Resilience is a trait. People either have it or they don’t.
Resilience is not a trait. Resilience is a capacity that involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned by and developed in anyone. Being resilient involves tapping into your resources, such as personal strengths and the support of family and friends.
Healthy families don’t have problems.
All families have problems. Healthy, resilient families have coping and problem-solving skills.
Resilient people are independent, tough, and self-reliant; they don’t need much from other people.
“Rugged individualism” is a stereotype in American culture, and a myth. Resilient people are resourceful, and friends and family are among their most important resources. Resilient people have strong social networks, close connections to family and friends, are able to self-disclose about their troubles to people close to them, and ask for help when they need it.
Resilient people are immune to stress and negative emotions.
Resilient people experience just as much stress and negative emotion as anyone else, with just as much intensity. However, they also experience positive emotions like gratitude, joy, kindness, love, and contentment. And they are able to find meaning and purpose for their lives, even in the face of loss and trauma.
Adversity makes people stronger.
People do experience positive changes in their lives after struggling with a crisis or trauma, a process called posttraumatic growth. But it’s not the adversity or suffering that makes people stronger. It is the process of struggling, learning, and persevering. It is the ability to maintain positive emotions as well as negative ones. In fact, positive emotions make us stronger and more resilient in the face of adversity. Positive emotions motivate us to explore the environment, learn new things, and ultimately build new resources that help us to overcome life’s difficulties. In the process of resilience, people experience not only their own capabilities, but also the support of families, friends, neighbors, and faith communities. People also gain confidence about overcoming future difficulties.