Building a Social Support Net

October 28, 2021

Your relationships have a deep impact on your emotional health. A strong social support network can help you manage stress and anxiety, boost your mood, and increase your sense of self-worth and well-being. Building a social support net gives you something to fall back on when times are tough. And allows you to extend help and support to others. Try these simple tips to build your social support net by strengthening existing friendships and forging new connections. 

Deepening Friendships

Life gets busy and we don’t always give our friendships the time and attention they deserve. Fortunately, there are easy ways to strengthen your relationships with the people you care about. 

  • Take a few minutes to reminisce and then text a favorite shared memory to your friend. Remembering good times together is a great method to reconnect and remind each other of the value of your friendship.
  • Set up a time to get together. Whether it’s as extensive as a girl’s weekend away, or as casual as meeting up for coffee or a drink, spending time together may be the best way to keep your relationship strong. 
  • Tell your friend about something new, important, or meaningful in your life. Talking about things that matter can deepen your trust in each other, help you feel close, and deepen your appreciation for one another in lasting ways. 

Building Connections

Whether you already have close friendships or not, making new friends can add value and fresh perspective to your life. Meeting new people doesn’t have to be intimidating; approached from the right angle it can be fun and rewarding. 

  • Volunteer, take a class, or attend a community event. You’re likely to meet people with similar interests, which makes it easier to connect over a shared passion. 
  • Invite an acquaintance to lunch or a movie. Approaching an existing acquaintance can be an easy way to break the ice, and you may be surprised at how much you and your neighbor or colleague have in common.
  • Take the pressure off building connections. Try planning a fun activity and invite someone new along with a more familiar group. You’ll find it easier to make connections in a relaxed atmosphere where you can share the duties of hosting and conversation—and you’ll be helping others to make connections too. 

Building a social support net by deepening friendships and building connections is rewarding in itself, and it can have significant benefits for your health and well-being. Great friendships don’t happen overnight, but by consistently nurturing relationships and giving them time to develop, you can build a strong social support net that will benefit you—and your friends—for years to come.

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