Please don’t ask me to be resilient.

Shanti C K
2 min readJul 6
Photo by SIMON LEE on Unsplash

I’m so tired of hearing about our need to be resilient.

Resilience is defined by the dictionary as toughness and the ability to bounce back.

We are bombarded by self-help advice on how to be resilient. Yet another catchword for the self-help industry. Well that’s what it seems like to me.

It’s used against Millenials in my Asian society. They are branded as the strawberry generation, easily bruised, which I think is so unfair.

Too much resilience is actually forcing people to endure intolerable situations in the workplace like exploitation and bullying. Millennials are in fact my heroes for pushing back. Not to be over tolerant of toxic situations. I say this as someone from Gen X.

The kind of resilience that relates to adulting and being able to be strong and recover quickly from trauma. Being able to adapt to change. Being able to take tough situations and thrive alone.

It’s the shame that goes with it if you are not strong or if you can’t adapt. I feel this shame immensely.

It is especially dangerous when it’s applied to those who grieve. It’s like you are impatient for them to be themselves again. When in actuality they never can be. A piece of them has been ripped away.

When I lost my dad, phrases like these did the opposite of console:

You have to be strong

You need to move on

Time will heal

Honestly if you truly loved someone, this is never going to happen. Being strong would entail harmful suppression of emotions. Moving on sounds callous and from those who have never experienced the loss of someone they truly loved.

And time? You are never the same again. You are like a broken vase attempting to glue yourself together with some pieces missing.

Resilience is right there with toxic positivity to me. It’s there for the people who are uncomfortable with emotion. Their own and that of others. I’d rather be crying my heart out and process my feelings.

The pain I feel is a testament to how much I loved you. Still love you, but there is no place for this love to go. I don’t know where you are. I can’t hug…

Shanti C K

I’m 52. A cancer survivor. Childless by circumstance. Thankful for the little angels in my life. Navigating grief & loneliness. Keeping hope in my heart 🩵