Myth 2: Resilient people do not experience as much emotional pain or distress as less resilient people.


2008-06 Road trip to Comrades 010Everyone wants their loving relationships to endure and be strengthened. We hate the thought of the people we love aging, becoming infirm and ultimately dying. Parents want the very best for their children and in particular that they should grow up resisting the temptation of alcohol, drugs, lawlessness, devious behaviour, and illicit sex. At work, we all want our jobs to be secure, to have a boss who treats us well, and to be paid fairly. And we want all of this all of the time.


However that’s not how life works. Everyone experiences up and downs in life and no matter who you are, life is still difficult. No matter how hard we want or wish something to happen, no matter how hard we work for a particular result, there will be times when we are disappointed, frustrated and let-down. This happens to everyone — and resilient people are not exempt.


In addition, bad things do happen to good people. Out of the blue, terrible things happen despite your precautions. Robberies, random violence, car accidents, rape and murder can happen at any time with terrible results and consequences for both the person experiencing the calamity, and that person’s family. You can take as many the precautions as you can to prevent these things happening, but sometimes they just do.


When we experience tough times in our lives, when what we earnestly desire and wish for does not come about, it’s natural to experience pain and distress. In getting through the pain and distress, resilient people choose to be positive and find joy and happiness in the face of challenges. They feel the pain as much as anyone else, but their resilience enables them to let go of issues; to not allow negative emotion leak into all the areas of their lives. They are able to better control their negative self-talk and self-recrimination.