This International Friendship Day, Mental Health Awareness Charity Hector’s House speaks about the importance of our social connections and how it affects our well-being.
Humans are social beings. Having strong connections in our social lives is actually one of our basic needs. However, we understand it is becoming more and more tricky to make these intrinsic ties to others, especially given the current global situation. However, it is never too late to find your tribe, and we have some tips to help you.
What is a tribe?
This is a term of endearment used for those people in your life – be it friends or family – who are there for you and love you no matter what. No expectations, no rules, no judgement.
They are the first people you text when you have something funny to share, or have a problem that you need help with. They are the ones we turn to in our darkest days. The ones that celebrate our every high and weather our every low. They are your people.
If you have this – hold them dear. If you don’t, there is no need to despair. Everyone can find a tribe – at any stage of their life.
Why is friendship so important?
In our caveman days, having a tribe or community was crucial for our survival. But as time has passed, we have become more self-sufficient – which is a great thing to be. However, this means we have lost that community, tribe element of our lives which isn’t just necessary for our safety – but for our overall well-being.
It’s said that people with close social ties are:
- Less vulnerable to premature death
- More likely to survive a fatal illness
- Less likely to fall prey of stressful events
- Overall much happier than people who don’t socialise much
Luckily, developing our social ties is very easy to do. This can simply be talking to someone at a bus stop. Giving a stranger a compliment. Texting a friend we haven’t spoken to in a while. Little actions help us to lead a happier, more sociable life
Having a modern day tribe is as important as ever. In our technological age, we are more connected than ever – but we have never been more disconnected. The importance of seeing our peers face-to-face is really beneficial to our minds, so if you can safely, make sure you are making arrangements to meet friends regularly.
Quality over Quantity
When we think of having a tribe, it’s easy to make the mistake that this has to include 20-30 people. But that’s not necessarily the case. Having a small group of friends can be much better for us than a larger group. It really is quality over quantity.
Some people’s tribe consist of five good friends, however some have just two best friends from two different parts of the country. It is really important that we measure friendship by the benefits those people give us, rather than the number of friends we consider to have.
It’s OK to cut ties
With this in mind, let’s talk quickly about toxic friendships. Have you ever had a ‘friend’ in your life who made you feel bad about yourself? Who put you down or made you feel like you weren’t enough?
It’s incredibly difficult to cut ties with our friends who no longer bring us joy or love, but it is important to distance yourself from anyone who brings you down. Give yourself permission to back away from these kinds of friendships. The right people will love you for exactly who you are – because you are enough.
It’s never too late
If you are reading this as a teen or a young adult, please don’t worry if you feel like you haven’t found your tribe yet. Not many do until a bit later in life. By being your most authentic self, you will find your people.
If you are reading this in your 40s, 50s, even 80s – it’s never too late to find your tribe. Explore what your interests are – be it painting, gardening, reading or walking – and find like-minded people to explore these with. Start a book club, or strike up a conversation with someone in a garden centre. You might find that you’re not the only one who feels this way.
You already have one life-long friend
There is one person who is already your best friend. YOU! It’s so incredibly important we treat ourselves as our soul-mate. Give yourself compliments, treat yourself to a coffee and cake, spend quality time with yourself. Getting to know and love the person you are will not only attract your tribe, but will increase your self-worth and well-being too.
Join our tribe!
The Hector’s House Tribe are always here for you. We understand the importance of needing someone to talk to, so please follow us on Facebook and Instagram and say hello!