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Rob: Hello, and welcome to 6 Minute
English from BBC Learning English.
I'm Rob...
Georgina: And I'm Georgina.
Rob: Now, Georgina, how resilient
are you?
Georgina: Resilient? You mean able to
cope with difficult situations.
I have a pile of
work to do today, but I'm remaining
calm and not getting stressed.
Rob: That's good, you are showing
resilience. And today we're
discussing whether we're born
with resilience or we have to learn it.
Georgina: OK, Rob. But first I expect you're
going to ask me a question - bring it on!
Rob: OK. Resilience is also a word used in
science to describe the characteristic of
a substance or object.
But what does it mean?
a) That it's is very tough or hard.
b) That it can return to its original
shape after being bent.
c) It can turn from a solid into
a liquid quickly.
Georgina: I have a feeling it means
b) an object that returns to its
original shape after
being bent.
Rob: OK, I'll let you know if you were
correct at the end of the programme.
But let's talk
more about human resilience. There are
many self-help books and
motivational speakers
all promising us we can learn
to be resilient.
Georgina: Well, it is a useful trait to have,
and it's something that can help you deal
with many difficult situations from coping
with the pressures of work to handling the
death of a loved one.
Rob: And it's more than just telling
someone to 'toughen up' or 'get a grip',
as Dr David Westley knows.
He is Head of Psychology at
Middlesex University and talked
about levels of resilience
on the BBC World Service
programme, The Why Factor.
Dr David Westley: First of all, there's
our social supports, our communities,
our families, the people who are
important to us, the organisations
we work for, so one way
we can look at resilience is to
measure that - the amount of social
support available to us.
Another way to think
about resilience is to think about how we
think about the situations we are in. So,
for example, one way to look at that
would be just to look at
how optimistic people are as a guide
to how resilient they might be when times
get tough. And then a third level
that we can look at for resilience
is a biological level - how well we can
soothe ourselves, calm
ourselves down, how well we can actually
regulate our own nervous systems
at times of distress.
Georgina: Right, so Dr Westley describes
social supports - the people around
us who we can
talk to and support us and generally make
us feel better. I think he's saying, with
more support we'll feel more resilient.
Rob: It's interesting to note that a resilient
person isn't necessarily
someone quiet, who doesn't make
a fuss and gets on with things.
Some experts think it's people who ask
for help and use this social support
network who are acting in a more
resilient way.
Georgina: It's a good point. And another
level of resilience is how
optimistic someone is.
Being optimistic means having positive
thoughts about the future and
believing things will
turn out well. A positive mind means you
can deal with situations that, at first, look
tough. Another level Dr Westley
mentioned was our biological level -
how our bodies cope in times of distress.
Distress is the feeling you get
when you are worried or upset
by something.
Rob: So, when we're distressed, a resilient
person is able to soothe
his or her body and regulate his or her
nervous system, which
helps them stay calm.
Georgina: But, Rob, the big question is,
are we born with resilience
or can we learn it?
Experts speaking on The Why Factor
programme tended to think
it could be learned.
Rob: Yes, one of them is Ann Masten,
a professor at the University of
Minnesota. From her studies,
she found it was something that
we learn when we need to.
Georgina: Ann Masten talks about
how some of the children she studied
manifest resilience
from the start. When
something manifests, it shows clearly
and is easy to notice. They
remain resilient despite adversity - a
difficult time in their life that
they've had to face.
Rob: Other children, what she calls the
late bloomers, started off
less resilient, struggled
with adversity, but turned their
lives around by becoming more resilient.
Maybe we can learn
resilience from a having
a bad experience?
Georgina: Well, one thing Ann went on
to say was that families and
friends can be a great
support and help with resilience.
Those that were 'late bloomers' only
connected with adults
and mentors later in life.
Rob: Yes, she says that teachers
or parents are role models in
how to handle adversity.
And children are watching; they're
learning from the adults around
them by seeing how
they react when they get challenged
by something.
Time now to find out how resilient you are
when you discover the correct answer to
the question I asked earlier.
I said that 'resilience'
is also a word used in science to describe
the characteristic of
a substance or object.
But what does that mean? Is it...
a) It is very tough or hard.
b) It can return to its original shape
after being bent.
c) It can turn from a solid
into a liquid quickly.
And what did you say, Georgina?
Georgina: I said it was b) It can return to
its original shape after being bent.
Rob: And you are right - well done!
Bamboo is a good example
of a resilient material - you can bend it,
it doesn't break and returns
to its original shape.
Georgina: Thanks for the science lesson,
Rob. Now we need to recap the
vocabulary we've
mentioned today...
Rob: Yes, we've talked about being
resilient, an adjective that
describes someone's ability
to cope with difficult situations.
When you do this you show resilience.
Georgina: Someone who is optimistic
has positive thoughts about
the future and believes things
will turn out well.
Rob: Distress is the feeling you get when
you are worried or upset by something.
Georgina: When something manifests
itself, it shows clearly and
is easy to notice. And
adversity is a difficult time in somebody's
life that they have had to face.
Rob: And that brings us to the end of this
discussion about resilience.
Please join us
again next time. Bye bye.
Georgina: Bye.
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How resilient are you? BBC 6 Minute English

580 Folder Collection
crystallmk published on February 19, 2020
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