The professor of the Applied Econometrics: Microeconometrics , Dr. Ayşe Özgür Pehlivan mentioned a life story when she was talking about the differences in people’s reactions to same variable. She was seriously injured during her PhD in The Pennsylvania State University and went to hospital. When she arrived, they asked her to rate her pain between 0 and 10. Even if her pain was (probably) intense compared to the other patients, she said 6. Then, she noticed that a college student nearby her, rated her teeny-tiny injury as 9.  What was the difference between their thoughts behind their ratings? Why did the undergraduate student value her pain more? You always have a friend who claims to have more problems than others, right? Why do some people suffer more when they are faced with the same problems with others? Resilience – process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress*- may be the key factor.

Obviously, undergraduate student who is partying all the time and not having many problems did not have equal mechanisms with my teacher who came from Turkey, worked hard along the way, had many problems in her life. So, her mechanisms were not the best one when she is faced with a stressor. Being touchy have not been a problem in her life yet, however she will probably have some life problems soon and it will be harder for her to cope with. Life is full of stressors and how do we cope with stress is a major determinant of our life quality. You cannot escape all the time when you face with a stressor. There will be always some family/relationship or health problems, problems in workplace etc. So, it is better to getting used to it rather than escaping from it. How do you cope with a stressful situation? Building resilience may help you a lot! More resilient you become; more comfortable you will be with stress. So how to build resilience? Here I will give some advices and leave the rest to related readings:

  • Practice rejection. When you become more comfortable with rejection, you can always ask for more and probably get more.
  • Face uncomfortable situations. You can read this sentence in any personal development book. Get out of your safe area!
  • Think positively. Embrace your successes and failures. There can be always silver lining.
  • Beware of your potential. Do not be too hard on yourself. You can fail sometimes when the task is beyond you (It can be about your abilities and skills or external factors.).

Being resilient is not being stony or insensitive. Resilient people also face with stressful events and have trouble, but they cope with it better. I appreciate the resilience of my teacher and I hope that the college student will become more resilient. The friend, who always suffer more, come on! Do not be so touchy and try to build resilience. Every human being has problems anyways.  

Relevant Reading: (*)

Relevant Learning:

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