Emotional resiliency is such an exciting concept. It is also a valuable trait to learn. The psychologist Emmy Werner was one of the first to use the term. She researched children from challenging backgrounds in Hawaii. Werner found that two-thirds of these children became delinquents. The other third became caring, empathetic adults. She identified them as children and families with emotional resiliency.
According to Merriam-Webster, resilience is “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens.” Resilience thus refers to your ability to adjust to crises and stressful situations. The more resilient you are, the easier you will adapt to the blows and misfortunes of life. A less resilient person will struggle to manage the challenges that face her.
A person who displays emotional resiliency is like a cork in water – no matter how many times you push it under, it always pops up again.
So, resilience means that you can recover quickly from misfortune and change. That is a trait that can serve you well. Fortunately, you can learn it. But let us first look at the characteristics and actions of an emotionally resilient person.
What are the characteristics of an emotionally resilient person?
The paediatrician Kenneth Ginsburg suggested seven components that make you resilient.
Competence refers to your ability to manage stressful situations effectively. You need to face your challenges and have the skills to manage them. A competent person can respond to challenges effectively. It also provides a feeling of control in an adverse situation.
Confidence is the result of believing and trusting in your abilities. At the root of confidence lies competence. A confident person knows her strengths and weaknesses. She has realistic expectations, communicate effectively and is assertive. When you demonstrate competence, your confidence in yourself will grow.
Connection with family and friends provides a keen sense of security. It means that you are available and open to people. Relationships also imply compassion and goodwill. If you have a strong bond with your community, you will have a sense of belonging. You will have strong values according to which you can make choices. And it will be easy to share your values and beliefs. Connection is a crucial part of emotional resiliency.
Character refers to “the mental and moral qualities of a person” (Oxford Languages). It shows your true nature. It includes your values and your sense of right and wrong. When you have a strong character, you can make intelligent choices. You live with integrity and honesty. These choices increase your self-worth and confidence.
It is about your impact on the world. It is what you offer to the world and the people around you. Every person has something to give that is unique. When you realize that you contribute to making the world a better place, it helps you make better choices. It also adds to your competence and sense of connection.
Coping refers to the skills you have to overcome the challenges that life throws at you. It means that you can adjust to adverse situations through specific strategies and skills. These are skills like social abilities, reducing stress, and problem-solving.
Control over your actions, decisions, and emotions will help you bounce back from trauma and other challenges. It refers to the ability to manage and regulate your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour in demanding situations.
These seven characteristics determine how you think, feel, and act. When you have these characteristics, you have a positive mindset. You are open to learning and change and growing. We will now look at the thoughts of a person who displays emotional resiliency.
How does an emotionally resilient person think?
This person is not only solid and irrepressible, but she is also self-aware. Self-awareness means being aware of your situation, feelings, and behaviour. An emotionally resilient person will not brood over something she cannot change. Instead, she will think of new ways to face the adverse situation. By reframing her thoughts, she finds small ways to make changes that may help. Therefore, she maintains some control over the situation. She can also learn from her mistakes and remain realistic in any circumstance.
As you know, thoughts have a substantial impact on feelings. You can read more about the effect of your thinking on emotions like anxiety here.
The feelings of a person with emotional resiliency
It is essential to understand that a resilient person is also affected by adverse situations. She will experience the same anger, frustration, or sadness under challenging circumstances. The difference lies in what she chooses to do with those emotional responses. This person can recognize the feeling and understand the cause of it. She can therefore regulate her emotions effectively. When she stays calm, she can look rationally at her problem. It will become easier to find successful solutions for the situation. This way, she can recover from adversity much quicker.
The actions of a person with emotional resiliency
When you have an internal focus of control, you believe that your actions affect the outcome of an event.
The emotional resilient person believes that she can effect change
Therefore, she does not respond impulsively to sudden urges. She will be aware of thoughts and emotions but will sit with them. Then her mind takes over, and she manages the task at hand.
The resilient person acts with confidence
She expects good from other people. Therefore, she approaches people with care and openness. She maintains good relationships with spontaneity and skill.
This person does not judge others
She does not judge but hears what they say. She reaches out to people and listens to them. Even if she disagrees, she will still try to understand their viewpoint.
A person with resilience acts with authenticity
She believes in herself and is true to herself. It is acceptable to be different, and she stands up for herself. She does not try to convince others of her viewpoint. A resilient person just does the work.
She does not hesitate to share her viewpoint
She shares her viewpoint but will never be rude. This person is honest with herself and others. She is aware of her limits but instead focuses on her strengths. She will walk the extra mile to help others.
A person with emotional resiliency has trust in her own abilities
She will not give up easily but will work hard and persevere to reach a goal. When this person fails or makes mistakes, she sees it as a lesson. She then continues to search for the best solution.
This person is flexible
She can accept and adapt to change, even if it is uncomfortable. She is grateful despite the difficulties of life. During tough times she takes full responsibility for her life and her actions.
The person that shows resilience has the guts to face her fears
She knows that her perceptions of situations may not be facts. Therefore, she does not shy away from scary circumstances. This woman does things despite her fears and lives with courage.
She knows that the world does not owe her anything
She is not entitled and does not see herself as a victim. Instead, she commits to doing the work she needs to get what she wants.
Lastly, she always picks herself up after adversity strikes
She has the mental, emotional, and physical strength to start again. This person can regain the energy necessary for a fresh start and the long haul to success.
A person that shows emotional resiliency fails but keeps going. Even in the face of further resistance and failings, she never gives up.
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who had kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”