Develop Social Resilience
The evidence is clear. Like a pride of lions, group of meerkats, birds flocking together or fish swimming in a school, people with a support network cope better with all issues - from help with school work, socialising at sport, finding a job for a mate, being with friends for fun, supporting friends through stress, loss, illness, trauma.
People with friends have a better self esteem and cope better with the trials of life of any stage. They are less likely to be stressed, angry or depressed. Having a close supportive family falls into the same category.
Clearly, the art of being able to socialise with all types of people, create close connections and maintain them is the art of survival. It was necessary when we all lived in tribes and is even more vital now that we live in boxes, work in boxes and even drive in boxes. Our connections with others are severely restricted.
Then why did it become a problem?
- When ever there is an industrial revolution people move away from their villages into the cities. The same pattern is still being repeated around the world as people search for a better life.
- After World War 1 and 2 people moved in huge numbers away from their families of origin. Many moved overseas. The extended family lost its power and stopped meeting together regularly.
- After World War 2 the nuclear family took over. Even this has been eroded by divorce, remarriage, unusual working hours, the need for family chauffeuring, television meals, takeaway food etc.
- The most recent blow to family life has come with the electronic 'blah blah' age. Many people live and work in virtual reality, otherwise known as Cyberia.
- Although we gain wonderful tools and machinery to help us at home and at work, it reduces communication to a few thumb moves, an email or chat room.
- Children are stuck in front of screen instead of socialising with family, neighbour or peers. At work people email rather than walk a few steps. Friends text and misconstrue.
- Thus for many people being with their family means a toxic two hours at Christmas, Easter or Thanksgiving! No wonder some people find it harder to relate to all types of people. Many people believe that their family is the only one with difficult members and avoid them. The fact is that most of us have challenging families! I haven’t met anyone who has a normal family, have you? The best way to survive socially is have regular meetings with our extended family/tribe over the year, birthdays, religious occasions etc. Then we can learn how to relate to all types of people, whether they are nice or difficult, easy going or high maintenance, passive or controlling, average or psychologically challenged. This helps us deal with challenging people at home, school or work.