It’s no secret that friendships “enrich your life and improve your health.” In fact, according to psychologytoday.com, studies have shown that “social support is the key component [that] can make or break our sense of happiness in life.” Whether you’re going through a hard time, or experiencing a moment of gratitude, joy, and celebration, you’ll want to have people in your life to share those moments with, or be able to seek support so you don’t feel alone in life. It’s true that social support plays a role in determining our self-worth and identity, not to mention help us to heal emotional wounds necessary to coping with some of life’s biggest problems. Ever notice that things begin to feel better just talking to someone, you don’t have to be alone in life, and many of the “unpleasant consequences” you face in life, can result from isolation, bottling up and obsessing over feelings in life, instead of dealing with our emotions in a constructive way, wind up angered or frustrated in life.
Benefits to Meeting New People:
- Learn something new
- Enhance communication skills
- Feel positive and happy
- Be introduced to new opportunities
- Increase sense of belonging & purpose
- Improve self-confidence & self-worth
- Boost happiness and reduce stress
- Help coping with traumas
- Helps to find new ideas and broaden your perspective and keep an open mind.
- Personal development
One of the secrets to happiness is about having a “sense of belonging, and mattering to others.” It’s been said that “living the good life is more about who’s sharing the journey with you.” Humans are innately social beings, with an inherent need to “form and maintain, strong, stable interpersonal relationships.” These social relationships not only make you a happier person, studies have found, but also help to improve your health and maybe even live a longer life.
Don’t be a recluse, find a way to get back out into the world to feel more connected to others, whether that means changing your routine, getting a gym membership, going to a new coffee place, there are plenty of ways to increase your exposure in life, that doesn’t require you to stay home and be alone all the time. Find the beauty in life, and see the beauty in others, many of us averted to interacting with people on the basis of who we are, or where we come from, there is no harm in branching out, and getting to know what the rest of the world is like. Integrate, instead of staying locked in your bubble so to speak, sheltered, what’s the good in that. It’s good to hear from other people, and hear what they have to say about life, and to get to know others who may be going through the same or similar circumstances as you, such as in support groups, therapy, rehabs, AA, webinars, or Ted Talks. It’s been recommended to “train your brain to be more positive,” which includes “choosing to notice, appreciate, and anticipate goodness” in yourself and in others, which has been said to be a “powerful happiness booster.” -The goal is to “find an activity that gives you the opportunity to talk,” or helps you to.
- Shop in person
- Go out to eat, instead of delivery
- See a movie in a theater
- Buy books at a local bookstore
- Go to a sporting event
- Meetup groups
- In-person classes
Relationships can bring out the best in you or the worst, the key is finding the right people to be close to in life. Learn to practice gratitude instead of dwelling on the negative, which can make you an unhappy person. Learn to nurture your relationships in life, not just focus on yourself. All relationships require some maintenance, reaching out to people, checking on others, letting people know that you are thinking of them, staying up to date on what they are up to in life, checking your Facebook. There are plenty of ways to manage your relationships online and in real life, its all a matter of putting the time and effort into doing so. And why not? “Relationships are one of the biggest sources of happiness in our lives.” We are always told to not get stuck in our heads, and reminded that its not all about you, when faced with problems in life or dilemmas, this is to remind you that not everyone has it easy in life, and like you people go through difficulties. Whether you consider yourself worse off in life, chances are they can relate and just want you to be happy too, some more or less understanding and patient and that’s okay. Don’t be offended by who does not have time for you, to talk, or hang out, when the timing is right, people will want to be around you and share their lives with you. It’s about you feeling good in order to be willing to be a support system to others, not just be helped, be able to help too.
Friends can help you to practice healthier habits too, and maybe even change for the better by providing good examples. It’s a good idea to “get out of your head” and practice active listening. Hear what the other is saying instead of focusing on what you want to say next. Your emotional intelligence (or E.I.) is your ability to acknowledge your own emotions, recognize emotions in others and use that information to guide your behavior. All of these social skills are about being less jittery, fidgety, and anxious by putting yourself in situations that cause anxiety. This gradual exposure in social settings is the only way to gain confidence. You might not always see eye to eye with someone who has a different mindset, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Keep an open mind. Social support and encouragement can boost your self-confidence, and increase your chances of success with your goals. It doesn’t hurt to be social.
Conversational Skills Tips:
- Start small if necessary
- Ask open ended questions
- Encourage others to talk about themselves
- Listen to people
- Don’t complain
- Remember people’s names & stories
- Practice empathy, understand how others are feeling
- Communicate effectively
- Eye contact
- Don’t hide behind your phone
- Embrace the awkwardness
No matter where you are in life, there is always time to be social again. Don’t fret. We all go through phases when we would rather be alone, than be social, but you’ll just have to overcome those obstacles in life keeping you from being social. We all have anxiety and stress, and that too can play a role in your reluctance to be social again, not to mention COVID. In fact, “research has linked social isolation and loneliness to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions.” Remind yourself that you are worthy of having relationships in life to help foster your personal growth and mindset in life. You don’t need to change yourself to have people in your life, just start taking better care of yourself, and be more presentable. Feel good about yourself, you are you, and things will not change unless you put the effort into it. There are a lot of lonely people in this world just waiting to meet you! Think of it that way. You can always start a social media blog, and participate online, often quick fixes to feeling alone. There’s a social butterfly locked inside of all of us, who doesn’t like attention, so go out there and be yourself, and stop worrying about the past and what you’ve been through. There is so much more to life to live for and people in it to enjoy your life with. You’re worth more than broken relationships and the failed friendships you have had in the past, it’s time to make the commitment to challenge yourself to connect again and really put in the effort to make your relationships work for now, and in the future.