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The Characteristics of “Survivors”

Many people come from negative backgrounds. Some of these people are able to leave their pasts behind and move toward a brighter future. The coping skills these “survivors” exhibit are effective in managing other life problems.

One of the most lasting effects of a bad childhood is low self-esteem. People see themselves as “bad” to avoid blaming or resenting their parents or caretakers. Survivors manage to retain their self-esteem. Even though they receive constant negative feedback, they don’t see themselves as “bad.” Other characteristics of survivors include:

Acceptance – A survivor accepts himself and others. He doesn’t try to change people, and he basically likes who he is. He isn’t jealous of other people’s lives, and he doesn’t want to be anyone other than himself. This helps him accept the things he has to deal with.

Independence – A survivor doesn’t rely on others to solve his problems for him. He takes charge of his own life. Because he is so independent, he is also not likely to blame others for how things turn out. He takes the initiative to make positive changes in his life.

Optimism – A survivor is fundamentally an optimist. He expects good things to happen instead of waiting for negative events. He sees the good qualities that other people possess. He plans for the future with the mindset that there will be good things down the road.

Trust – Even though a survivor has dealt with negative circumstances, he still finds people he can trust. He doesn’t shut himself off from contact. He reaches out to others and also asks for help when he needs it. He doesn’t try to do everything by himself.

Resilience – A survivor is not easily defeated. When bad things happen, he takes a problem-solving attitude rather than a defeated stance. He is able to be hopeful rather than losing his drive in depressing thoughts.

Many people experience negative or deprived environments in which they get a lot of bad feedback and little positive reinforcement. There are resilient people who are able to survive these experiences and build rewarding lives for themselves.

These “survivors ” are able to build their own self-esteem and turn to others to find the reinforcement they need to feel good about themselves.