People With These 6 Personality Traits Have No Idea What Resilience Means

Photo: Getty
woman with personality traits of resilience
Self

Resilience is so important, but what does it really mean? What personality traits are associated with people who are resilient?

It’s the ability to learn from your mistakes, get back up in life, and find hope and a purpose again, even after something horrible has happened.

But not everyone possesses the necessary traits for this ability.

RELATED: 4 Strategies To Build Resilience & Find Peace In Stressful Times

People with these 6 personality traits have no idea what resilience truly means.

1. A victim mentality.

My mother had a borderline personality disorder, and she was the poster child for victim mentality. She had no capacity to feel self-worth. It's sad to say, but some of this is neurologic in people with this disorder.

Also, if you've suffered severe childhood abuse as my mom did, it’s very hard to find a sense of self-worth. She had a lot working against her.

But because she couldn't find a way to feel self-worth on her own, she was absolutely addicted to getting it from other people. And the dead-certain way she did this was by portraying herself as someone else’s victim, all the time!

I wish I were exaggerating.

From the hour she got up until she went to bed at night, she was triangulating someone in to complain about someone else.

"So-and-so did this to me, and so-and-so did that to me."

I heard it sunup to sundown. If it was a slow day, she’d make up a victimization story about how people drove at the supermarket. "This idiot sped through the crosswalk in front of the automatic doors and I almost got run over!"

I really don’t think a situation like this could happen more than once or twice ever. But according to my mother's life, it happens twice a week to her.

And always, the goal is the same: She's looking for the other person to say, "Oh, you poor thing." If people feel sorry for her, she can feel better for a bit. She needs a constant drip-drip-drip of these hits of sympathy.

People like this are never going to be able to pick themselves up and dust themselves off. They’d lose the sympathy they want!

2. Inability to admit mistakes.

Four years ago, I was dumped. I mean horribly dumped. My heart was stomped so badly, I didn’t think I’d live.

But I see now that after four years of diligent research about relationships, I did a few things wrong and I needed to go back and see that I was waaay too controlling.

I needed to see why I was so controlling. I had to think about what in my childhood made me that way, so I wouldn’t repeat that mistake again.

Kind of hard to do, unless you can actually admit you make mistakes.

3. A fragile ego and low self-worth.

Some people really do see themselves as two steps below everyone else. Everyone they know is better, in some respect, than they are.

They're constantly putting themselves down for something. You cannot give them a compliment without having it deflected: "Oh, no, not really. The truth is..."

What comes after that is always something self-deprecating. If a person is doing this, it’s called low self-esteem. It can be a feature of codependency and a lot of other issues, especially if they felt this way a lot growing up.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Build Resilience When Faced With Adversity

4. A pessimistic view of life.

Some folks have had a lot of bad things happen to them — a real, Titanic-sized boatload of awful life events.

When that happens, they can start thinking of themselves as unlucky people, branded with some sort of celestial mark that will keep good things from happening to them forever and ever.

We're all vulnerable to this.

Hoo-boy, have I ever been there! If a person can’t fight this tendency, this outlook takes over and paralyzes them.

That’s why encouragement from others — and perhaps a good therapist — is important during those times when life’s hit you so hard, you’re on your back on the cold floor, feeling like you can’t even turn over, let alone drag yourself to your knees again.

5. Unwilling to search for meaning in difficult things that happen.

One thing that saves so many is the intense drive to understand.

People with the hunger to learn and an obsessive desire to know why — even if they're scared the truth might mean something terrible about them — are going to search for information, and they’re going to use what they find.

So many helpful books are out there, as well as good therapists, philosophers, and religious teachers. Help is out there, people!

But those who are afraid to pick it up will never learn precious nuggets that turn lives around.

Some people even dump on themselves for not knowing these nuggets already.

6. Their sky-high standards for who they should be are unrealistic.

These people dump on themselves for everything. These are the people who believe that their figures should be perfect, their grades should be perfect, their hair should be perfect, their gardens should be perfect, etc.

It’s totally unrealistic!

People like this dump on themselves as soon as it becomes clear they need help with something. For example, tutoring for school or therapy for codependency or drug addiction.

It’s okay if their friend has this problem and they’re there to support that friend all the way, but themselves?

If they have any problem or need any help at all, for anything, they react with shame about it, as if they are the scum of the Earth.

These folks are never going to find resilience in themselves, because they have no patience, understanding, gentleness, or compassion for themselves.

You need those if you’re going to pick yourself up from tough times and go on.

People like this can be difficult to support when things go wrong in their lives. If the problem is really bad, you can get so worn out trying to help them that you have to disengage.

Think carefully before making a lifelong commitment if this is your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Resilience is an important quality. We all need a little dose of it to help us when life gets rough because, as we all know, pain and sorrow come to everyone.

RELATED: People With These 5 Personality Traits Have What It Takes To Survive (Pretty Much) Anything

Subscribe to YourTango's newsletter to keep up with us for FREE

- Our best articles delivered straight to your inbox
- The latest in entertainment and news
- Daily horoscopes and love advice

P.D. Reader is a student astrologer and novelist who writes as The Thinking Other Woman, sharing her advice about affairs, relationship problems, astrology, and more.