Bullying Is Good For You Part II: So You Want To Be Resilient

In my last article, I discussed the need for men to occasionally be humbled, and conversely, the need for men to be resilient in defeat and learn from their mistakes, to avoid making them again. This made me ask another question: how does one become resilient?

The concept of emotional resiliency is essentially the capability to “bounce back” from failure, to fall and pick yourself up again. Implied in that is having an intimate knowledge of yourself (not in the “biblical sense”, dumbwad, but in the emotional sense), and thus knowing what you are capable of bouncing back from, and what will only lead to persistent failure. Perhaps my personal experience will illuminate:

During my adolescence, I was crippled with self-doubt and self-loathing: the slightest failure (and I had a lot of them) would waylay me with shame. And with shame came hatred towards people more successful than me -“those fucking jocks/preps/blonde sluts”, etc. I was angry because I was supposed to have “self-esteem”, according to every stupidly grinning guidance counselor, but they had done nothing to tell me how to obtain this magical talisman. My addled brain ground its wheels, trying to think of a way to get this mystical substance: Maybe I had to just want it, really hard! Maybe I had to go saunter off to some corporate-approved wild and “find myself”.

It took a lot of reflection (ultimately resulting in me asking myself “what reason do I have to feel good about myself?”) for me to realize something that shocked me: the reason I had no self-esteem was because I had no reason to have any. Essentially, I was correct to hate myself because, there was absolutely nothing to like about myself: I was a flabby, boring, untalented, depressive, unconfident, hate-filled scumbag that masturbated three times a day. You would have hated me as much as I did.

In other words, I had indeed found myself, only to realize that there was nothing worthwhile to find. It was like opening up a  treasure chest and finding nothing but ropes.

From there, despite the advice of every well-meaning bureaucrat telling me to “be myself”, I set out to, essentially, make myself: I started with physical training and proper dieting, I reduced my indulgences in onanism, and then I made efforts to make myself somebody worth speaking to. I began to play one musical instrument, then another, and then two more. I pored over “tomes of eldritch and forgotten lore” to gain insight into culture and metaphysics, largely to educate myself but also to turn myself into a more convivial guest at soirees and other genteel social settings. Like magic, I began to become happier and less hateful.

From private training came a burgeoning confidence, which led me to develop some modicum of public speaking skills, and lastly, I achieved nerddom’s ancient dream of convincing a woman to sleep with me.  And wouldn’t you know it, the next time I failed at something, I didn’t let it get me down because I had the confidence that only past success can bring. I bounced back. I was resilient.

And there lies the point that I have been meandering towards this entire article. I write this article in a genuine effort to help the dysfunctional youth of today. To become resilient, you need self-esteem, and to get it, you have to make it. You have to earn it, by actually accomplishing things. Personally, I would recommend starting with things you can accomplish on your own, like fitness and playing musical instruments – essentially, it’s easier to deal with humiliation when you’re just by yourself getting a lump to the back of the head or whatever. From there, you can ease yourself into public interaction and exhibition of your skills and talents. Take it slow, rather than attempting to become perfect in one day. And with accomplishments, resiliency will come naturally and unconsciously.

For those seeking a resurgence of traditional masculinity, bear in mind that emotional resilience is something that is expected of men more than women – this is something that is almost universal amongst all cultures in the world. Recall my article on katabasis, and how stories of men having to overcome hardship are found in all literate cultures.

With that being said, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that women are quite capable of resiliency, and should cultivate it. Cultures of the past did abound with tales praising a woman’s fortitude and gentle strength, and you can bet that women of antiquity had been busting their humps all their lives, and wouldn’t be caught dead going into screaming hysteria over an airline gently telling them they were too fat to fly in a plane (in fact, they would likely not have been too fat to fit in an airplane, had airplanes existed). That’s probably because those women in the past had actually survived hardship and accomplished things.

Nor would any self-respecting shield maiden or nadeshiko spend all her time pointing ‘n spluttering and saying “WOW JUST WOW I CAN’T EVEN” with the Gawker biddies. Those women of the past were simultaneously both stronger and more feminine than any of the loud sea-cows that drive cultural policy today.

So, my advice to you is this: if you see yourself as fragile and un-resilient, and find yourself getting offended by everything, it’s because, quite frankly, you probably have no reason to feel good about yourself. Make yourself a better person, get some real accomplishments under your belt, learn some skills, get the sweat flowing and dirt under your fingernails and you’ll become a much more upbeat and likable person—I don’t promise you great financial success, but I do promise you will be better than you used to be.

Or you can choose to be like the “students” running roughshod over colleges today: a bunch of spoiled ingrates who have literally never been told “No” in their entire lives, never worked a real job in their lives, and spend all their days hysterically flailing their wrists at things that they don’t like. I ask, to men and women…who do you want to be like?

Larsen Halleck is best known as the fitness and nutrition writer for Return of Kings, but also writes at his own website The Barbaric Gentleman, and also makes Youtube videos

You can follow him at his aforementioned website and Youtube channels, as well as on Twitter, and on Gab


  1. I learned at a ripe young age that to deal with a bully was to hit him as hard as I could in the nose. Once the blood started flowing the bully was gone.

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