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Supportive relationships (friends, family, professionals, improved self esteem and self worth)

Having caring relationships is important to an individual’s emotional well-being.  The way to develop supportive relationships is to be supportive to others.  Spending time as much time as possible with people who have the qualities that support you and spending time away from individuals who do not have those qualities is the best route to developing supportive relationships.

Supportive relationships help reduce stress and improve an individual’s general health and well-being.   The more people in an individual’s life it is more likely that they will have a supportive relationship with one of them.  It is important to make time to develop and reinforce relationships by meeting up with them by going out and having fun with them.  Remembering birthdays, being on time and helping when friends and family need help will strengthen  relationships and make them supportive.  Being assertive by not letting people push you around will make relationships supportive and lasting for  both individuals it will also encourage communication. Listening is an important part of supportive relationships.  When someone has had a hard day, is going through a crisis or has a problem  sometimes being able to talk about their feelings will release their stress and they will feel better about themselves.  They may want to share the experience, vent frustration about the situation or have someone to agrees with their feelings.

Knowing the people around you can bring a sense of security and a sense of pride.  It’s nice to know you can depend on those around you in times of a crisis and it makes coming home feel nicer too e.g. proactive parents support individuals through difficult times such as unemployment.  They help by encouraging the individual to seek employment and may support them financially.

Supportive skills

  • Ask about their feelings and listen
  • Don’t offer advice without asking permission
  • Reflect back what you hear so they know you were listening and you understand
  • It is not  a good idea to tie their feeling in with your own experience but question them about their feelings
  • Listen and do not be impatient to get a word in
  • Pay attention to the people around you to notice any negative energy that drains people or positive energy that makes people feel good
  • Do not judge the situation and tell them what they should as we all have different values
  • Be empathetic by putting yourself in their shoes
  • Be sympathetic even if you are disappointed that they cannot go out on a planned evening out.
  • Communicate any differences in a sensitive way
  • Be emotionally honest which may mean being a little vulnerable

Supportive relationships add quality to our lives.  The people we trust and know help us to celebrate in the good times and help us through the tough times.  Having strong supportive relationships is known to provide emotional help during stressful times, reduce stress, increase life span and give greater levels of happiness.  It is important to have a number of people in an individual’s life that can give support.