Support networks, who needs them, right? The answer here is we all do. We all need a network of people in our lives to help us in various ways. Here are just some examples throughout the life course: When we are infants, we needed caregivers to feed us, clothe us, and house us. We needed friends in elementary school to teach us how to share, interact and learn valuable life lessons (like sharing, compromise and working together). In high school we needed teachers to help us learn and develop or brain capacities, and we needed family and friends to help us feel connected, supported and worthy. As adults, we need some kind of employment to support our financial and basic needs (shelter, food, water, and safety), we need close, personal relationships to feel connection, worthiness and belonging, and we need a sense of hope and purpose to continue living. So, what happens when you are feeling that you are needing some support as a pick-me-up when you are struggling? If you haven’t noticed the similarities throughout the lifespan so far, let me give you a BIG hint- it’s people. We need people in our lives throughout our lifetime. We are incredibly social creatures who are not meant to travel this life on our own. So, who is in your support network? Who can you turn to when you are needing help in any way? Now, let me interrupt myself here and share that you CANNOT have one person who is there for absolutely all of your needs. We all need a lot of different kinds of help in life and they cannot all possibly come from one specific person. Why? It is too much pressure, work, responsibility and reliability on one person. Plus, what happens for you when that person is not available in your time of need, or (please forbid) that person has died and cannot be there any longer to support you in the ways that you need? We all need a lot of people in our lives for support. Think of it as a wheel. In the center is you, and around you are a list of situations and needs reaching out like arms from you. Watch a movie with, go for a walk with, travel with, talk on the phone with, cry with, sit in silence with, play a game or sport with, go shopping with, talk about your fears and concerns with, brain storm with, talk about your emotions with, talk about work with, etc., etc. etc. On the wheel, my hope is that you have numerous people that fit throughout the needs. Some people might repeat themselves on the list, you may even have multiple people on the same lie, and there might even be people missing from some lines because you haven’t realized that you don’t yet have someone to fill that need. This is all normal! Until we really look at our needs and the relationships we have, and maybe even the situations we have been in (maybe there are topics on the wheel you have yet to experience so you might not yet know who would be the person you turn to), we won’t know how much we are leaning on one (or a few) specific people to fulfill all of our needs. So, to try and avoid feeling a void later in life, when those people we lean maybe a little too much on are no longer available, why not look at what your support network looks like now and try to work on growing it in a way that you feel fills your needs best? If this is something you are interested, and would like support with, or to talk about further, please visit my contact me page to connect.

  Feb 11, 2018

2 comments

I wonder if the computer games our boys and young men are playing so much these days teaches them to be independent warriors who don’t need others… just a bigger weapon.

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your comment and very interesting view point! I believe that video gaming can bring a multitude of experiences to many individuals. For those who may have limited connections, gaming may bring a sense of community and connection not otherwise experienced in their immediate life. It can however, also increase isolation if individuals are not connecting to others in their immediate community in order to continue to play video games constantly. Likewise, the change in night/day routine may also be brought on by late night gaming and sleeping during the day, therefore increasing the chances of social isolation. I believe that gaming as a support can have its place, if balance correctly.

Thank you

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