Growing up in a rough neighborhood can be tough, but it can also do you a bit of good. According to a study published in the December issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, having traumatic experiences can actually make you stronger.

Of course, the study doesn’t mean to say that having an extremely bad childhood or a really negative experience is good for you. But having nothing at all happen to you doesn’t bode well for your future either. Anything that happens or does not happen has a corresponding effect on your psyche, and according to the findings, both only serve to make you more distressed.


Finding the middle ground is what does toughen you up. Sure, you’ve had a bit of bad luck, but if it’s nothing too traumatic, then you are only going to be made more resilient. In fact, there is a study suggesting that people with chronic back pain actually fare better if they’ve had some negative experiences. Those who’ve had too much adversity or none at all don’t exactly deal with the pain as well.

Study author Mark D. Seery of the University at Buffalo believes that the reason behind the toughness is because people who’ve had dealings with adversity have been given the opportunity to absorb what happened and can thus deal with future adversities better. Keep in mind, though, that it’s never smart to go looking for trouble. Despite the silver lining the study poses, you’re still better off erring on the side of caution.

For tips on being stronger and more confident, try these:

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