One of the biggest problems I run into with clients, regardless of the age, is a lack of a support system. A support system can seem like an evasive giant, an intangible concept that everyone else seems to find easier than you.
A support system can come in many shapes and sizes. I often hear idealistic things like “I don’t have a best friend” and “I can only talk to _____ about x, and have to call ______ about y…”. There very rarely exists an all in one friend. Being stuck in the world of idealistic thinking and longing for things that aren’t likely to happen can lead to depression and difficulty in friendships.
Reality suggests that the average person has a range of friends and acquaintances that meet varying levels of their needs. For example, you may have family members that provide feelings of love and belonging. You may have school friends (high school or college) that you see less often than you’d like, that offer feelings of belonging and fun. You may also have a significant other that acts as an adventure partner, future planner, and best friend when your closest friend isn’t available. There are numerous other people that will step in regularly or periodically to make life enjoyable.
The trick is to never stop nurturing existing relationships and building new ones. As an adult, both of these can be difficult. Nurturing relationships includes swallowing your pride to admit when you are wrong, keeping your cool when angry, and being patient enough to listen to the other person. Building new relationships involves pushing past your comfort zone and trying new things, putting effort into looking for opportunities, and tackling the anxiety associated with meeting new people.
So the question I pose is, what steps can you take to repair or create a connection or two?