New resistance manual to face difficulties

New resistance manual to face difficulties

It is said that a person has resilience when he is able to face an adverse situation, overcome it and come out stronger , recalls the psychiatrist Rafaela Santos in her book Get up and fight . An essential book to learn to face adverse situations, of which the expanded and updated edition is now published.

Resilient people know how to deal with difficulties successfully.
Resilient people know how to deal with difficulties successfully. Jonathan Segade
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It is a mistake to educate for success and happiness , says psychiatrist Enrique Rojas . “You have to educate for effort, sports fighting, the spirit of improvement, temper behavior to grow in the face of difficulties,” he writes in the foreword to this book. Its author, the psychiatrist and doctor in Neuroscience, Rafaela Santos, is also the president of the Spanish Institute of Resilience , the Humanae Foundation and the Spanish Society of Posttraumatic Stress Specialists. And to elaborate on this idea, in addition to explaining how a resilient personality is built, collects the real testimony of several people who can boast of possessing this strength, as they had to face different difficulties in their lives, starting with Irene Villa , who also contributes her personal experience in the paragraph. “A resilient mentality prepares to face future changes and adversities, enhances the ability to adapt to change and facilitates constant personal or collective growth in any circumstance”, says Dr. Santos.

Rafaela Santos, psychiatrist and doctor in Neuroscience, author of the book. Maria Nieto Raventós

After much talk about resilience during confinement and the long months of the pandemic , the Royal Spanish Academy has approved the inclusion in the Dictionary (as an advance of the twenty-third edition) of the word “resilience”, defined as the “human capacity to assume with flexibility limit situations and overcome them “.

The book is published on September 16 and here is a preview, the chapter in which the keys to resilient people are discussed.

Get up and fight, dr. Rafaela Santos (Connect)


We must not confuse “person” with “personality”. Person is a Latin word that means “mask or mask”, and it was equivalent to the Greek term prossopon , which was the actor’s mask in classical theater . Therefore, person would equal character.

The actors of the Greek theater of antiquity used masks that served both to represent the physiognomy of the character they incarnated and to project and amplify their voices and provide greater representation.

Precisely because of this last function, the mask was called person, since the word derives from the verb per-sonare , which means “to sound a lot”. Finally, the actors who wore these masks were called a person.

We can say that the personality is the business card of the individual. It is something individual and specific to each one of us. It is modeled throughout life from inherited temperamental traits, to which is added the character that we develop through education, values, customs and life experiences . All of this leaves a mark on us and is externally manifested in our way of being, thinking, feeling and acting; in short, it reflects our personality. What we see from the outside is the behavior of a person, but through their habitual behavior we get an idea of ​​what it is like.

All in all, the personality is dynamic and can change for better or for worse over time, because not everything good is conserved effortlessly and the bad can be changed at will. For the same reason, you cannot speak of resilience as something absolute and measurable , whether you have it or not, since it is a dynamic process that arises from the qualities of the individual in relation to the circumstances of their life history.


More than ten years ago, from the Spanish Society of Posttraumatic Stress Specialists ( ) we began to study how to treat trauma correctly and how to help overcome it . Until then, the sequels produced by a serious impact that modifies the psychobiology of the subject were addressed, which leaves an indelible mark, difficult to erase, and which generally breaks the biographical fabric of the people who, according to that perspective, were broken on the inside.

Later we saw that, at times, the traumatic event, instead of having destructive effects, strengthened these people, making them more resilient . And we consider another approach from personal development. Thus was born the Spanish Institute of Resilience, which considers that each one is the protagonist of his life and can choose his option: either turn the fall into an impulse, or ignore the challenge and become a victim of his failure . For this reason, developing this competence that we call “resilience” is of vital importance to overcome adverse events without being marked for life and to continue aspiring to be happy .

To study the resilient personality, we have interviewed people who suffered a trauma and became stronger , and made an existential balance to adapt to the new situation and, from there, they found meaning in their life and made it more productive, with greater motivation and personal satisfaction. Some of the protagonists of this book tell us in the first person.

Those who are resilient have a mature and stable personality , which is the basic aspiration of every human being. To get to have it, it is necessary to achieve a balance between the three aspects that make up the engine of personal development: intelligence, feelings and will . All three must grow harmoniously, because if one of them assumes command at the expense of subtracting prominence from the other two, there is an inclination that affects mental health.

When feelings are given prominence to the detriment of reason and will, one falls into sentimentality devoid of intelligence, which can unbalance life. When reason is taken to an extreme by making life rigid, rationalism overshadows our existence, which could be void of affection and full of impositions. In the third case, even though the will is very important, if it is not accompanied by emotional intelligence, life becomes an obligation. In none of the three assumptions is a mental health that serves as the basis for a full and satisfying life achieved . We must avoid any of these three -isms (sentimentality, rationalism and voluntarism) and allow each of these three engines of development to have its own space.

We cannot build resilience if we do not start from a well-structured personality, because it is something that is built on virtues.


His story has managed to move the world and spread virally through YouTube. For nine months his soul as an architect was en / rented to the greatest challenge of his life: to build an interior space solid enough to turn a den into a habitable place , in which he can exercise his inner freedom and feel like a person again.

How do you live when you survive? What impact does going through traumatic situations such as a kidnapping, a terrorist act, a physical assault, a natural disaster, an episode of domestic violence or an accident have on the individual? In short, what is the impact of an event in which you see your own physical integrity endangered ? How to face correctly an episode so difficult to erase and that, generally, breaks the biographical plot? The answer to these and other questions I found in the experience of Bosco Gutiérrez.

The day I met Bosco Gutiérrez, they told me that he was one of the architects of the World Trade Center in Mexico City, where I was to have a meeting with businessmen interested in the issue of resilience. Despite the wild traffic of that immense city, I arrived on time at his architecture studio, where we were supposed to meet. Bosco received me kindly, with his wife Gaby and two of their nine children who came to greet me. We sat down and he began to tell me what had happened to him: …

You can buy Stand Up and Fight (Connect) here.

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