We are wired for relationships and building these relationships is tied to our happiness and well being. Resilience research shows there are behaviours within family, friendship, and community environments, which nurture resilience.
The three types of relationships that build resilience are –
- Caring relationships—Relationships that convey understanding, respect, and interest.
- High expectation messages—Firm guidance, structure, and challenge. Conveying a belief in the person’s strengths and assets, rather than problems and deficits.
- Opportunities for meaningful participation—Having opportunities for valued responsibility, making decisions, speaking out, being heard, and contributing talents to the group or community.
To enhance this third area of relationships—consider the people you hang around with the most. A person’s happiness, feelings of being supported, and the ability to cope is influenced by their social environment. Three helpful questions are –
- Do we have similar likes, values, and goals?
- Do I feel inspired and supported when I am around them?
- Am I comfortable to be truly me when I am with them?
Think about where you are right now, your life results, your behaviours, your view of the world, and how you feel. Then consider the five people you are around the most. There could be many similarities as well as either opportunities to grow, or limiting circumstances and conversations. I have found that we become who we hang around, so if you are not feeling like you belong, are uncomfortable, or feel that you want different results and want to be inspired and supported—be around different people.
Why be around people that bring you down, that drain your energy? Why give your thoughts, focus and time to those that don’t even bring a smile to your face or a warm and fuzzy feeling to your day?
My suggestion is to ask yourself if that relationship is sustaining you or draining you. The answer should determine your next steps. Do not judge others poorly because they are not a right fit for you, we are all on a journey somewhere; you are just going in a different direction.
I value my close friends highly as I know they value me too and we follow through on what we say we will do for each other. It is a safe place to be me, express my self, feel accepted and loved, no matter what. I like the saying that goes, “My best friends know everything about me, and they are still my friends.” The love I get from my group is a stepping-stone to feeling anything is possible.