The importance of having a support system
Last week, I introduced this series as a guide for readers who are preparing for, or already living in the “real world” as fully fledged adults. This week, I wanted to talk about one of the most important things you will ever have in your life: a support system. I say ‘system’ because you need more than just one person in your corner for multiple reasons. One being different people provide different forms of support, whether that be emotional, physical, or practical.
I personally have been on both sides of a support system involving only one person. I recently had to end a close friendship because I was the main source of support and advice for one person. I felt truly drained around them, and I never felt like my opinions or advice were being taken seriously. I think it’s important for everyone to value their own mental health and self-worth when being a large part of someone else’s life. I forced myself to carry on in this friendship due to an overwhelming feeling of guilt and fear of making my friend upset if I distanced myself. My biggest advice in these situations is to remember to make decisions based on how you feel. You are the most important person in your life, so make sure to take care of you first.
On the other hand, I have only had one real person in my immediate network of friends, and that is my boyfriend. Partner’s obviously have a direct effect on your life, and that doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It largely depends on how close of a relationship you have, and how big of a part they play in your life. Although I love my partner, and we make all of our life decisions together, it’s not fair to always rely on them for every little thing. We have gotten into plenty of arguments mainly stemming from the fact that we talk only to each other on a regular basis. Being around the same person for an extended period of time is not all fun and games; you get sick of each other. Plain and simple. We have talked about this many times in the past, and are working towards how we communicate with each other regarding any anxiety or anger we may have Having friends outside of your relationship allows you to explore different opinions and experiences you might not get with your partner. Sometimes, you need an outside source to share your frustrations or issues with.
Another large factor in building up your support system is family. I understand everyone has different relationships and comfort levels when it comes to family, and that’s okay. Regularly communicating and relying on my family brings me a great source of comfort. When school or work gets rough, I know I can always call my mom and let out a good cry. If I’m in need of a laugh after a long day, my dad always has a good joke on hand. I know no matter what that I have people in my life who will always love me and support my goals and decisions.
I hope you find this article useful either in your life currently, or in the future. People will always have a direct effect on your life, and it’s crucial that you understand who is worth your time and energy, even if that person is you. Life is scary and trying, but can be so much fun when surrounded by loving and encouraging people.
Tune in next week for Part III of this series: Learning How to Maintain an Adult Relationship.