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Top 3 Important Ways On How Adversity Tests Our Character In Life.

Photograph of two men standing with different characters.
Photograph of two statues standing, with different characters.

Adversity affects us in a lot of ways, some more severely than others. Adversity means differently to all of us, since we have different perspectives and experiences of life.

I’ve often wondered just how adversity help us build character, I’ve understood just how it can shape us to become stronger people.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 3 ways on just how adversity can be the true test of character. Giving you some tips to reframe your perspective on adversity.

Before we get straight into a into the meat of the article, let’s first explore the different types of adversities that are common.

Common adversities faced in 2021

Although i mentioned this in the last post, I’ve found a more updated version.

This particular chart mainly shows different types of adversities what were reported within a study. It was published in May of 2021.

[wpcharts type=”barchart” bgcolor=”red,blue,yellow,gray,green,orange,pink” min=”0″ legend=”true” titles=”Social conflict, Personal health, Economic, Daily hassles ,Other’s health ,Academic/work ,Major Trauma” values=”22.12,17.21,16.73,15.44,12.14,8.36,7.96″]

I had sourced this statistic from an amazing article on Sage Journals on a Year-long longitudinal study on effects of adversity on wisdom by Anna Dorfman, David A Moscovitch, William J Chopik.

From this, we can see that social conflict is the highest type of adversity.

Following on from that, personal health is the highest, which clearly goes to show how much of an affect physical and mental health can have in our daily life.

How we deal with situations can in some way be reflective of our physical and psychological condition.

In terms of character, social conflict can manifest mainly because of clashes in differences in characters, personalities, thoughts, opinions and viewpoints.

Which could be the reason on how adversity in the form is social interactions, can reveal our character to our selves and others, either negatively or positively.

Giving us the realization on how our character is able to cope with a variety of people.

Firstly, how does adversity test our character?

When some sort of difficult situation comes about in life, how we respond is very important. According to how we respond, the outcome will either be favourable or negative.

However, having said that, It’s important to give ourselves some time to gather some strength and resilience.

Adversity is something that is very emotionally tricky to cope with, it is important that we are mentally and emotionally in the right place to take productive action, that benefits the situation.

3 ways adversity tests our character

1: By Taking Something Meaningful Away

graphic with green backgrond and white text on inner peace and adversity
Quote on how inner peace is a priority whether you have everything in life or facing adversity.

Things were going very well for some time, and you might have even started taking certain things of granted.

However, when adversity knocks on your door and takes everything away, how do you respond?

Your character might be so dependant and be largely shaped by circumstances, objects or people, that when they suddenly get taken away, our character becomes fragile.

Fragile enough to unfold and change into something better.

Often times, we associate ourselves with so many things that when it all falls apart, we don’t know what to do.

This is because our character is often so associated with the things that we hold on to, that when it gets taken away from us, our characters and motives are revealed to us and those around us.

When things fall apart because of adversity, were able to see that we were attached to so many things needlessly.

This can cause some changes to our character by helping us associate with things that give us much more meaningful in our lives.

To support this point a little more, an interesting extract form the same article above goes to say that.

Though wisdom may not “grow” over time in the face of adversity, it matters how one reflects on an adverse experience.

None the wiser: Year-long longitudinal study on effects of adversity on wisdom

Reflecting on adversity really allows us to see how our character has evolved and changed.

I know that from my experience, that I had associated my character with certain jobs and when that got taken away from me, it had a deep impact on me.

I wasn’t really ever the same person again.

I had taken the time to retrospect on the experience and just how I have learnt and grown from it.

So adversity tests our character by taking things away from us, the only question is, we get fearful or move forward.

2: By Giving Us Humility

Image on how humility and adversity has purpose
Graphic on how humility has its purpose in life.

Another way that adversity tests our character is by making us experience humility.

Humility is one of those emotions that can really test and change our character.

There are times when we think that were quite good at we do, along with our status in life.

However, when adversity greets us in the form of humility, we might question ourselves and how good we really are.

I’ve often noted that humility, can be beneficial to our character, mainly because it gives us a chance to go back to the drawing board.

Giving us a strong reason to look within and question our character.

Giving us a reason to improve and comeback stronger, through any adversity.

Even though you might have failed, or made to feel embarrassed, we can certainly learn from it and move on.

3: How We Treat Others.

Image with a white circle and black background others are important during adversity
Image on how others are important in life, particularly during adverse times.

When life works out in our favour, It’s easy to take others for granted. We might act rather egotistical.

However, when adversity strikes and were no longer able to maintain our projections, that’s when our true character is revealed.

Whether we have everything or have nothing, our character should be pure in the way that we treat people in life.

People put a facade or projection of their character as being a particular way.

However, when adversity hits and their no longer able to keep it up, that’s when the truth about them is often revealed.

This might make people lose respect towards them, since they were facing others with a falsified character.

People can be extremely valuable in our lives, I definitely understand because without them, I would be nowhere.

Treating others with consistency even though we might be going through adversity is crucial.

When they see that were honest and genuine, you’ll see that they will be willing to help us with open arms.

So whether you are successful or struggling in life, keeping consistently in your character is key.

Be humble enough to ask for help, work with others to rebuild your life.

Let people help you rebuild a strong and authentic character within you, and you’ll sail through any adversity life presents you with.

Sometimes, we might not see flaws within ourselves, but others do.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable enough to face, will help us grow in a way that we never imagined.


This short post was really meant to provide you with an overview.

We have covered the top 3 was that adversity can test our character. I hope you found this article resourceful.

I’ll be updating this post as soon as I get a new piece of information that is valuable.

Till then, ill see you in my next article.


By Kunaal Bakrania

An individual passionate about developing mental and emotional resilience in daily life. Through my experience and knowledge, I'm on a mission to help others cultivate strength within themselves and create a life of true fulfilment.

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