Some people seem to deal with disasters, large and small, and move on. Somehow they handle the pain and disappointment and go on with their lives. Resilience appears to be an acquired skill, doctors say. It can be learned and used to get through a personal crisis, be it the end of a marriage, a financial disaster, or a death in the family. Understanding how to deal with it won't make a tough time less painful, but it can make it easier to live through.

Psychologists believe these techniques can help a person acquire resilience:

* Practice taking risks in your life. Make a speech, take dancing lessons, and learn ways to cope with roadblocks and disappointments.

* Be in charge of your life. The victim mentality is deadly, so forget self-pity. Accept pain when it comes: Feel it, take responsibility for your life, and move on.

The more positive your self-dialog, the better. Dr. Al Siebert, co-author of The Survivor Personality (Berkeley Publishing), suggests listing possible solutions when a problem occurs. Create a game plan to give yourself a sense of control over the situation.

* Ask for help. Froma Walsh, Ph.D., professor at the University of Chicago, says relationships are important. Those who can confide their feelings to others are more resilient. Surround yourself with people who care and talk to them.

* Think positively. People who look on the positive side rebound more quickly. Remind yourself that the sadness will diminish over time. Look for small pleasures and keep your sense of humor.

* Find some meaning in tragedy. Maybe it brought your family closer together, or prompted you to work for a good cause. When you give to others, it is easier to appreciate what you do have.

You will be more resilient.