The ability to overcome and adapt to difficult life situations seems like an overwhelmingly positive thing – right? After all, being called "strong," "tenacious" or "resilient" is usually perceived as a compliment.
But what if glorifying resilience can actually be detrimental?
For example, take the "strong Black woman" stereotype. According to Professor Inger Burnett-Zeigler, author of Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women, internalizing that trope "can often interfere with [Black women] acknowledging their mental health challenges and then going on to get the mental health treatment."
So we revisited the concept of "resilience" with Lourdes Dolores Follins, psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker. She explains why it's OK to let yourself feel angry or frustrated sometimes — and how unexamined resilience can mask structural forces that make your life harder.
This comic, written and illustrated by Connie Hanzhang Jin, is inspired by a Life Kit episode featuring Lourdes Dolores Follins and hosted by TK Dutes. You can listen to the audio at the top of this page.
The audio portion of this episode was produced by Audrey Nguyen and Vanessa Handy, with engineering support from Stacey Abbott. We'd love to hear from you. Leave us a voicemail at 202-216-9823, or email us at LifeKit@npr.org.
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