What Makes Some People More Resilient than Others

· June 5, 2016

Emotionally resilient people know how to handle tension more efficiently, and they recover more quickly from any challenges and crisis they may face. But, what do these emotional strong people do to be more efficient when it comes to managing stress? The answer resides in what is known as emotional resilience.

Emotional resilience is the ability to adapt to a highly stressful situation or crisis. People who are more resilient are capable of adapting to adversity. Resilient people can manage the stress caused by life changes, whether they are large or less significant.

In fact, it has been found that people who can better overcome short and less intense moments of tension, usually can also handle more intense crises with greater ease. This means that being resilient in your day to day develops your abilities to face greater problems and catastrophes.

Up to a certain extent, emotional and physical resilience is innate, but it is also a skill that can be developed. Naturally, some people are upset less by changes and can roll with the punches better. This ability can be seen during childhood, and tends to remain stable throughout the years.


resilience block letters

Emotional resilience is also related to certain factors that are not under our control, such as age, sex and exposure to trauma. However, resilience can be developed with a bit of effort.

Traits of emotional resilience

Resilience is not a fixed quality. Instead, there are various degrees associated with how someone can manage stress. However, resilient people share certain characteristics. The main ones are as follows:

  • Emotional consciousness: Resilient people are conscious of their emotions. They understand what they feel and why they feel it. They also understand other people’s feeling better, since they are in closer contact with their own inner life.
  • Perseverance: Driven by either intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, resilient people are action-oriented. They trust the process and don’t give up.
  • Inner control: They trust in the control they have over their own lives, instead of believing that external forces control their existence. This trait is associated with less stress, because people with a locus of inner control and a realistic view of the world can be more proactive in dealing with their stress factors. They are more oriented towards looking for and applying solutions and feeling a greater sense of control.
  • Perspective: Resilient people are capable of recognizing their mistakes and learning from them. They see obstacles as challenges and allow adversity make them stronger. They can also find some sense to life’s many challenges instead of seeing themselves as victims.
  • Support: Resilient people tend to be strong individuals, who know the value of social support and are able to surround themselves with comprehensive family and friends.
two people holding a heart

  • Optimism: They are capable of seeing things from a positive perspective and believe in their own strength. This can change the way they handle problems, preventing them from victimizing themselves.
  • Sense of humor: Resilient people can emotionally recover from and even laugh at life’s difficulties. This can be a huge advantage to them, since it changes their perspective. They don’t see circumstances as threats, but rather as a challenge. This alters the way the body reacts to stress.

How to be more resilient

Emotional resilience can be developed. In fact, we are faced with plenty of situations every single day in which to practice it. All you need to do is show some interest in being more resilient and commit to the process. Though it’s not an easy or quick thing to achieve, the following ideas will help you develop your resilience and become emotionally stronger.

  • Be flexible, towards yourself and others. Resilient people can adjust their objectives and find ways to adapt.
  • Learn something from every single one of your experiences. Resilient people can always learn something new. They turn every difficulty into an opportunity to grow.
  • Take action. Don’t conform to thinking about what would be better or what you could do. Take the step forward. People with resilience work towards solving a problem instead of letting themselves be paralyzed by negativity.
  • Cultivate your relationships. This way you’ll have people to support you when you’re going through tough times. And you’ll feel comfortable when it comes time to accept their help.
  • Always have a form of release. Make sure you have the opportunities to express your emotions and leave aside the tension.
  • Have a sense of purpose. Do things that give your life meaning.
  • Believe in yourself. Recognize your own strengths and develop your skills.
  • Cultivate a good mood. Strive to be in a good mood, even during tough times. Remember that laughter alleviates stress. It will help you keep things under control and maintain a more optimistic attitude.