prize, strategize, execute and dominate…won’t take “No” for an answer.  We’re about fanatical drive meeting ambition. To be “Unrelenting” is a quality which rarely fails those who also grow practical self-awareness, sensitivity, humility, softheartedness and moderation.

Truly of  all entrepreneurial qualities I’ve observed over the years, to be unrelenting is a top personal attribute. This powerful quality seems to be a harbinger of success for most aspects of a person’s being: lover, parent, partner, sportsman, coach, student, teacher, clergy, technician, politician, etc. To be constant, determined, unbending, persistent, steadfast and tireless requires incredible energy. Some people have it. Some people don’t. 


However, to be unrelenting may also portend personal pitfalls, being both a blessing and a curse. When carried too far “Unrelenting” can become “Relentless,” a potentially negative behavioral trait. The truth is in the behavioral semantics. The power is understanding self-regulation. We’ll share crucial personal self-regulation skills for healthily unrelenting humans later in this post.

There’s rich perspective comparing “Unrelenting” to its nasty big brother, “Relentless.” Whether you’re a digital marketer (like me), congresswoman, stay at home parent, president, minister, college teacher or high school student, taking a moment to reflect on qualities embodied in the concept of being unrelenting vs. relentless yields rich perspective for nearly any goal.

“Relentless,” The Darker Side Of “Unrelenting”

The definition of “Relentless” conveys mixed messages at best. Even positive connotations are diffused with negative overtones rooted in “Oppression,” denoting despotic cruelty that weighs heavily. The harsh side of being relentless can be grim, sporting synonyms like “Severe,” “Remorseless” and “Unmerciful.” To be relentless, is a mixed bag, laced with semantic negativity at best. According to Google, For all the semantic negativity, usage of the word “Relentless” has been steadily increasing. Go figure.

relentless trend

On the other hand the word “Unrelenting” implies more positive characteristics, with fewer ruthless overtones.


To be an unrelenting person means you are persistent, determined, tireless and nonstop.  The minimal undesirable qualities associated with being unrelenting (as opposed to relentless) are more about possible inflexibility. For the most part, being unrelenting is positive, with fewer hazards of over-behavior.

Sadly, English usage of the word “Unrelenting” is drastically lower than its peak adoption era in the 1800s. Perhaps that decline speaks to our planet’s growing unmerciful remorselessness.

unrelenting trend

If you are an unrelenting person, you know it’s a double-edged sword. The trick to riding ceaseless and dogged energy without falling into severe, relentless heartlessness is about having complimentary personal skills. Here are self-regulation skills for positively unrelenting humans:

1) Be highly self-awareaware
Even as you tirelessly blast from one unwavering objective to the next, be on the lookout for inflexibility. To be uncompromising means to come off as severe, rigid and potentially closed minded. To be healthily unrelenting means to be self-aware of what’s happening around you.

2) Be Sensitive To Transitions
Not everyone has unlimited energy and it’s common for driven people to be completely overwhelming. It’s important for tireless humans to transition in curves, as a process, instead of radically abrupt instant pivots. Give others time to process your wattage. In other words, not everyone moves at your pace so meet those you impact in the middle.

3) Lose Your Ego
Healthily unrelenting people are often leaders. Don’t be seduced by your own energy or authority. Sure, you’re blessed with continual drive so you’ll get a lot of attention for your power.  Don’t let adulation go to your head. You’re no more beautiful than the sensitive introvert in the library. Keep humility about you and channel that gorgeous energy for humble goodness.

4) Soften Your Heart
The negative side of being relentless is a hard heart. A pathway to enlightened behavior is getting in touch with your loving heart.

5) Moderate
Stop and smell the coffee my friend. I can tell you from personal experience it’s unhealthy to be always on. Shout (so to speak) all the time and soon enough others will certainly stop listening.

6) Keep things in perspective:  Above all, keep in mind that the very qualities that make a person positively unrelenting can spiral into negative behaviors associated with being relentless.

Truly of  all entrepreneurial qualities I’ve observed over the years, to be unrelenting is a top personal trait. You probably know our type. We’re bulldogs, intense and highly passionate.  We go and go… like the energizer bunny, visualizing the end goal. If we fail it won’t be for lack of energy. To be “Unrelenting” is often a success indicator, providing we also develop self-awareness, sensitivity, humility, softheartedness and moderation.


Copyright: Ollyy, Gencho Petkov, art_of_sun, Rob Hyrons, agsandrew

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  • Colleen Simpson

    Brilliant. Beautiful. Inspiring.

    • Marty Weintraub

      Thanks Colleen. I’d say your a relentless person too.

  • Patrick Collins

    LOVE this Marty! Spot on 🙂

    • Marty Weintraub

      Patrick, from what we’ve seen of you as a businessperson, you have the unrelenting business bug. Wishing you all success in the future.

  • Karalyn

    Call me a sponge because I am completely absorbing information at an alarming rate today! Cannot thank you enough for all the insight I’m gaining. I found you after Googling “SEO naming your business” and post after post is really inspiring! I’m a small online seller right now with plans of going bigger/more global in a consistent market I tested over the past year. I’m at the point now where I need my own site to encourage customers to return to for future orders…instead of placing them on the original “store/fee-hungry” site they found me on/through. So I’ve reached the point where I have to commit to my business name, decide on it’s URL, decide how to host it, etc and I figured I should research basic search engine result rules first. Well the more I research the older I feel for sure (just recently learned about pay-per-click and what SEO even means)! After all, I’m in my early forties and I can still remember getting our first microwave in the 80’s! Technology today? The Internet? Pretty much blows my mind on a daily basis and I LOVE it, EMBRACE it, and just hope to hold on long enough for the exhilarating ride! After reading just a handful of your posts (is the correct term blogs?), I’m also feeling pretty wise though! After all I’m current enough to realize buyer’s search terms are probably crucial when deciding on how best to name a business. I rationalize that balances out the “old” feeling I felt coming over me and I’m back to steady ground again so thank you. And thank you for your vision. Your company looks like a “2nd family” so to speak and your creative encouragement is priceless to many, I’m sure. It definitely is inspiring to me and WHEN my business is large enough to warrant it, I know exactly where I’ll look for guidance on digital marketing on a larger scale. Until then I’ll just incorporate what I can from what you’re graciously sharing publicly. One of my “life rules” has always been “Never give up! Never surrender!” though and as a Taurus I’m passionate and loyal so I feel completely unrelenting right now! YES! Seriously, thanks again for the knowledge and inspiration. It’s appreciated more than you might imagine.

    • Marty Weintraub

      Karalyn, “Never give up! Never surrender!” is Winston Churchill, yes?

  • Tom Wilkowske

    I like this a lot. Not to psychoanalize, but”Relentless” seems to come from a place of anger or even fear … whereas “unrelenting,” especially looking at the second line of the definition — “determined, dogged, tenacious, steadfast” — comes from strength, confidence, dare I say love? Blessings, good luck, namaste to you Marty!

    • Marty Weintraub

      Tom, LOVE this comment. I was surprised to learn the nitty gritty dirt in synonym land.

  • Will Scott

    Very nice, Marty! And, I’ve seen you be both. Sometimes in very close temporal proximity.

    For me, how I’m defined probably depends on who you’re asking 🙂

    • Marty Weintraub

      I’d say you’re the good side of both. That said, I would not want to be on the other side of your bull-in-a-china shop if things were not going well…my friend <3.