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How to Build Resilience:Positive Stable Adult Relationships

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Resilience is built in three core ways: positive and stable adult relationships, a strong connection to faith and cultural traditions, and the mastery of a life skill.

When you incorporate these three components into your life, you will experience resilience. And as you build your own resilience, you enable yourself to be a trauma-informed leader who can build organizational resilience.

Today, we’re discussing the first aspect of building resilience: positive and stable adult relationships.

Why are positive stable adult relationships necessary for resilience?

If you grew up in a well-adjusted and healthy family that met all (or most of) your needs, you likely experienced positive and stable relationships with your caregivers and already have resilience.

But the difficult truth is that many of us experienced traumatic experiences as children. We learned that we couldn’t trust or rely on others. Then, in adulthood, we must re-learn and cultivate resilience through our adult relationships.

Positive stable adult relationships are one of the three core building blocks of resilience, and here’s why.

Resilience is our capacity to respond and adapt to change. When unexpected changes happen, we often feel uncomfortable, discontent, or distressed. To cope with these stresses, we need a strong support system—we need positive and stable adult relationships.

What are positive stable adult relationships, and how can we cultivate them?

You can experience a positive and stable adult relationship with:

· peers

· mentors

· family members

· colleagues

· friends

In positive and stable adult relationships, both people:

· communicate their needs and boundaries

· respect each other’s boundaries

· validate, support, and comfort one another

· resolve conflict in healthy and kind ways

These actions contribute to an overall positive experience for both people. Although the relationship is likely not free of conflict, it is stable because both parties know that no conflict would impact or end the relationship beyond repair.

In addition to the traditional relationships mentioned above. We also know that moments of time with individuals that validate and support us can also have significant impact. The science tells us, that even moments (less than a minute) can have profound healing properties. If you're not so sure, think about a time a perfect stranger paid you a compliment. How did you feel?

Do you have positive and stable adult relationships at home or work?

Do these aspects of relationships resonate with you? If so, you may already have some positive and stable adult relationships that you can identify.

However, it’s normal for many adults to either lack positivity, stability, or both in their relationships.

If you want to learn more about how to promote resilience through adult relationships in your life and for your organization, consider booking a coaching session with a Trauma-Informed Specialist today.

And be sure to stay tuned for next week’s discussion on building resilience through your connection to faith and tradition!


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