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Why Our Resilience May Rely More On Relationships Than Personal Fortitude

ASU sign
(Photo by John M. Quick - CC BY 2.0)
The Arizona State University campus.

There’s a line of thinking that goes – we only get in life what we can handle. But, it turns out, sometimes we actually get more than we can deal with.

The conventional wisdom is often that when something bad happens to us, we’re able to bounce back, move on, get back on that horse – whichever cliché you prefer.

But research from ASU shows that may not actually be the case. Suniya Luthar has been studying this for three decades.

"What we are reluctant to do is put a label of resilient on you," she said. "You may be the reason you are doing so well, but it could be any number of other things."  

And a lot of time, the factor that seems to matter is the community around you, Luthar says, whether it be family, faith or friends.

"Resilience rests fundamentally on relationships," Luthar said. "As long as your life is difficult and you have nobody around of you, after a while your sticktoitiveness falls through."

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.