Resilience is the capacity to adapt successfully in the presence of risk and adversity. Today we continue this series by exploring the interpersonal fitness aspect of resiliency.
This is the capacity to foster, engage in and sustain positive relationships. It is about developing a network of support and assistance from others. It is about developing the ability to ask for help and offer help to others.
Stay connected to your support system. Right now, this might mean a lot of Face Time chats, zoom happy hours, and other remote ways of connecting to loved ones. Regardless, continue to reach out by phone, text, social media, whatever to those you care about and who care about you.
Learn to ask for help and to lean on others and to offer support to others as well. This may mean emotional support – talking, sharing and being heard. There are tangible and concrete forms of support as well – such as lending money, offering a ride, or sitting down and helping your kids do their math homework. Support includes informational guidance or advice – such as offering advice on how to invest one’s money, or problem solving an issue that came up at work, or the best route to take to a destination.
One of the core tenants of 12 step programs is giving back to others, and that is because it has such a beneficial effect on the giver’s well-being. We get to much by giving to others. And this is something people tend to forget when they seek support from others, asking for help is not simply burdensome, it can provide a benefit to the person offering support. There is so much to learn and grow from helping others.
Stay connected or establish new connecting to wider social networks, such as sports clubs, meet up groups, book clubs, houses of worship, volunteer organizations, community centers, etc.
Work on developing better communication skills, so that you can better access the supports that you do have. Work on developing conflict management skills. The idea is not to avoid conflict at all cost, conflict is natural in relationships, it is about learning to navigate those conflicts without damaging the relationship.
Much of the above information is taken from Dr. Donald Meichenbaum’s book Roadmap to Resilience: A guide for military, trauma victims and their families.