July 29, 2020

Habits for Optimal Social Health

by Funmi

Your social health is about your relationships, how you interact with others, and how will your social network acts as a support system for your life.

Your social connections help you during challenging times and enhance your emotional, mental, and even physical self. 

Have strong, healthy relationships that are supportive, and nurturing is crucial to living a full, happy life, so that means you must learn to foster these connections. 

 There are many reasons why your social connections are essential. When you have strong bonds with others, you feel more confident about yourself.

Your friends and acquaintances support and encourage your interests and passions. 

Romantic connections help you feel loved and experience intimacy with someone else. Connecting with others teaches you important life skills like communication, cooperation, compromise, trust, and conflict resolution. 

Just like other aspects of your well-being, you should have daily habits that nurtureyour social health.

The following are things you can do every day to cultivate your connections with others in your life. 


Be the Friend You are Looking For

If you are trying to make new connections with people or form a friendship with someone new, it is crucial to act in ways that you value and expect to be treated. 

Showing others your values and beliefs can help them know you better and behaving in positive ways demonstrates how you will treat them in the future, which can build trust.

Show interest in your new friend and ask them questions to learn about their hobbies, goals, and passions. Don’t fall into the trap of talking about yourself all the time. 

By demonstrating how you expect to be treated, the other person will know your expectations and get to know what is important to you.

 

Cultivate the Relationships You Already Have

If you want to feel more connected to people, then you must put in the work to maintain and grow the relationships you already have.

Connections with other people are just like living organisms. They must be fed and nurtured if you want them to thrive.

That means they need attention, feeding, and love. You should be doing something every day to show someone in your life that you care about them and value your connection. 

For those friendships and bonds that are important but may be distant or not as regular, it is still essential to check-in and to show the other person you still value them in your life. 

Some ideas for daily habits include:

• Call or text someone different every day to say “hi” or tell them you are thinking about them

• Make time at least once a week to have longer conversations with important people in your life, such as your parents, your best friend, or your siblings

• Send someone you care about a card either to mark a special occasion or just to remind them you love them

• Express your love for others whenever you have the opportunity, and be sure you share how grateful you are to have them in your life

• Be timely in your responses to other’s messages and phone calls; respond to invitations so people know you are excited to come or unfortunately can’t make it

 

Be a Good Listener

If you want to grow closer to someone else, the number one thing you can do is give them your attention.

Being a good listener is not just about hearing the words they are saying, but it is also about watching for nonverbal cues that give you information and noticing patterns in their behavior. 

That means you need to be looking at the person speaking and providing them with your undivided attention when you are having a conversation.

You can’t be a good listener when you are on your phone or multi-tasking, either. 


Signs that you are actively listening include:

• Making eye contact with the speaker

• Asking questions when you don’t understand or want further information

• Sharing your personal connections with the topic

• Using body language and facial expressions that show you are interested in what they are saying

 

Pursue Your Interests in the Community

A wonderful way to widen and enhance your social circle is to look for opportunities within your community to engage in your favorite pastimes or hobbies. 

There are likely groups, MeetUps, and events around you that cater to your interests, and these are excellent places to meet people with similar interests. 

Classes, clubs, and regular get-togethers on a specific topic (writing, fitness, gaming, etc.) can help you meet people like you and begin to forge new bonds.

And when you have others who like to do what you do, you are more likely to get out and do those things, as well. 

 

Always Be Honest and Accept Responsibility

Even with the best of intentions, you can still make a mistake as a friend or companion.

No one expects you to be perfect, and the best thing you can do when you mess up, hurt someone else, or find yourself in a conflict is to take responsibility for your part. 

Accepting responsibility shows that you have integrity and that you are willing to learn from your mistakes.

When you indicate that you are eagerto learn and grow, others are more likely to trust you and be prepared to give you another chance. 

The next important thing is to learn from your mistakes and work hard to rectify the situation or make amends for any hurt that you caused.

 

Avoid Negative Behaviors Like Blaming and Judging

If you want others to trust and feel comfortable with you, you need to behave in positive ways and avoid behaviors that could cause distrust from others.

Getting rid of negative behaviors that include judging, blaming, and criticizing others can help.

When people think that all you do is talk badly about others or spend all your time together complaining or blaming other people, they are less likely to want to hang out with you.

When you put out positive energy, you are more likely to get that same in return. 

When you notice others engaging in this type of behavior, change the subject or point out the positives that you see to show them that you are not interested in focusing on the negative aspects of others or a situation. 

 

Final Thoughts

Your emotional and spiritual connections with others are an essential part of your overall well-being.

Engaging in daily habits that promote your social health will nurture existing relationships and help you forge new bonds, as well. 

About the author

Funmi

Funmi is Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and by extension their businesses.

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