The 3 People You Need When Times are Tough

When we talk about people who are strong and resilient to adversity, what often comes to mind is someone who possesses inner toughness. We picture someone who can single-handedly conquer anything the world throws at him.


But when it comes to surviving tough times, “single-handedly” is exactly the wrong way to do it. Resilience, it turns out, is a team sport. Research on coping suggests that some of the most successful techniques include leaning on other people.


When we manage our challenges by surrounding ourselves with others, we reap several benefits: the guidance and feedback of others, caring support, and perspective. Look for three kinds of people who can support you, to provide each of these three benefits.


When you need guidance and feedback, get support from someone in the know. If it’s a personal issue, maybe turn to a professional therapist. If it’s a professional issue, find a trusted mentor in the workplace. These people can offer suggestions for managing whatever struggle you are facing.


Sometimes we just need a person to say “I understand. I’m here for you.” That’s when you turn to friends and family for caring support. Finally, it can really help to get perspective on an issue. For that, turn to someone who has walked in your shoes, or who currently IS in your shoes. When you lean on one another, you find the perspective to realize you aren’t the only one struggling.


Resilience is a team sport, not a solitary activity. When you lean on others in a tough time, you get three main benefits that help you bounce back. Find your tribe, your support network, and lean on them. It doesn’t make you weak, it actually helps you deal with the situation faster. And that’s what real strength looks like!