Moderate adversity can make you a happier person

After a trauma, the majority of people report they grow stronger

People who have been bullied at school tend to be more optimistic than their peers  when they face negative situations in the future.  Illustration: iStockphoto

People who have been bullied at school tend to be more optimistic than their peers when they face negative situations in the future. Illustration: iStockphoto

School’s out and, for some, leaving school behind also means leaving bullying behind. They carry the scars – but it’s not all bad news. As you might expect, people who have been bullied at school tend to be less optimistic than average later in life. But here’s an important exception: when they face negative situations in the future they are likely to be more optimistic than their peers.

What you might find even more surprising – this is according to psychologist Dr Jolanta Burke – people who were bullied on a daily basis at school are likely to be the most optimistic of all in negative situations. I am drawing on a fascinating article by Burke in the current edition of Éisteach, journal of the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

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