What is resilience?

Resilience is your ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity in life. Being resilient doesn’t mean you never get stressed or never experience negative emotions, only that when you do, you are better able to deal with them in a way that does not negatively affect your health. Resilience develops over time as you grow, learn and experience more in life. It also comes from family and friends and feeling an affinity with the wider community you live in.

Why is resilience important?

Resilience is important because it may be a way of helping men at risk of HIV infection stay HIV negative. There is growing evidence that resilience might be a positive way of addressing risk factors for HIV transmission by relying on your strengths, instead of your risks.

What makes someone resilient?

A lot of research has looked at answering this question over the last few years in relation to gay and bisexual men. People aren’t just born with the skills to be resilient. It’s something we develop over time through trial and error, in relation to the circumstance we find ourselves in as we grow and develop as individuals. Resilient people are often said to display some of following traits.

  • High self esteem
  • Focus on the present and future rather than the past
  • Flexible in the way they respond to problems
  • Self disciplined
  • Can manage their feelings and impulses well
  • Avoid harmful coping strategies e.g. drug use or excessive alcohol use
  • Feel in control.

This is not a comprehensive list of what can make a person resilient. If you feel that you could benefit from talking to someone about resilience or any aspect of your lifestyle in relation to your sexual and emotional health, contact the Steve Retson Project and ask about our SRP Choices service.