Resilient People Can Be Summed Up By These 8 Key Characteristics

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The quality of resiliency can be created in different ways.

For some people, it’s a journey of gaining perspective, self-awareness, and problem-solving skills.

For others, it’s being forged in the fires of a difficult, challenging life that may not have been kind to them. That person steps out of the flames, molded by the heat and the challenges they faced.

One does not need to undergo such painful circumstances to create resiliency. Instead, we can look at the resilient and seek to develop the qualities they have in ourselves.

What kind of traits make the resilient different than the average individual?

1. They understand that all things are temporary.

The understanding that all things in life are temporary provides a strong foundation to cope with the trials and tribulations of life. Though we look forward to great and positive things, those things will inevitably end, sometimes tragically.

Many people are looking for their great love, something that is supposed to ignite some brilliant flame in their soul that provides warmth and comfort.

Countless books, movies, and gurus have told us such a love is out there waiting for us. But, even if we do find such an overly romanticized love, it will end sooner or later because humans don’t live forever.

All things have to end.

Everything is temporary. Whatever moment you’re currently in, good or ill, will eventually pass. The resilient understand and accept this truth.

2. They look at obstacles as challenges to be overcome.

Every person in the world will face challenges and obstacles in pursuit of their goals and the life they want to live. Pain and obstacles are inevitable.

One’s attitude and mentality toward those challenges and obstacles can either make the load easier to carry, or add tremendous weight that can make it seem impossible to move forward.

The resilient understand that these obstacles are in their future and do not detract from their overall journey. They are simply challenges to navigate on the road to success.

3. They practice regular self-care.

Life is full of stresses and challenges. Maybe it’s the family who is grating on your last nerve, maybe it’s a boss, maybe it’s just a long string of things not going as planned.

Whatever the case may be, a resilient person is going to look to self-manage and indulge in self-care.

Self-care is important to vent off stress and keep from getting swept under by the long-term grind of life.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. One must pace themselves, understand their limits, and not burn themselves out trying to pursue the unattainable.

There is no shame in resting if you’re on a long a journey – which we all are.

4. They have clear and distinct boundaries in their relationships.

The resilient often attract others who want to stand by them on their journey. They may be freethinkers or leaders who are committed to certain visions.

They may also just be the backbone of their family, helping to keep everything upright and moving forward.

Whatever the case may be, boundaries are a necessity to ensure relationships stay happy and healthy.

People who are looking for direction will flock to the resilient as a source of inspiration, knowledge, or even care. The resilient understand that they must be careful to make sure other people cannot take too much of their energy or negatively impact their well-being.

5. They can receive constructive criticism without taking it as a personal offense.

Outside perspective can be a valuable tool. Yet, some people live to tear down the efforts and accomplishments of other people. These negative individuals like nothing more than to see someone else stumble or fall.

These people are trolls and should be ignored. Constructive criticism, however, can help make a bad idea good, or a good idea great.

A resilient person is going to be listening for that constructive criticism, because they are aware that there are things out there in the world that they do not know.

They understand that there are more perspectives than their own. They do not let a few barbs or harsh words bother them, because they are listening for the wisdom in the words of others.

6. Their anger is often fleeting, as it is not productive unless paired with determined action.

Anger can serve as valuable fuel to power the vehicle of change. The problem with anger, for so many people, is that they think their anger will serve any purpose at all.

But it doesn’t.

Anger is just anger and it doesn’t invoke any change unless it is actually paired with purposeful, determined action.

And even then, that fuel is not going to last long. Outrage fatigue can set in, chipping away at even the most valiant of efforts.

The resilient understand that anger is a temporary fuel. It will only take you so far. Instead, they choose to look to determined action that they can have continued control over.

After a while, many resilient people will just let their own anger flow past them, because they understand that anger really only clouds one’s judgment and makes it harder to succeed in the long-term.

Communication breaks down when anger is fired at another person. They simply stop listening, go on the defensive, and entrench themselves deeper in their own perspective.

7. They attempt to find the positive, even if the lesson is mired in pain or suffering.

It can be difficult to find positive lessons in painful, difficult circumstances. In looking for them, a resilient person lessens the impact of the negativity, the pain, and the suffering.

If they can find a way to make their own suffering worth something, they will, because then the negative perception is diminished.

Everyone suffers in their own way, some more seriously than others. That’s not a perception that can or should be used to diminish the suffering of another person. They can only make that choice for themselves.

But the resilient person doesn’t want to dwell too long when bad things happen. They typically confront it, look for the lesson, make a new plan, and push forward.

That doesn’t mean they don’t still carry a bit of that pain and hurt with them, because they do. It just means that they don’t let it derail them for too long, or alter their course in a drastic way unless absolutely necessary.

8. They are self-aware, often asking and answering difficult questions of themselves about their choices.

Resiliency is rooted in self-awareness. The ability to cope with and overcome the difficulties and tragedies of life comes down to understanding one’s own emotions and capabilities well.

It comes down to owning one’s choices, or lack thereof, and making the most of every possible thing that should come their way.

The resilient know that they are the architect of their own life and existence, all of which is driven primarily by choice.

And they know that if they make the wrong or a bad choice, that they have the strength and tenacity to pursue a better path.

Identifying those bad choices comes down to self-awareness, being critical of one’s own decision-making processes, and taking responsibility when things don’t turn out as planned.

A resilient person does not want to leave too much to chance, rather relying on their own skills and capabilities to see their way through whatever it is they may be facing.

It can be quite the journey to begin to exercise such control over one’s emotions and well-being, but once you do, it is a powerful feeling to know that you can own and uplift yourself when the time comes.

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About The Author

Jack Nollan is a mental health writer of 10 years who pairs lived experience with evidence-based information to provide perspectives from the side of the mental health consumer. Jack has lived with Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar-depression for almost 30 years. With hands-on experience as the facilitator of a mental health support group, Jack has a firm grasp of the wide range of struggles people face when their mind is not in the healthiest of places. Jack is an activist who is passionate about helping disadvantaged people find a better path.